Follow these tips to stay healthy during winter

Essential oils have many benefits as well as being used for aroma therapy to reduce stress in unwanted situations.

With the cold winter season drawing in closer, it is important to take steps in one’s lifestyle to keep healthy. Viral outbreaks of the flu and seasonal affective disorder are two of many downfalls known to run rampant throughout this season. Taking care of your mental and physical health should be the utmost importance. Here are eight ways to stay healthy this winter.

  1. Wash your hands! It seems like every year, this mantra is repeated, but washing your hands is truly the best way to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness like the flu. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that washing your hands can prevent 20 percent of respiratory diseases.
  2. Meditate! It’s no secret that holidays and finals bring up all sorts of stress and anxiety. Mayo Clinic said that meditating for even 15 minutes a day can lead to benefits such as decreasing stress, increasing mindfulness, and reducing anxiety and depression. Some apps like Headspace are free and even offer quick five minute sessions for the busy life of a high schooler.
  3. Eat your fruits and veggies! As simple as it seems, remembering to include the daily dosage of fruits and vegetables into your diet can help you reap tremendous rewards. Cleveland Clinic said that root vegetables, like turnips, carrots and beets, all possess multiple health benefits for your immune system and prevent illness.
  4. Let the Light In! In order to avoid seasonal affective disorder, many doctors and psychologists recommend adding more light into your environment. Take time to turn on your desk light or open the blinds and allow yourself to become immersed in a sunny, more positive environment. Try getting outside or taking a walk and soaking up the sun, even if it is covered by a couple clouds. 
  5. Exercise regularly! Exercising has numerous mental and physical benefits. Not only does it help to support a happy and healthy body, but it provides a way to let go of stress in a positive environment. Go on a run with some friends, or make a plan to work out with your family over the winter break. Some of the rewards  include reduced risk of heart disease, stronger muscles and even a lower risk of cancer.
  6. Try aromatherapy! Studying for finals, dealing with relatives, and trying to cram in a month’s work of homework before winter break can be pretty stressful for high school students. Aromatherapy offers a natural way to relieve stress and improve your health! By manipulating your sense of smell, it allows your body and mind to relax. You can find essential oils online on Amazon or in multiple other stores. Aromatherapy can be used to decrease anxiety, boost your mood, alleviate your headache, and even help you sleep.
  7. Keep a journal! Journaling has been known to lead to many mental benefits. In fact, it has been shown that journaling helps to increase your IQ, achieve your goals, increase your mindfulness and improves your self confidence. You can even personalize it to your own style. Go with a couple of your friends and pick out journals together. Writing down your thoughts and emotions is a great way to stay on top of your mental health this season. 
  8. Make time for your friends! Reclusiveness has been known to lead to seasonal affective disorder. If you’re feeling that urge to just stay inside and avoid the cold world that faces you outside, make the effort to brave the freezing snow and meet up with your friends. Go for coffee, make a study date or just go out for some food. Leaving your house is the best way to get over the lethargic feeling that winter often brings.

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