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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Main image courtesy of Woman’s Day.

As the days get colder and the winter sets in, sometimes we find ourselves thrown off our routines. At times it’s due to the fact that there’s less daytime, and other times it might because the cold weather can limit us from being outdoors. Our bodies also tend to react harshly to the drier air, both outside and inside our homes.

Winter time is also when we find ourselves dealing more and more with sickness, and the struggle to keep ourselves healthy is even harder. But not to worry, there are things you can do this winter to stay happy and healthy! We’re going to discuss not only why it’s so important to stay on top of your health, but also list our top tips for keeping your mind and your body healthy this winter.

Why Staying Healthy This Winter is Important

Make sure you pay attention to your health this winter

Don’t let your healthy habits stop once the colder winter settles in. Image courtesy of the Pacer Blog

Keeping our bodies healthy year round requires work and consistency. How else can we expect to enjoy all the fun of attending classes, enjoying athletic activities, or even just hanging out with friends on the weekend. While it might not come to mind too often, there are things you can do each season to keep yourself healthy.

Living in a dorm (especially one with a communal bathroom) can be a little scary when the weather turns cold, and everyone seems to have a cough. That’s why understanding that staying healthy this winter is super important. You don’t want to suddenly come down with a cold or worse, a flu, and be unable to attend or keep up with your classes and schedule. 

Without a healthy immune system, you may find that you’re more susceptible to colds and sniffles. That’s why there are many things we can do to keep both our bodies and our minds healthy this winter. As you make your way back to campus after the holidays, it’s more important than ever to have a good plan in place so you make the winter/spring semester your best one yet!

Helpful Ways to Keep Your Body Happy and Beat The Cold

These are some of the time-tested ways to keep you healthy in the winter time

Keep your immune system strong and you’ll be on your way to a fun, healthy wintertime on campus. Image courtesy of Inside Higher Ed.

In order to keep your immune system healthy and help you feel your best, we’ve collected some of the best (and easiest) ways you can ensure you’ll stay healthy this winter. Remember, stress and burnout can lead to a lower immune system function, which is why it’s also important that along with these healthy tips, you’re also keeping up with good study habits. After all, no one wants to work hard all semester only to find that they’re sick in time for finals week! 

Taking care of yourself is something that you can do each and every day, and we recommend finding a routine that works for you, and sticking to it.

Keep a consistent, well-balanced diet

One of the best ways you can ensure that you’re staying healthy this winter is to keep your diet balanced. Sometimes it can be a little harder when you’re away at school, and the dining hall selections are getting a little tiresome, and all you want is a pizza! But while spurging for pizza or other delivery food is okay sometimes, it shouldn’t be the base of your diet.

You know that in order to keep your body and mind functioning at their best, you’ve got to stick to a good diet. This means eating your fruits and vegetables, getting in doses of whole grain, and sticking to lean meats. While it isn’t always easy to do this when you’re going from class to class, you can try and make it a point to eat healthy throughout your day. 

Just substituting in a piece of fruit instead of chips for a snack, or opting for the brown rice at lunch instead of the white are all good choices that can keep you on top of your game this winter. 

Many people also choose to include a multivitamin or take an extra dose of vitamin C during the winter for its immune-boosting properties. 

Consider getting (or sending) a healthy care package!

An easy way to ensure you’re getting all the good stuff in your diet is to send a care package! OCM has a variety of different options that you can send, including:  

Organic Snacks

This care package is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to ensure that the snacks they’re eating are healthy and organic. Just say no to refined sugar and hello to snacks that are sure to keep you full and energized for whatever your day has in store. This care package includes:

Stretch Island Fruit Leather, Late July Organic Cheese Sandwich Crackers, Late July Organic Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, Larabars, PopCorners Popped Corn Chips, EatSmart Veggie Crisps, Annie’s Organic Granola Bars, Blue Corn Sesame Chips, Made Good Granola Minis, and more!

Healthy Soups and Snacks

Really love to have warm soups during the winter time? Then the snacks and soups care package is perfect. Instead of relying on ramen or other kinds of high sodium soups, curl up on those cold days with some of these healthy options instead! This package has Dr. McDougall’s Big Cup Onion Soup, Dr. McDougall’s Big Cup Minestrone Soup, Dr. McDougall’s Big Cup Tortilla Soup, Dr. McDougall’s Big Cup Split Pea Soup, Wheat Thins, Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Late July Organic Cheese Sandwich Crackers, Avalanche Swiss Granola, and some calming tea bags. 

What better way to make it through the winter cold and flu season than with soup and yummy snacks.

Healthy Support Pack

Sometimes you just need a little boost to help you get through the day. Keep your immune system functioning at optimal levels with these snacks, designed to satisfy your hunger, and help you be your best each day. The Healthy Support Pack includes: PopCorners Popped Corn Chips - Sea Salt, Inka Plantain Chips, Wheat Thins, Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Annie's Friends Bunny Grahams, Planter's Salted Peanuts, Hippeas ChickPea Puffs White Cheddar, Annie's Mac and Cheese and more! 

When you’re including a well-balanced diet into your daily routine, you’re going to be at your best for all of your classes.

Stay hydrated

In addition to having a diet that includes lots of healthy options, it’s also important to stay hydrated during the winter. During the warmer months of the year, it’s easy to stay on top of hydrating throughout the day, but don’t forget that it’s also just as necessary in the colder months as well. 

Your body functions best when it is hydrated, and your skin is thankful too. Because the winter weather can be very tough on our skin, staying hydrated throughout the winter is a must. Grab yourself a refillable water bottle and make it a point to keep it with you throughout the day. That way you’ll always have access to water.

Don’t forget that tea and coffee also count towards your hydration goals! Just make sure to leave out the sugar and syrup flavors and instead opt for honey or take your coffee black. Just remember, keep the caffeine in moderation!  

Protect yourself from colds and flus

One of the best ways to ensure you’re healthy this winter is to protect yourself from colds and flus. Here’s a good checklist to follow each winter as we start to see the spread of viruses and bacteria.

  • Make sure to get your flu shot so you can prevent the spread of the virus
  • Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. Consider sneezing into the inside of your elbow to limit the spread of mucus. 
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day, especially after using the restroom, sneezing, blowing your nose, or touching common surfaces like door handles.
  • Try and avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as you go about your day
  • If you encounter someone who is sick, keep your distance
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick

By following these easy tips you can really cut down on your chances of catching a cold or flu this winter season. 

Remember to exercise daily

Another way to keep your immune system up is to stick to your exercise regimen. While you may find yourself less than enthused about running outside when it’s cold, try incorporating other kinds of exercise into your day. Consider going for a meditation walk instead of a run, or throw on your favorite YouTube exercise guru and sweat a little bit in your dorm. Even just laying your yoga mat out and stretching has so many benefits for your body.

If you want to stay clear of a crowded campus gym, we get it. Just because it’s colder out and there may be snow on the ground, doesn’t mean you can’t get outside for a 15 minute walk. You might be surprised how much better you feel. 

Treat your skin with care

With colder temps, blustery wind, and dry heat indoors, our skin takes a lot during the winter. Make sure you’re taking lukewarm showers and moisturizing your skin afterwards. Don’t forget the sunscreen when you go out daily too! And consider getting a heavier moisturizer with ceramides if you tend to get very dry, flaky skin in the winter. 

Stick to your regular sleep schedule

Sleep is the time where your body gets to rest and repair itself. And no matter what you may have previously heard, it is non-negotiable when it comes to staying healthy! Having a good (and consistent) sleep schedule is just as important to your health as a good diet and exercise. Make sure you’re setting a bedtime each night and sticking to it. 

Although it may seem harder to get into a good sleep routine when the days are shorter, when you do, your body will thank you. A good way to ensure you’re getting your eight hours each night is to try sleeping with an eye mask to block out unwanted light, or drift off to music with headphones. Starting and sticking to a good sleep routine all winter is sure to keep you happy and healthy, and able to ace those exams and papers. 

Tips to Stay Mentally Healthy This Winter

Don’t forget to take time for your mental health this winter too

It’s important to remember our mental health each winter too. Image courtesy of the Odyssey Online.

Now that we know how to prepare our bodies to stay healthy this winter, it’s time to talk about some tips for staying healthy mentally. As we mentioned earlier, the lack of daylight and the colder weather can cause some people to feel affected in a negative way. While not everyone’s “winter blues” are seasonal affective disorder (SAD), if you’ve been finding it hard to break out of a rut, it’s affecting your classes and routine, and you want to speak with someone, make sure to contact your school’s services. However, there are a few things you can do throughout the winter to help you remember to stay present, be more mindful, and find small moments of happiness. 

Start a gratitude journal

It’s easy to start a gratitude journal, and you might find that once you get going, you’ll look forward to writing in it each day. It doesn’t have to be a big item you’re grateful for, but doing it daily may help you look at the little moments that make you happy throughout the day. 

Try to meditate

There are all kinds of apps and YouTube videos that can help you get started with meditating. You can start out at three or five minutes a day, and see where that takes you. It may even be helpful for you to do your meditating when you first wake up, or right before bed.

Go outside

Although it may be cold outside, you can always bundle up for a short walk! You don’t have to run or jog in the cold (unless that’s your thing!) but just getting outside and breathing in the cold air and soaking up the sunshine can help your mental health. 

Take breaks

Whether you’ve been studying, scrolling through socials, or watching the news, it’s important to walk away and take breaks. No matter what you’re doing, make sure to schedule in time to walk away, say hi to a friend, or heat up some tea or soup from a care package. Allowing yourself a little time to decompress and relax (and reduce stress) can go a long way.

There you have it, our favorite tips for staying healthy and happy this winter. Your health is important, so make sure you work on it daily so you can be at your best this semester!