By Sue Danielson, health services
As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, change is in the air. That’s what makes fall a great time for renewal and fresh starts. It’s time to fine-tune your health by making one or two small changes that yield big results. Here are some suggestions:
- Start taking a Vitamin D supplement. We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, but we spend more time indoors during the fall/winter months.
- Take some time to yourself. Autumn and winter are the Earth’s way of telling us to slow down. Start a journal or track your moods to get more in touch with how you're feeling.
- Get your flu shot and yearly check-up. Sniffing, aching, sneezing, and coughing get in the way of life.
- Boost your immune system by drinking plenty of water, wash hands often, and eat nutritious foods.
- Get ready for Daylight Savings Time. Go to bed earlier when you can, especially the week before the clocks change. Longer periods of darkness equals longer periods of sleep. Don’t forget to change manual clocks.
- Make plans for the cold months. In the winter, we tend to hibernate if we don’t have things to keep us busy.
- Moisturize your skin. Harsh temperatures can make your skin dry. Also, you still should be wearing sunscreen.
- Buy in-season food. Beets, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kale, pumpkin, broths, roasted squash, roots and sautéed dark leafy greens are all great choices.
- Stay active. It can be easy to just sit around all the time, but it’s important to get in some movement throughout the day. Raking leaves or shoveling snow counts.
- Wear layers and protect your body from the dropping temperature. Make sure you have gloves, a scarf, ear muffs, a winter coat, warm socks, and snow boots.
- Do some “spring cleaning” in the fall. Clean out your closet, organize that back room, and rid yourself of things you don’t need.
- Prepare your home for possible extreme weather conditions. Do you have a shovel and/or snow blower? Do your flashlights have batteries? Is your heat working properly?
- Get some books to read and shows to watch. Who doesn’t want to sit by the fire on chilly winter nights and read a good book or binge-watch some Netflix?
- Keep a schedule. The cold months can seem to drag on and push us into isolation. Stay on track by scheduling time in your day to do things you like to do.
- Be kind to yourself. The holidays can cause weight gain, the shorter days can cause low mood, and the flu season can cause sickness. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. Try reframing negative thoughts into positive ones.