This is the season… for many things, including colds and the flu. Winter can be very difficult on your physical and mental health, especially if you live in a northern part of the United States where you get less sun and a lot of cold weather.

The good news is that you can take steps to protect your health in the winter and lessen the chance that you’ll end up sick and struggling. It’s such a nuisance to spend time with a cough or cold!

Here are some ideas that can help you stay healthy this winter.

Get Outside As Much As You Can

We know it’s cold and windy and probably a bit unpleasant outside during much of the winter. However, you still need fresh air and sunlight. Plus, getting outside can reduce your chances of getting sick compared to being cooped up indoors all season.

You don’t have to stay outside for hours — just a walk in the winter sun, some snowshoeing, or building a snowman with your family will work. Spending some time outside helps you feel better and relieves cabin fever, as well.

Wash Your Hands Often

Because most folks stay indoors during the colder months, it’s more common to encounter germs in your environment. To keep yourself from getting sick, you’ll want to wash your hands frequently.

While this helps prevent you from getting germs from others, it also makes you less likely to spread germs if you happen to be sick. The more you wash your hands, the fewer germs you carry in general. That protects everyone.

Stay Home if You’re Sick

Somehow, our society has gotten to the point where it’s seen as heroic to go to work sick, but that’s entirely the wrong mindset. In fact, going to work sick not only causes a drop in your own productivity and keeps you sick longer, but you’re also likely to make others sick.

The best way to minimize an illness is to stay home and care for yourself until you recover. You’ll be more productive during work time if you’re not sick, and you’ll heal faster as well. Most importantly, you won’t risk spreading an illness to coworkers or customers.

Companies lose more money when a lot of people are sick than when one person stays home. On top of that, an illness that is minor for you could have a much more severe effect on a coworker. Stay home until you feel better!

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health is getting more attention lately, and that’s a good thing. The reality is that winter isn’t just hard on our physical health, it’s hard on our minds as well. In many parts of the country, you can go days or weeks without seeing sunshine, and that depletes your Vitamin D and general well-being.

Many people struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and have significant problems with depression during the winter months. All of this means that you need to look after your mental health in addition to your physical health.

Get a full-spectrum light to help make up for your loss of sunlight. If your finances are stressing you out, spend some time finding a way to reduce your bills. For example, you can look at Freeway Insurance reviews and contact them for lower quotes on auto or home insurance. Lower bills can make a big difference, especially around the holidays.

If you need to talk to someone about your mental health, take action right away. There’s no shame in getting the help you need.

Drink Plenty of Water

We often drink a lot of water in the summer when it’s hot, but in the winter, our hydration can suffer. Staying hydrated is an important part of health and can help you fight off illnesses more effectively.

Many times the air in your home and workplace is drier in the winter, meaning that your body loses a lot of water throughout the day. Make sure you’re drinking enough water to make up for that loss.

Stay Healthy This Winter!

It’s not easy to stay healthy in the winter, as we often spend more time indoors and illnesses are more common. However, the steps we discussed above can help you both protect your wellness and help you recover more quickly if you do get sick.

Winter isn’t easy, but we can take steps to maximize the good things and minimize the bad. Take care of yourself!

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