Staying Happy and Healthy in Colder Months

happy and healthy wintertime family

You may be a fan of the colder weather or despise the dipping temperatures. Regardless, one thing remains: winter comes every year. Driving people indoors to stay cozy and warm can have upsides, like more family time, or downsides, like going stir-crazy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still fun indoor and outdoor activities. Check out some of these ideas to maintain morale and stay active in the colder, shorter months.

One way to keep our bodies and minds alert and engaged is to stay active – yes, even when it’s cold out. Here are some fun activities you can try, snow boots or not.

Indoor Activities

Make Tissue Paper Stained Glass Art

Most of us have made suncatchers at some point, but another fun at-home alternative is stained “glass” art! All you need for this creative activity is colored tissue paper, wax paper, glue or liquid starch, scissors, and optional popsicle sticks. Follow the step-by-step instructions here!

Whip Up Kinetic Sand

Winter weather makes the beach a little less accessible, so why not bring the fun indoors? Kinetic sand is not only an engaging craft to make. It is a great sensory tool for kids and adults alike. Simply by coating fine grain sand with polymer and adding your own colors, you can bring a bit of the beach back to life in the cold.

Flour the Counter and Make Some Bread

There are few things more comforting than the smell of freshly baked bread. The process of kneading and shaping the dough is a therapeutic way to connect to your food. As well as feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you take it out of the oven. Try reaching for the top shelf and making your own sourdough bread with this recipe.

Spruce Up Your Space

If you’ve been angrily staring at the same ugly cabinet fixtures or are tired of dusting that outdated chandelier, the winter season is a great time to update your space. Adding a pop of color with some fun peel-and-stick wallpaper or even a simple declutter-and-donate can make you feel even more prepared for spring.

Unplug with a New Hobby

With more time spent inside it’s easy to gravitate towards sedentary movies or television. However, this is also a great time to consider learning a new hobby such as crocheting, journaling, painting, cooking, or baking. Check out this article for some unique ideas.

Go Splash at a Waterpark

The neighborhood pool may be out of the question in the colder months, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t water fun! If you’re the lazy river type or the adrenaline-filled waterslide kind, hitting a waterpark is a great way to beat cabin fever – and you can even make it a day trip.

Outdoor Activities

See Who is the Fastest at Sledding

Whether it’s for your kiddo or your own inner child, sledding is one of the simplest joys when snow is on the ground. People of any age can enjoy heading outside with a sled or inner tube and flying down a hill. Sledding hills don’t have to be an expensive experience; grab supplies at the local hardware store and find a neighborhood spot near you.

Lace Up and Try Ice Skating

If you’ve watched even one rom-com in the last few months cooped up inside, you’re likely to have witnessed the infamous ice skating scene. While in the movies, it can seem a bit cliché, there is something magical about skating under the stars or on a frozen lake. You don’t even need to own a pair of skates, as most spots will rent them out when you arrive. No experience is needed!

Strap the Skis on in a New Way

While flocking to ski resorts is a very popular activity in the winter, there is just as much fun to find on local trails and other flat terrains. Try cross-country skiing, where all you have to do is shuffle your feet a bit and glide around. Find a state park or nearby organization that rents them. You’ll be learning something new (or revisiting an old favorite) in no time.

Drop a Line and Enjoy Ice Fishing

Don’t worry about waiting for the sun to come out to grab your pole and hit the lake. Even if you’re not basking on a boat in the open water, fishing is fun in any season – in fact winter fishing makes up nearly ¼ of the annual catch in the Midwest! Bundle up, make some hot cocoa, pack some bait (and your fishing license!), grab some friends or family, and try out this exciting winter event.

It’s easier than ever to slip into a state of sadness or experience higher-than-average grogginess in the wintertime. There is less sunlight. Many opt out of plans due to weather, and fun activities you enjoy during the summer are put on hold. That means it’s even more important to focus on your mental health this season to keep yourself in a positive state of mind. Practicing mindfulness in your everyday life is a great way to keep up with that.

Meditation and Yoga

Meditating and yoga go hand-in-hand as they both contain elements of each practice: a connection between breathing, body, and mind. “A moving meditation is being mindful and aware of movement without a goal or destination.” popular YouTube yoga instructor Sarah Beth (SarahBethYoga) explains.

First, choose an intention or mantra you’d like to achieve: relaxation, mindfulness, perspective, or acceptance. Slow down and let your breaths guide your movements. Exercise Ujjayi breath (also called “ocean breath”), in which you inhale and exhale through your nose while keeping your lips shut and exhaling to match your pose. Allow yourself to feel the sensations in the room, from sounds and temperature, to colors and textures. Most importantly, try to limit distractions to help yourself focus on calm. Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Meditation if you’re ready to try it yourself.

Benefits of Vitamin D

You may have heard of people taking vitamin D supplements in pill form (maybe even you do!), but it’s not just something we ingest. Vitamin D is important in maintaining bones, teeth, and optimal immune function. While this valuable nutrient can be found in foods, it also is produced by the human body as a response to exposure to sunlight. In the winter, there are fewer hours of sun each day, and many people are less inclined to go outside. Consider investing in a sun lamp – these lamps emit rays to encourage the body to produce more vitamin D.

Good Sleep Hygiene

After a long day at work or school, most of us feel pretty beat at night. However, the shorter hours of sunlight often drive people to work longer hours or start relaxing earlier in the evening, which makes it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime. Sleep hygiene encompasses both environment and habits. It also plays a key part in achieving the goal of better, more restful sleep.

Start by setting a bedtime. When the clock hits that time, turn off your electronics, brush your teeth, change into your pajamas, and settle into bed. Try not to look at your phone or watch television in bed as they can cause mental stimulation and generate a blue light that may decrease melatonin production. Try using a calming-scented lotion or essential oil before lying down, and invest in a comfortable pillow. If you don’t like the quiet, a sound machine or meditation app may help you.

Keeping a healthy mind isn’t the only thing that should be focused on to maintain happiness in the colder months. Starting or maintaining a healthy diet is equally important. Freshness and ripeness of fruits and vegetables come and go with the seasons, which makes it even more fun to experiment with new recipes involving what’s around this time of year.

Energy-Smart Snacking

Fatigue happens to the best of us, but the longer, colder, darker winter days seem to widen those affected. When it comes to snacking, be sure to load your body with nutrients that energize your body and mind. Here is a list of energy-packed snacks to keep yourself awake and alert.

  • Edamame: This little bean is full of fiber, protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats that are slowly digested into an energy-amplifying snack. Plus, they’re simple to make! Buy a bag in the freezer section and toss them in the microwave.
  • Yogurt: Complex carbs and protein is one of the most nutritious pairings, usually found in Greek or Icelandic yogurt. They slowly digest in the body, providing more sustained energy.
  • Chickpeas: Also called garbanzo beans, if air-fried or baked, these little guys pack a crispy and tender inside. They soak up whatever seasoning you top them with and are a great topper for salads to add extra crunch.
  • Peanut Butter Protein Balls: These easy-to-make bites not only taste great but provide a little energy boost too. The recipe to make them is super simple with few ingredients, and you can easily adjust it to your taste.

Seasonal Recipes

Whip out your apron and oven mitts because winter is the perfect time to try your hand in the kitchen. The colder weather usually causes cravings for comfort food, but that doesn’t mean you have to order a greasy pizza. Consider making homemade lasagna, putting a roast in the crock pot, or experimenting with seasonal winter squash. Cooking is a great way to involve the family in a fun activity with delicious results. Also, leaving the oven door cracked after baking is a cheap way to warm the house!

From those who love snow angels and snowmen to those who prefer bonfires and movie marathons, there is something for everyone to keep happy and healthy in the colder months. If you are looking for a new place to keep warm this winter, reach out to GoPrime today. We can get you started on your road home.