These 16 winter wellness tips will get you from Winter Solstice to Spring Equinox feeling restored, rejuvenated, and revitalized. The Winter Wellness Tracker will help you stay the course during the darkest of days, keeping promises to yourself for optimal wellness during the winter season.
This post contains affiliate links based on my personal experience with products that support a seasonal lifestyle. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I hope you find them useful.
Why We Need a Winter Wellness Focus
Of all the seasons, winter needs a focus on wellness the most.
The long nights and dark days trigger a nesting and hibernating impulse that can sometimes turn against us.
Perhaps you are like me, and the short days and long, cold nights feel like a blanket over my senses. If I’m not careful, a dullness can permeate my entire system.
I will resist going outdoors. Since I’m a walker, that means I exercise less.
Then, there are all the yummy seasonal foods. They comfort and entertain. And, the weight comes on.
Of all the challenges, I actually find evenings the worst! I could easily sleep 10 hours a day in December and January!
How about you? What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to winter wellness? Tell me in the comments thread below.
Meanwhile, keep that/those challenge(s) in mind as you read about these 16 Winter Wellness Tips and download your free Winter Wellness Tracker.
Together, they are the answer to what ails you from solstice to equinox during this dark season.
The Winter Wellness Tracker is a 20-page workbook to help you create your seasonal life this winter by focusing on mindset, environment, selfcare, and nutrition. Don’t let another winter slip by leaving you feeling fatigued, gloomy, and depressed!
Use the information in this post with the Winter Wellness Tracker to live optimally this winter.
Click here to get your FREE copy!
Herbal Supports for Winter Wellness
While the plants in your garden are hibernating, there is a whole collection of plant allies waiting to give you the support you need to get the most from winter without giving in to illness, sadness, or lethargy.
Making and using traditional herbal remedies like fire cider and elderberry syrup is a part of my winter ritual. From handcrafting them in October as a way of welcoming the change in season to sipping them daily for immune support, their flavors ARE winter for me.
Start with these easy to use herbal supports for winter wellness, then, go deeper into herbal remedies as your skills increase and your body begins to tell you exactly what it needs.
1. Fire Cider | A Winter Wellness Tonic
Fire Cider is a generic term for an apple cider based tonic intended to support wellness during the winter months. Recipes reflect regions and seasonal variations. At its core, onion, garlic, horseradish, and honey are steeped in unfiltered apple cider vinegar to create a tonic traditional for winter wellness regimens.
2.Elderberry Syrup | A Proven Cold and Flu Remedy
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberries naturally contain vitamins A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Israeli researchers found that the complex sugars in elderberries support the immune system in fighting cold and flu. They developed several formulas based on these complex sugars that have been clinically shown to help ameliorate all kinds of cold/flu.Wellness Mama
Traditional Elderberry syrup is simply:
1 cup of elderberries boiled in 4 cups of water and a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, grated. Add 2 tablespoons of some combination of warming spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and/or allspice). Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Let cool and pour off the liquid from the berries and add up to 1 cup of local honey. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.
You can use this syrup as food! That’s right, pour it over ice cream, add to tea or as a base for a cocktail. You can take a shot each morning as a preventative. If you feel a cold coming on, up your dose to 2 tablespoons every couple of hours throughout the day.
Learn more from the fabulous Rosemary Gladstar!
3.Essential Oils to Support Winter Wellness
Using essential oils for seasonal support is a new interest of mine, so I thought I’d create a small round-up of resources on the topic to help us make good decisions based on the best information available. Together we’ll add this comforting winter wellness practice that helps brighten the dark days.
Stay Hydrated for Winter Wellness
Heating our homes, lower humidity, and harsh weather can all impact our health by leaving us feeling dry and dehydrated. We’ve all heard that our bodies are some 70+% water, and yet many of us regularly find ourselves with symptoms of dehydration, including:
- Dry mouth
- Brain Fog
- Weight Gain
Dehydration allows toxins to build up in our system that create headaches, fatigue, and weight gain. So, drinking water is important for winter wellness.
But, did you know that it is equally important to eat fresh and local fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated? That’s right! Your winter food choices could be making you dehydrated, too. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide water that is infused with electrolytes, trace minerals the body needs for optimal functioning. These minerals help the body maintain optimal hydration.
Another way to stay hydrated is to add sea salt to your diet. Just like fresh fruits and vegetables, sea salts bring much-needed electrolytes to your circulation and encourage hydration.
Finally, regular exercise, as little as 20 minutes a day, encourages hydration by increasing circulation.
4.Teas for winter wellness
Drinking teas, both hot and iced, are my favorite way to stay hydrated.
On this icy December afternoon, while I’m writing to you, I’m enjoying a 2-quart batch of nettle tea with chamomile and rosebuds. I made it this morning and I’ll nurse it throughout the day.
The nettle is a superfood, offering my body much-needed vitamins and minerals like iron, Vitamin A, Calcium, and magnesium. The chamomile and rose are calming, and help me keep my head when life stresses interrupt the workflow.
I can’t recommend taking up the tea habit strongly enough! And, handcrafting your own blends is more affordable, tastier, and better for the planet.
I have a free tea and tisane recipe book for you at this link! Check it out! I think you’ll quickly slip into the tea habit with each and every sip.
5.Flavored Waters to hydrate during the winter months
Each season has its own flavors and there is no better way to enjoy them than by infusing your water with them. Simply add fruit, fresh herbs, and a few spices to a jug of water. Keep it in the fridge and sip on it throughout the day for winter wellness.
It’s a great way to hydrate naturally, skipping sugars and artificial flavors you’ll find in store-bought varieties.
Here are some flavor combinations for winter waters (click the image for a printable copy):
6. Cooking with Warming Spices for Winter Wellness
Craft seasonal spice blends by combining the warming spices to create specific flavors that complement fall foods like pumpkins and apples. Let’s learn a bit more about them before crafting our signature fall flavors.
Thermogenesis refers to any process that produces heat. Thermo=heat, and genesis=create.
There is a category of foods referred to as the thermogenics and science has proven they help with weight control. Most, if not all, of the autumn spice blend ingredients, are in this category and create heat in the digestive system. These species warm us from the inside out, and this sensation feeds into the powerful sensory experience they offer.
Click this link to learn more and get recipes for seasonal spice blends that are yummy, nourish, and heal. They’re perfect for winter wellness! I wrote the post for autumn but it carries through winter, too!
7. Eat Seasonally!
Live in harmony with your natural environment by eating food appropriate to the season!
Support your community by participating in its economy. Shop local as often as possible. I know this is hard in the winter months, but well worth the effort!
Here’s your list of seasonal vegetables to get you headed in the right direction! Click the image for a free download.
8. Keep Moving for Winter Wellness
Keeping physically active during the winter months can be a challenge for most of us. I know it is the toughest part of winter wellness for me.
Being active was easier when I was a city dweller. I walked everywhere all the time.
Now, this rural life keeps me housebound in its comfort and seclusion. This year, I’ve treated myself to a rowing machine and plan on using it twice a day for 20 minutes.
Staying physically active during these winter months is very important to figure out! Movement, as we have learned, helps us stay hydrated, improves our mood, helps with digestion…so many benefits!
Let’s commit to at least 20 minutes of continuous movement this winter. Maybe you’ll find this video helpful for motivations and stick-to-it-tiveness! (PS – I love Sheilla!!!)
9. Winter Skin Care
Oh boy! Winter skin, right?
Dry, flakey, tight, itchy…
Following that hydration regimen and eating fresh and seasonal foods will go a long way in keeping your skin supple during the winter months. But, we need some dedicated skin time for true winter wellness.
This is another area where I’m not an expert, so let’s use this round up to create a daily skincare regimen that right for us this winter.
10. Full Spectrum Light and Seasonal Affected Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.The mayo clinic
Full-spectrum light boxes used to be expensive and cumbersome, but no more! Efficient light boxes designed to alleviate the symptoms of SAD are affordable, efficient, and compact.
Check out these recommended units to brighten up your winter days and alleviate any symptoms of seasonal affected disorder.
11. Start seeds indoors to get exposure to full-spectrum light and healthy soil to alleviate SAD symptoms.
Create an indoor growing area and start seeds for winter wellness.
You love your garden, and when it hybernates, you hibernate! I know, that’s me, too!
But, setting up an indoor growing area is easy and affordable. You can start seeds for your spring garden, or grow winter greens indoors.
12. Dress in layers, indoors and out to feel good this winter.
Select clothing that feels and looks good this winter. The combination of comfort and beauty will enhance your sense of winter wellness.
Soft cotton or silk undergarments, old wool sweaters, and even a special fragrance to seal the outfit will help you feel better whatever the weather.
Have you heard the term ‘capsule wardrobe’? It means selecting garments that easily go together so that dressing for the day ahead is that much more simple. It’s also a cost-efficient way to build a wardrobe.
I love this explanation of creating a winter capsule wardrobe because it relies on vintage and used items. Comfort, economy, and ease are at the center of fashion during the winter months.
13. Mood boosters for winter wellness: create an atmosphere
Create an atmosphere in the rooms you spend the most time in for optimal winter wellness. For me, these spaces include the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
Here are ways I create an atmosphere of comfort and joy for the winter months:
- lots of candles
- lots of throw blankets everywhere
- books everywhere
- an always burning woodstove
- clean twice a week because the rooms are heavily used
- extra plush towels for the bathroom
- piles of comfy blankets on the bed
- gentle music always playing in the background
This winter, create a space fit for company and consider yourself the guest!
14. Get your hygge on!
Extending on a theme of seasonal comfort as an act of maintaining winter wellness, we must get cozy hygge style!
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.hygge house
15. Be Social: museums, music, and plays
What we often love about summer are all the outdoor concerts, festivals, and backyard BBQs.
Winter can drive us into isolated seclusion with its dark days and sometimes treacherous weather.
Be sure to plan outings to enjoy the arts as a part of your winter wellness routine. Take a friend along whenever possible!
16. Use a Planner: morning routines, evening routines, and regular sleep schedules for winter wellness
I have this saying written on the whiteboard in my office:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not a goal but a habit.aristotle
I also have this flow chart right next to it:
It is for this reason that I am a #planneraddict !
2020 will be the first time in my life I will plan out my entire year before January 1st.
I know the saying, if you want to make God laugh tell him you have a plan…
But, I’m getting old and there are things I want to do! They won’t get done while I wait for inspiration or optimal circumstances. Method and flexibility are the way forward, and I think this applies to creating winter wellness as well.
Use the planner pages in the Winter Wellness Tracker to design your perfect day. Then, do you what can to replicate that schedule, day after day. Make it match up to the reality of your circumstances and allow it to stretch you into new realms of creativity and healing.
Don’t coast through life to find yourself at some distant future day with too many things undone and unsaid. Make a plan to do those things, and then keep adding to the list of your desires as each one gets accomplished!
A little effort each day can get you to phenomenal places in 10 or 20 years!
Create Cozy Winter Spaces to Support Your Wellness Routine
I created this post to help you create a hygge environment in the rooms of your home this winter. Be cozy by using these items to create an atmosphere of wellness this winter.
Click the image to see the shopping guide!
Cooking with Fresh Herbs is a Real Boost to Winter Wellness
When I first started on this blogging journey, I was fortunate to work with a VA who was studying to be a nutritionist. We had a conversation about the health bosts you get from adding fresh herbs to your daily meals. I had always cooked with herbs for flavor, never truly understanding the health benefits of this seasonal kitchen habit.
Click here or the image below to learn more!
The Seasonal Living Framework
Seasonal wellness asks that we learn to trust nature and our bodies to guide our self-care practices. Whether learning the skill of handcrafting herbal teas or taking up a meditation practice, seasonal wellness is about the slow approach to making our wellbeing a priority.
Basically, nature-based wellness practices are contemplative. They need time set aside to experience moments in nature, and in our interior landscape. These practices can be solitary or in community, solemn or festive. They always bring us into direct contact with the present moment. They inspire an internal sense of purpose and peace.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to explore the Seasonal Living Framework with this post and the downloadable workbook.
Join the Tribe!
If you enjoy seeing life through the lens of the changing seasons, I invite you to stay connected. This is a community of activist-oriented gardeners, cooks, and nature lovers.
If you want a loving community to be a part of your seasonal life, please do anyone (or ALL!) of the following:
- Sign up for the newsletter and get my herbal teas and tisanes recipe book for FREE! Tea is always a welcome addition to any time in the kitchen.
- Join our FREE Facebook group where we’re always talking gardens and kitchens.
- Follow me on Instagram and watch the seasons unfold on my 5-acre homestead in Harpers Ferry, WV.