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Six Ways to Focus on Your Well-Being in Winter

winter field and fence in the wisconsin wild

How to Stay Healthy When It's Cold Out

Winter is here. The long, dark season can quickly affect how you feel physically and mentally. Challenge yourself to look at this season from a different perspective. Winter is a great time to recover from the fast-paced mobility of the summer and fall. It’s a time to challenge yourself, but also to reflect and enjoy your surroundings. Here are some ways to focus on your well-being during this season.

Enjoy the wonder of winter

Instead of rushing, spend time reflecting. Winter is an opportunity to check in with yourself. Try to spend time outside and take note of the wonderful details in nature; fresh air will renew your body and mind.

Find your winter exercise

Don’t let exercise be just another thing on your to-do list. Find something new and exciting to keep your mind interested. Try cross-country or downhill skiing, snowshoeing or snow tubing. Let exercise become a stress-buster; you’ll reap physical and mental benefits by discovering new things about yourself.

Eat colorful foods

Eating a variety of healthy foods helps keep illnesses at bay and can help you feel more energetic and less stressed. During winter, try in-season vegetables like brussels sprouts, kale, winter squash, beets, turnips, parsnips, leeks, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and sweet potatoes. Use Pinterest to experiment with new recipes.

Find your winter niche

Do you regularly schedule time for yourself? With the many demands of work and family life, it can seem like a luxury you can’t afford. Find a winter hobby to recharge your batteries during this season, like cooking, painting, reading, knitting or ice fishing. You’ll get your much-needed personal time and give yourself something to look forward to during the cold, dark days.

Catch up on housework

When the weather turns cold and there is snow on the ground, take time to clean and organize your home. A 2011 study from Princeton University showed that clutter can make it more difficult to concentrate on certain tasks. And, a survey from the National Sleep Foundation showed that people are more likely to enjoy a good night of sleep if they regularly make their bed and have fresh, clean sheets. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take time to tidy up.


Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. Winter is the perfect time to volunteer at warming shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, etc. The social aspect of helping and working with others will have a positive effect on your overall psychological well-being.         

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