Subscribe
Story

Blissful Wellness Rituals to keep you healthy and warm this winter

By staying mindful of nutrition, exercise, and stress levels, we can avoid falling into a slump and manifesting sickness in our bodies and minds.

In an ideal world, the winter conjures up images of rosy cheeks, crackling fires, perfectly round snowballs, and beautiful pine trees that never shed. The reality, however, is closer to runny noses, tangled extension cords, and one too many slices of apple pie.
A routine of feeling over-fed and over-stressed seems inevitable, and what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year quickly turns into an overwhelming hodgepodge of gift giving, carb-loading, and germ-sharing.
This initially seems like a recipe for immune system disaster, but with a few simple changes, staying well during the winter months is easier than you would imagine.
The main goal is to focus on input and output – what we’re inhaling and exhaling on both a physical and emotional level.
By staying mindful of nutrition, exercise, and stress levels, we can avoid falling into a slump and manifesting sickness in our bodies and minds.

Input

Incorporate more probiotics into diet.
These help to strengthen your body’s defenses by keeping your gut healthy.
Consume foods that have natural probiotics like kefir, miso soup, cultured vegetables, sauerkraut, kombucha, and take a high quality probiotic supplement.
And speaking of supplements, increase your intake!

Flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seed, and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3’s, which not only have anti-inflammatory effects, but also protect the skin and improve cognitive functioning.

Try adding in an olive oil leaf complex to your daily diet regimen. This is a super powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and has antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

Increase your omega 3’s! Take a cod liver oil supplement or krill oil supplement during the winter. These have the added benefits of vitamin A and D (great for months when our access to sunshine is limited).
You can get omega 3’s in foods as well. Flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seed, and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3’s, which not only have anti-inflammatory effects, but also protect the skin and improve cognitive functioning – perfect for when your lips and sanity start cracking.

You could also try adding in a daily zinc supplement. Zinc has been shown to prevent or lessen the duration of a cold. It releases ions that prevent the common cold virus from maturing and attaching to airways. Experts advise choosing zinc gluconate or zinc acetate without flavoring agents, as those seem to hinder its preventative powers.

Astragulus is a Chinese root that is also an immunity booster. Research has shown that it enhances white blood cell production, in turn creating more antibodies and interferons to protect against viruses. In a Chinese study, 3 to 4 months of taking astralagus injections raised white blood cell counts by up to 45% in people who had a virus. It is also available in pill form in most health food stores, so stock up before that first winter storm hits!

Chlorophyll – energy boosting, oxygen enhancing, infection fighting, and digestion regulating.

Admittedly, drinking eggnog is winter cliché, but most people imbibe a bit too much of their own poison of choice. Just make sure to balance out the alcohol with something detoxifying the next morning. Our three favorites juice shots are below:
•Chlorophyll – energy boosting, oxygen enhancing, infection fighting, and digestion regulating
•Ginger / lemon – anti-everything! (antiviral, antiseptic, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory) and immune boosting
•Mangosteen – strengthens immune system, increases joint flexibility, and provides cognitive support
***Try adding turmeric to any of these shots for an extra boost of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant!

Output

Try taking a few extra yoga classes. Yoga encourages relaxation, reduces stress, and facilitates circulation throughout the whole body. These three things not only physically stimulate your immune system, but also symbolically encapsulate wellness by emphasizing going slowly, nurturing yourself, and taking your time. The relaxation reduces cortisol levels, which also keeps the body ready to fight infection off.
Yoga furthermore induces GABA levels in the brain, an important neurotransmitter that when depleted, is responsible for sugar and starch cravings. Avoiding or decreasing intake of these unhealthy foods keeps your body running at its best and strong enough to fight off incoming illness.

The University of Chicago found that men who slept only 4 hours a night for 1 week produced only half the levels of flu-fighting antibodies in their blood.

If yoga isn’t your thing, just try to move more in general. Researchers at the University of South Carolina discovered that men who got in 3 hours a day of moderate activity (the equivalent of walking briskly, climbing stairs, or playing tennis) were 35% less likely to catch a cold compared with those who did only 1 hour. Beyond exercise, even just moving your mouth more (productive communication) helps ward off the sniffles.

Sleep! It’s no surprise that getting enough sleep is one of the most important precautions you take against fighting infections. The University of Chicago found that men who slept for only 4 hours a night for 1 week produced only half the levels of flu-fighting antibodies in their blood compared to those who slept 7.5 – 8.5 hours.

If nothing else, wash your hands with organic soap. The Naval Health Research Center in San Diego found a 45% decrease in respiratory illness among those who were told to wash their hands at least five times a day. Once your hands are clean, keep them that way by carrying extra essential oil sanitizer around.

Just as a house will fall to the ground without a solid foundation, your body will become sluggish and sick without a mind that is focused on health and happiness.
When we are mindful of our physical, emotional and spiritual needs, we can enjoy our healthiest winter season yet!

Fern Langham and Sarah Stewart

Based in New York City, the founders of Bliss Out Wellness, Fern Olivia Langham and Sarah Anne Stewart are taking the growing health and wellness movement to another level. Coming together as teachers in the respective niches of yoga, meditation, nutrition and holistic health – together they are on a mission to inspire, teach, and support others desiring life-changing experiences and breakthroughs. Fern and Sarah have quickly become powerhouses in the wellness community, providing innovative, soul-awakening, yet fun one-on-one coaching programs, career coaching mentorships, events, workshops, retreat and wellness travel experiences.

Instagram

Back to Top