It has been interesting watching the flu epidemic develop over the last couple of months. While the media focuses on protection through flu shots, disinfection and avoiding personal contact, there is another more pro-active approach to staying healthy this season. Its all about taking good care of yourself and making sure your immune system is functioning at its’ best.

Many of my clients have been wondering why they feel tired and have a hard time focusing lately. The most obvious reason that’s often overlooked, is that with a reduced number of daylight hours, we are now in a darker time of year. We are accustomed to functioning at the same high level of intensity throughout the year. However following the natural rhythm of the seasons, this lack of sunlight prompts us to take the time to slow down, contemplate and retreat.

Taking Mini-Retreats is good for you all year round. However, in the darker season, it is especially important to give your body a chance to relax and refresh several times throughout the day. You will be able to focus better and give your immune system a boost.

Mini-Retreats for the Season:

Get Comfortable Inside

Take a moment to think about what you most enjoy about being inside, when the weather is cold and wet? What are some of those treats that just make you purr inside? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cozy up with a nice cup of herbal tea before going to bed.
  • Read your favorite novel as you listen to the rain falling outside.
  • Cook a nice meal at home and enjoy it.

We need more sleep during the winter season; there is less energy available through sunlight and warmth. Our bodies naturally are in resting mode throughout the darker season. Make it a habit to go to bed earlier, so your body has more time to regenerate and your immune system is in better shape to fight viruses and bacteria.

Have Fun

Take a moment to think of all the things that bring you joy. Write them down. Then look at your list and identify three things that you can incorporate into your day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Listen to your favorite music on your commute.
  • Share a funny story with a friend.
  • Think of ten great things about the winter season…and then enjoy some.

The weather can be depressing in the winter: less sunlight and warmth, more rain, cloudy skies and cold. It is especially important to do Mini-Retreats that bring you joy in this time of year to boost your emotional well-being and thereby boost your immune system.

Stay Active

Ask yourself, what kind of movement you enjoy most. How you will feel once you have done it? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Do some stretches at home or in the office.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Put on your favorite music and dance for a few songs.

Winter is the time to retreat and you might feel less inclined to move your body. Don’t push yourself to meet your highest fitness goals in winter. Most new year’s resolutions in regards to fitness fail because this is simply not the best season to push your physical limits. However, move your body a little every day in a fun way and you will feel the difference.

If the flu bug bites despite all your preventative efforts, your body will be in better shape to heal. So, you really can’t lose.