Published On: December 18, 2023

1. Boost your immune system

Winter is often associated with an increased risk of colds, flu and other illnesses. Prioritize your immune system by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and immune-boosting foods, such as citrus fruits, ginger, garlic and turmeric. Additionally, consider taking supplements like vitamin C or vitamin D (lack of sunshine), but be sure you consult with your physician before starting.

Fun fact! Can honey help upper respiratory illness? The answer to that question appears to be yes. The Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Elizabeth Rainbolt describes honey as having some anti-microbial and anti-inflammation properties, as well as potentially reducing mucus secretion. “So, you can use honey for cough symptoms as well, whether it’s a wet or dry cough,” she says in the hospital’s online newsletter Health Essentials. Take a spoonful (about a teaspoon worth) directly or dilute in hot water or tea. Dr. Rainbolt suggests limiting intake to four of five spoonfuls per day, and before giving to children, check with their pediatrician.

2. Practice good hygiene

During the winter, viruses and bacteria tend to be more prevalent. Follow good hygiene practices to reduce the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or touching your face. Use hand sanitizers when hand washing is not possible, and remember to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Fun fact! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizers are an appropriate stand-in for hand washing and work to quickly eliminate germs in many situations. But! Hand sanitizers do not get rid of every type of germ, and might not be able to remove harmful chemicals.

3. Take care of your skin

Cold weather, low humidity and indoor heating can lead to dry, itchy skin. Protect and moisturize your skin by using a rich, hydrating moisturizer regularly. Apply lip balm to prevent chapped lips and consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home or office.

4. Stay active

It can be tempting to hibernate indoors during the winter, but staying physically active is crucial for your overall well-being. Engage in regular exercise or find indoor activities that keep you moving, such as yoga, dancing or home workouts. Physical activity not only helps maintain your fitness but also supports your mood and energy levels.

5. Prioritize mental health

The winter season can sometimes be associated with mood changes or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to reduced sunlight and colder weather. Take steps to prioritize your mental health by getting exposure to natural light whenever possible, practicing self-care activities that bring you joy, and seeking support from loved ones or a mental health professional if needed.