The Natural Path – Winter Wellness: Your Guide to Thriving This Season

by Dr. Marita Schauch, ND, Tall Tree Integrated Health Centre – 

Chill is in the air, Christmas is around the corner, and the days are short. Like really short. Winter is coming whether we like it or not.

And in this season that can be hard to navigate in our best health, be it because of the desire to hibernate, too many tempting treats, or the lack of sunlight, prioritizing our wellness is important.

That is why I’ve put together some of my favourite winter wellness tips to stay healthy, and thrive this season.

Take Advantage of the Light
Sunlight is in short supply this time of year, and that can make many of us feel the effects of seasonal depression.
Make an effort to steal outside for at least 15 to 20 minutes every day. Lunch breaks are an awesome time to squeeze this in if it’s dark by the time you finish work.

Supplements to Consider
There are some key supplements that can make your journey through the winter months a bit easier.
• Vitamin D – This is a big one as many Canadians become deficient at this time of year.
• Vitamin C – Works alongside Vitamin D to support a healthy immune system.
• B Vitamins – Important for supporting the stress response and to help boost energy.
• Zinc – Helps fight infection in cold and flu season.

Keep Moving
It’s easy to give in to the desire to hibernate in the winter and get lax on physical activity, but keeping up a daily movement practice goes a long way in maintaining good physical and mental health.

Make at least 30 to 60 minutes of movement a part of your daily routine. It can be as simple as a walk or a yoga flow, just as long as you’re moving.

Go Back to Your Roots
Root vegetables pack a powerful punch for winter nutrition when we need a little bit of extra energy. Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips and more offer that hearty stick-to-your-ribs type of eating to help us feel nourished in the cold months.
Focus on eating hearty, filling and nutrient packed meals to fuel your winter adventures. This is also a fun time to connect with your family’s heritage traditions and experiment with recipes from your own lineage or around the world!

Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated
Just because you’re not hot and sweaty doesn’t mean you can skimp on the hydration. Water is essential for all of our body’s processes, so remember to drink up. Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated and warm!

Find Your Spark
One of my favourite winter survival tips is to find your “spark.” Find something that captivates you, that brings you joy, and can carry you through to spring. Maybe it’s a project, learning a new skill, a book series, trying out recipes or exploring our beautiful Island. Choose something you’ve always wanted to do and make the time and space to focus on it throughout the season.

Stay warm, stay healthy, and most of all stay happy.

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