The first snow of winter is usually fun. We dream of making snowmen, skiing, sledding, etc. However, the joys of winter get old fast, the older I get. Flus and colds, dry skin, static flyaway hair, the lack of energy… Many people are already down in the dumps after two years of this epidemic, not seeing all the people that we used to see pretty regularly, can’t even see our doctors in person anymore!
Ned and I love hiking, and since we live in the Berkshires, trails are plentiful. We also like to snowshoe and Ned likes to ride his fat tire bike on the trails. These activities are great exercises for our body, mind, and spirit.
Recently, however, it has been difficult to get out to do any of our favorite winter activities; Mother Nature has not cooperated. We’ve had record cold, or so much ice that it would be dangerous to walk outside. Just walking out to my car or to my Yoga studio has been scary. It’s frustrating. I need my outdoor fix!
As a result, many of us are turning to comfort food and, perhaps, a few more glasses of wine than we would usually drink. But this is not the time to stop taking care of our bodies and minds.
Let’s remember instead, to take care of ourselves with immune boosting, healthy winter drinks, and more self-care. As a good friend of mine often says, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”
If you enjoy being toasty and cozy, while sipping a lovely warm drink, here’s one that tastes delicious, AND helps boost your immunity to fight off those winter colds and flu.
Chai tea tastes more like dessert than a lovely drink that is healthy for us, yet it contains potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight inflammation. In fact, black, green, white, and oolong tea contain the amino acid theanine, which brings on mental calmness, which, in turn, helps fight stress, which is often the cause of a weakened immune system. My personal favorite chai is hot cinnamon spice by Harney and Sons Tea company. It’s so delicious it doesn’t need honey, but if you want, you can add a tiny bit in yours. Chai is made up of black tea, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, and ginger. I love it, but if you’d rather hot chocolate, try that instead! Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants as well.
We can also pay more attention to the daily micro moments that happen all around us: laughing at a funny story a friend tells you, reading a fabulous plot twist from your favorite author, opening the shades in the morning to see a fabulous pink sky, watching a fox walk past my home and through my side yard on his daily quest for food, hearing a baby laughing in the grocery store, and the list goes on. Use these moments to feel happier, release more endorphins and fight off those stress hormones.
Put on the music and dance! Dancing is an aerobic activity that also makes us smile. Good for our hearts – in many ways.
This epidemic is going to be with us for a while, so rather than let it beat us down, let’s do our best to take care of ourselves and enjoy all the little moments in life that can be cherished.
Here’s a piece of music by Brent Lewis that you just HAVE to get up and dance to!
Best of Health,