Living Seasonally:3 Steps to Staying Happy and Healthy During the Winter

[quote]In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.[/quote]

Albert Camus


Congratulations, we made it through the chaotic, gluttonous, hungover holidays! That’s the good news.  The bad news is that now is when the real winter sets in, and temperatures have fallen as sharply as your social calendar.

So how to survive the post-holiday winter?

1. Environmental changes: Despite the SPF-mania, we need the sun.  The seasons drastically affect our mood, energy levels, and sleep patterns, all of which are affected by our exposure to the sun.  

  • Even when it’s blustery, find a way to sneak outside and point your unprotected face (and any other body parts that are brave enough to peek out)  to the sun for at least 15 minutes.
  • But even that won’t bring your Vitamin D level to its optimal point.  We are often told to take Vitamin C, but during the winter, you also need 1000 units of Vitamin D for every 25 pounds of body weight.

leafy vegetables

2. Food: No matter how embedded we are in the urban jungle, we are, at our core, part of nature. And our food cravings turn to something hearty and comforting when it’s cold, which is something to recognize. Some researchers say we eat more in the cold months, because our primitive impulses prompt us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.

  • Using seasonal produce when preparing your meals at home can be one of the most rewarding gifts you can give your body, mind, and loved ones. So, when the weather changes and offers us root vegetables instead of cucumbers, eat accordingly.
  • Eating seasonally means eating locally. Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture group (CSA), like Local Roots, and get weekly deliveries of everything from produce to dairy to bread and meat. This means you’re eating healthy, supporting local farms and business, AND saving time. (Because, seriously, who has time to make regular trips to the farmer’s market??)
  • Now you have the food, but aren’t sure what to do with it? Pick up Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin for market to table seasonal recipes.

3. Clothing:  Winter clothing is cozy, but not always the most exciting or flattering.  It’s easy to feel bulky and unattractive under all those layers.  

  • The secret to looking great in the winter?  Stylish outerwear.  Invest in quality coats that are nicely tailored, and you can luxuriate in your sweats underneath – no one will know the difference.
  • If outerwear is the most important part of your winter wardrobe, then cold weather accessories are a close second.  Wear your affordable, minimalist basics as your foundation, and then layer yourself in luxury accessories.  Beautiful gloves and a lush scarf can positively transform even the drabbest of outfits.
  • With everything else covered up, your feet are noticed more than ever. And since most of us don’t live in a region that is perpetually snow-covered, we can step out in style the majority of the time. Tuck some basic black leggings into a pair of show-stopping boots, and you’ll warm right up from all the compliments.

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