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After the excitement of Christmas has passed, it's tempting to hit a fast-forward button and skip straight to the brighter days of summer. Instead, find out how to make the most of these cold and dreary months. Discover six easy ways to stay pain-free, stay healthy, and stay happy this winter.

Thermometer in the snow.

6. Treat yourself to a massage

Massage is an effective way to reduce pain, relieve stress, and decrease anxiety. 92% of professionals and patients polled by the American Massage Therapy Association agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain and 74% believe massage therapy should be considered a form of health care.

In the winter it is common for activity levels to decrease and for muscles to become more tense. You can use an at-home massage system such as the Neck & Shoulder Shiatsu Massager to relieve tense muscles and reduce pain.

A woman rubbing her sore neck.

5. Drink lots of fluids

Everyone is getting sick. And for those of you who said 'no, not me' — you're next. To prevent the common cold from catching up to you make sure to drink lots of water, hot decaffeinated tea, and other hydrating, low-sugar beverages. Peppermint tea is a delicious option and adding a little raw honey can help soothe a sick or sore throat.

A man in bed sick.

4. Get some sun (or at least some Vitamin D)

This January 2017 was deemed the dreariest January on record since 1998, with only 12 hours of sunlight in over 26 days for Toronto, Ontario. Sun might be hard to come by unless you jetted off to a sunny getaway, but it's important you are getting your Vitamin D regardless. Other sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel)
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D (some dairy products like milk)
  • A multivitamin 

A man breathing fresh air at the beach.

3. Avoid dry skin and chapped lips

Keep the moisturizer close. When you pat yourself dry after a hot shower make sure to lather up dry skin with a highly moisturizing cream. Keep a few lip balms available to you: one at home, one for work, and one in your bag. This way you will never be left excessively chapped for long.

A masseuse massaging a foot.

2. Stay active

It can be hard to get up and get out of the house to brave the unpleasant temperatures, especially for pain-sufferers. Don't get stuck in this cycle! Staying active in the winter is incredibly important for your health. Hit the gym, take your dog for a walk, and avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Staying active keeps us warm and keeps our joints, muscles, and immune system healthier.

A runner stretching her legs.

1. Take care of your mental health

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern and most commonly begins with the shortening days of late autumn and lasts until the start of spring. Our brain regulates around a 'biological internal clock' and tells us that sun means it's time to be alert and darkness means it's time for bed. Our neurotransmitters that regulate sleep, mood, and appetite may be disturbed during the long winter darkness.

The 'winter blues' is more than just an expression. Take care of your mental health like you take care of your dental health: be diligent every day. 

A group of women offering support.

And for those of you who live where it is too warm for any of this information to be applicable... we envy you.


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  1. 2017. Canadian Mental Health Association. "Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)." Accessed February 2, 2017.
  2. 2017. Lauren, Pelley. CBC News. "If January seemed dreary, that's because there were 28 fewer hours of sunshine than average." Accessed February 2, 2017.
  3. 2017. Natural Healers. "Natural Health Career Statistics." Accessed February 2, 2017.
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