Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine put a lot of emphasis on the change of seasons and how it affects the body. For instance, eating right for the time of year is very important so that you eat salads in summer and soups and stews in winter to warm up your body.
Other issues at this time of year:
- Lack of exposure to the sun leads to Vitamin D. deficiency as the winter goes on.
- Darker days can mean that people feel depressed or get SAD – see Winter blues or SAD?
- Colds and flu are most prevalent before Christmas. Read Prevent Colds.
- Sleep can also become disrupted – see Sleep problems and it’s often hard to get up in the morning!
Warming foods such as stews casseroles and home-made soups help to keep the body warm in cold weather. Include plenty of herbs and spices to keep the digestive system healthy –- ginger, cumin, basil, mustard, cardamom, black pepper, basil, turmeric, and of course garlic!
Exercise outside when it’s sunny and dry so that you get some exposure to sunlight. According to Mind, the mental health charity, what they call ‘ecotherapy’ can positively affect your mood.
Sleep well – sleep is as vital as exercise and healthy eating for our wellbeing. To see some tips for sleeping well in winter read: Sleep problems.
Drink spicy teas that are cleansing and warming – those containing cardamom, cinnamon and ginger are particularly good.
Hot water with lemon – a slice of lemon first thing in the morning is very cleansing to the liver.
Tip from Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs: if the change of season affects your digestion, gives you insomnia, constipation or anxiety, try the Ayurvedic remedy: Ashwaganda ((Withania somnifera). He also suggests a delicious cup of milk simmered with a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom to settle in for a blissful night’s sleep!
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