As the months get colder, our bodies ache more and our mental state begins to deteriorate. Stress can be a killer if you let it get the best of you. It has been linked to depression, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
If you’re one who is affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder or who just is overwhelmed by the holiday season, you should consider utilizing some holistic health options. The most effective solution to stress, pain, and lethargy associated with the winter is prevention.
We hope this short holistic guide helps you navigate these cold months much easier. These are the seven best holistic practices you can do in your own home.
1. Steam and Hot Baths
One of the fastest forms of relief in holistic health is in the form of temperature. Hot baths, showers, or saunas provide instant relaxation of the mind and body. The heat will help loosen the muscles and release the lymph nodes of tension.
We recommend taking hot baths with essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, chamomile. These help clear your mind of all the thoughts that overwhelm your mental space.
If you are dealing with chronic pain and hot baths aren’t doing enough, you should consider holistic pain treatment professionals, like this company. Used in conjunction with your baths, you will notice a boost in mood and energy.
2. Tea, Water, and Fruit
Staying hydrated is very important when it comes to fighting off illness, both physical and mental. The best sources of water, besides water, are tea and fruit. Tea is great because you can combine therapeutic herbs, such as chamomile, lavender, and lemon.
Freshly-squeezed orange juice is another big immune-booster, as well as a great source of energy. Fruits with B-vitamins help stave off the mid-day crash that is often witnessed in the winter, as we spend more time indoors.
3. Proper Sleep
Sleep is the only time when your body can go into repair mode and also properly form memories. If you’re not ever getting proper deep sleep, then your body will grow weaker, be more prone to injury, and you’ll think less clearly. As an adult, you should always aim for at least 7 hours of sleep.
If you find it especially difficult to reach this goal on a consistent basis, then you need to start eliminating distractions. Many of us find it hard to properly wind down into bedtime. This can be fixed by creating a holistic health routine, such as reading a book before bed, instead of looking at a screen.
Making sure your bedroom is an environment for sleeping and not work or entertainment can greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
A massage isn’t just for temporary relief from pain, it is important to get them regularly to maximize blood flow and increase the efficiency of your body’s immune system. Massaging the lymph nodes encourages production of antioxidants and helps detoxify the body.
An aromatherapy massage takes things even further and helps the mind drift off into a peaceful place for a moment. It’s the proverbial “reset button” of holistic health treatments.
While you could technically meditate while getting your massage done, the best form of meditation healing is attained alone. Find 10-15 minutes out of each day to clear your thoughts and focus on energies. It can be a little intimidating, at first, for those who have never meditated, but you will quickly master it.
The key is not to overthink it, as in being as intuitive and free-flowing with your mind as possible. Try keeping a meditation journal to help you along on your journey.
6. Getting Exercise
As the days get colder, it becomes harder for many of us to get out more. This a major contributor to seasonal depression and body aches. By just going for a brisk walk each day for 10-20 minutes, you can greatly reduce stress and anxiety.
You don’t need to workout until you’re sore, just enough exercise to break a sweat will do. A great alternative for those who may not enjoy walking is yoga. While being a low-impact activity, it still challenges the muscles and keeps energy levels high.
7. Holistic Diet
You are what you eat, which means you could be a limp piece of meat if you’re not putting quality ingredients into your body. The fresher, least processed, and most nutrient-dense the food you eat, the better you will feel. Holistic health depends so much on a balanced diet.
If you need some direction on how to find foods that are easy on the digestive tract and provide the most nutritional value, here are a few things to avoid:
- Deep-fried food is hard on the digestive system and increases stress level/discomfort
- Caffeine speeds up the heart, which can trigger anxiety and make it harder to concentrate
- Alcohol can dehydrate the body and disrupt sleeping, alertness, and hormones all day
- Lactose is often hard to digest properly, it can leave you feeling bloated or give you diarrhea
- High-sugar diets increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety
Holistic Health Lifestyle Changes
As you can see, living a holistic life is a multi-faceted approach. All areas in your life must be focused on and cared for. When you are lacking in something, such as sleep or water, you try to overcompensate and push yourself harder.
This is the foundation of stress, and in the winter these things happen much more often. We’re all busy, but you should fit self-care into your schedule or risk more serious problems in the future. We hope this guide has opened your mind about taking care of yourself.
You deserve to be the best ‘you’ that you can possibly be, that’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help sometime. If you’re interested in living a more holistic lifestyle, free of pain and stress, feel free to contact us.
We have plenty of resources and experienced practitioners who can help you.