It can be hard to stay healthy during the winter months. We can all be affected by the shift in weather and shorter days, and it can be difficult to adjust to the change.  Some people may experience a variety of side effects, from winter blues and trouble sleeping to achy muscles and joints and rough, dry skin. Fortunately, there are ways to help our bodies adjust, manage, and even thrive during cold weather and snow.  The nurses of our Woburn Day Program, Lauran Monahan (Health Care Coordinator) and Draga Djordjevic-Gilroy, (Float Nurse) want to share some tips on how to stay healthy during the winter months!

Wash hands often. As simple as it sounds, washing with soap and water for 20 seconds (or second-best slathering hand sanitizer) is one of the best ways to keep ourselves and others healthy. Also, try to use your sleeve to open doors. Wash hands before touching our faces. Limit touching or adjusting our masks

Stay warm. Wear proper clothing when going outside; hat, scarf, gloves, and good pair of weather-proof shoes or boots, are a must this time of year. Pack them in your backpack or tote to have “just in case”. Wear layers when at day hab. Sometimes it feels hot and sometimes cold. Have a t-shirt under a sweater or sweatshirt

Get lots of rest. Sleep is restorative. It is the time our bodies use to repair and heal our bodies and minds. Plenty of rest will boost our immune systems so we can naturally fight the cold, flu and viruses. Put down phones and electronic devices an hour before you wish to fall asleep.

Just 10 minutes of movement a day, walking around our homes, marching around, dancing, vacuuming, sweeping, any kind of movement, is a great benefit to health!

Exercise. It is challenging to stick to an exercise routine during the colder, dark months. However, just 10 minutes a day, walking around our homes, marching around, dancing, vacuuming, sweeping-any kind of movement, is a great benefit to health! If we can do it outside while walking or shoveling, all the better. 

Hydrate our bodies inside and out! Drink plenty of water or any caffeine-free beverages and limit sugar. Use moisturizers on your face, lips, hands, bodies, feet, after bathing, slather up!! The winter months bring lots of dry air. Especially with all the hand washing/ hand sanitizing. Bring some hand lotion to program to use as needed.

As little as 5-10 minutes of sun a day will do wonders for our bodies and minds. 

Get some sun. It is essential to soak up the sun when you can during these dark months. Natural sunlight boosts our serotonin levels, it is known as the “happy hormone”. Sunlight gives us natural Vitamin D. We all need Vitamin D to keep our bones strong! Believe it or not, sunlight also helps regulate our circadian rhythm, responsible for healthy sleep cycles. As little as 5-10 minutes a day will do wonders for our bodies and minds. 

Other trusted winter resources: