Calendar winter lasts three months, but in our latitudes it feels like it lasts all six months. It will be good if one of us manages to fly away to warmer regions for a week or two, but not everyone can afford a full-fledged wintering on the islands. In order to wake up in winter cold without suffering, work efficiently and relax with pleasure, we advise you to check our life hacks in practice.
Find the right thermal underwear
Thermal underwear has two main functions: to keep the body dry and warm. The choice of model and fabric depends on what you are going to do in this thermal underwear: conquer Mount Everest or walk your dog in the park. An important task of sports thermal underwear is moisture removal. With active movement, the body heats up, sweat appears on the body, the linen absorbs and evaporates it. Most often, such models are made of polyester, and good fabrics from it are produced under the Polartec and Coolmax brands. Polypropylene is also popular, but in this case it is definitely not worth saving - you can run into a low-quality product.
Thermal underwear for everyday wear is not as technological as sports, but it certainly will not let you freeze in urban conditions. It can be made of synthetics, wool or fabrics based on it. The main rule is to dress in layers. The first layer is the actual thermal underwear, which is put on the naked body. The second is trousers and sweaters, their task is to provide thermal insulation. The third layer is jackets, parkas and other outerwear.
Move at least 15 minutes a day
Colds are not a reason to stop exercising. Is the staircase covered with snow and you can't reach the gym? A great excuse to finally try to study at home. As Lena Dunham pointed out, "sports are not for the ass, but for the brains," and in winter this is doubly true. Thousands of scientific papers have been written about how physical activity can help overcome blues and depression. Even short workouts will invigorate and help maintain body tone. To do this, you don't even have to go outside: there are tons of apps that help you exercise at home, which will take only 10-15 minutes. Light stretching or leisurely yoga can help you wake up or invigorate throughout the day.
Get on your skis
Snowboarding, skating, skiing, snowballing and other winter sports are good ways to make friends with the cold season. While you are confidently or not very skiing through the forest, doing pirouettes at the city skating rink, or with the help of an instructor, you master the icebreaker, there is a chance to get carried away and forget about the blues and dislike of frost. With regular exercise, muscles are strengthened, the cardiovascular and respiratory system improves, and the blush becomes so healthy that at least send a selfie to your grandmother. If all these arguments sound unconvincing, then at least blind a snowman in the yard. Working in the cold burns more calories than in the warm - why not wrap yourself in a down jacket, grab a carrot and go out into the fresh air?
Choose simple, nutritious meals
Do not overload the body with heavy foods, sweets and alcohol. In winter, the temptation to seize stress and reward yourself with something tasty is stronger than ever, but it is better to give preference to complex carbohydrates, such as nutritious cereals, as well as seasonal vegetables. The gifts of globalization in the form of fresh tomatoes and asparagus in winter in our latitudes are a dubious pleasure: how useful they are, only chemical analysis in the laboratory will tell. There are a lot of seasonal winter vegetables, the main thing is to find non-trivial ways to use them: lentil salad with beets, turnip gratin or celery pancakes will diversify your diet and perfectly saturate. Those who have taken care of the preparation of pickles and marinades always have something to eat, and homemade jams and canned fruits are suitable as a harmless dessert.
Use more spices
If your stomach isn't a problem for you, try experimenting with spices. There is evidence that spicy foods raise body temperature. How this mechanism works is not yet fully clear. Presumably, spices act on the same receptors that react to heat. The brain receives similar stimuli and instructs the central nervous system to turn the internal thermostat, causing the body to rise in temperature and stimulate sweating. Buy peppers, mustard, cinnamon and other spices, try swapping out your usual sushi or burgers at a restaurant for a variety of Thai, Indian and Chinese dishes. Plus, spicy foods are known to speed up your metabolism and make you feel full faster. The main thing is not to overdo it with spices, so as not to harm the body.
Do not be afraid of the winter blues
English spleen, Russian blues - all this is called the medical term SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is a depression caused by a lack of sunlight. Apathy, increased fatigue, distracted attention - all signs of clinical depression are present, but for many people this blues is generally not dangerous. As a rule, melancholy overtakes in autumn or winter and goes away with the onset of spring. Therefore, do not worry about the fact that life has lost its taste: treat this with understanding and try to switch your attention from the inner world to the outside world. On the other hand, exacerbation of depression can also be disguised as SAD. Pay attention to yourself: If your life for months resembles the plot of the novel "Nausea", it may be worth seeking help from a doctor.
Get busy with handicrafts
We have already talked about how the Slow Living movement teaches us to rejoice in simple things and enjoy everyday life. In winter, many begin to lead a more measured life: we socialize less and spend more time at home. Cold and slush is not only a reason to review all seasons of your favorite TV series. This is an opportunity to pause and take a closer look at your lifestyle. Yoga, meditation or handicrafts are perfect for getting to know yourself.
Making things with your own hands has a meditative effect on the body: for example, knitting reduces cortisol levels and lowers blood pressure, helps to cope with anorexia nervosa and chronic depression. Experienced knitters have a lower risk of memory loss and other cognitive impairments as they age. Any unhurried process that requires focused attention has these bonuses, including cooking and home gardening. Isn't there a reason to learn the basics of peasant cuisine or organize a succulent garden?
Take yourself a vacation
Vacation has been shown to reduce stress and heart disease, improve brain function and positively impact personal relationships. Even the very expectation of a vacation makes a person happier. If you feel sad, take a long weekend. Allow yourself to relax and do only what gives you pleasure for a few days: sleep, reading, walking around the city. A good option is to take a trip. It is not necessary to sunbathe in Thailand for two weeks or overeat khachapuri in Georgia: even a trip to another city will add dopamine to your life. Weekend outings are inexpensive, so you can do them regularly.
Pay attention to the quality of your sleep
In winter, you want to sleep even more, and sometimes you don't wake up at all, and there is an explanation for this. The hormone melatonin, which is responsible for our circadian rhythms, begins to be produced precisely at nightfall, preparing the body for sleep. When it’s gray outside and twilight begins immediately after lunch, melatonin still works in good faith, and we fall into hibernation. True, 12 hours in bed does not mean that after them we will feel great. It is not only the amount of sleep that matters, but also the quality of sleep.We have already written about the important conditions for a good rest: it is better not to overeat, not to abuse alcohol, go to bed and get up at about the same time. An hour before lights out, put all your gadgets aside, meditate, or read a book.
Work on lighting your home
When the sky is overcast, all hope is for artificial lighting. Change incandescent bulbs to LED ones: they are much more durable and more economical. When buying, pay attention to the color rendering index and color temperature. Color rendering index, also known as CRI or RA, refers to the ability of the human eye to distinguish colors under the light of a lamp. Lamps with a color rendering close to one hundred are used, for example, in printing houses. For home use options with an RA of at least 80, and possibly above 90. The color of the lighting depends on the color temperature. Daylight white light is best suited for work: this is lighting in the range of 4,000-4,500 degrees Kelvin and as close to natural as possible. Whenever possible, choose lamps with a zero flicker index to avoid problems such as headaches, fatigue and blurred vision.
Cover: Timur Zima
Photos: Amazon, Ali Safarov–stock.adobe.com, bigw