Winter is often a time to stay indoors, cosy up and keep out of the cold. It can also be a great time to put your wellbeing first. Here are a few ideas to keep you motivated to help you to look after yourself throughout the cooler months.
Get a skin check
It may seem illogical to think about sun exposure on your skin when you’re keeping your skin covered up from the cold, but it also means we’re less likely to notice changes to moles over time. Learn how to check your own skin for signs of skin cancer, and book yourself in with your GP or at a specialised clinic for a comprehensive skin check.
Don’t forget the winter sun can still damage your skin, especially if you hit the ski slopes. Slip, slop, slap and slide before your ski.
Contact GMHBA to find out if melanoma surveillance photography is covered on your health insurance product.
It goes without saying, you still need to be active in the winter months for your physical and mental health. To maintain movement over winter, be realistic about the time you exercise and the type of physical activity you do. For example, swap out a freezing morning jog for a lighter, brighter lunchtime one. Getting wet in an indoors water aerobics class may be preferable to getting drenched during a winter’s walk. You can even keep warm indoors and exercise at the same time with a yoga or Pilates class.
Trying something new is always fun during winter too. Try delving into PlaySport to see what is on offer in your local area.
Without the hot weather and beads of sweat to prompt us, it’s easy to get dehydrated during the winter months. Keeping hydrated is important for many aspects of our wellbeing and helps with key bodily functions – from sustaining a sharp brain, to maintaining bladder and kidney function.
If you start to feel unexplained fatigue or your skin looks as though it’s losing that shine, consider if you’re on track to drink the recommended two litres of water a day.
Focus on your mental health
When it starts to cool down, it’s easy to scurry home and lock yourself inside with a good book or TV show. But connecting with others is a key way to maintain your mental health over winter. Invite people over for coffee or a meal. Embrace the cold, rug up and meet someone for a walk. Or if you do prefer staying indoors, book in your friends for a trivia or games night.
Getting safe exposure to sunlight is also important during winter to lift your mood, maintain vitamin D levels and to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that comes and goes according to the season.
Winter is the season for slow cooking, soup and baking. But try not to fall into the trap of carb-heavy, sugar loaded treats. Nourish your body and keep warm at the same time with plenty of hot food and drinks. And remember to aim for the recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day. Check out some of our favourite healthy winter recipe ideas if you need some inspiration.
Want to know more?
To find out more top tips to make this Winter your best from heating and safety to increasing the energy efficiency of your home, the Better Health Channel has loads of winter-specific advice.