Though we recognize that winter is a time for nature to slow down, go inwards, and rest, accepting that we humans are part of this natural shift in balance can be a different story.
The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with this cycle— repair and regeneration are vital to being able to thrive and grow come springtime. But when we resist what our body, mind, and spirit really needs in the colder months, we miss out on the valuable opportunity to replenish our reserves. Fighting the slowed-down rhythm of winter puts greater stress on our bodies, which means more work for our adrenals and immune systems, and increased colds, flus, bodily pains, fatigue, and even feelings of depression are often the price to pay.
Thankfully, when we let go of our resistance, follow nature’s cues, and embrace the stillness, something pretty magical happens— we’re able to get the nourishment we need. Below, a few of our insightful Hudson Healing Arts practitioners share their favorite tips for staying healthy and happy during the final stretch of winter so you can use the energy of the season to feel your best.
Health Tips a la Acupuncturist Carla SanDiego
Give yourself the gift of proper rest. Start by putting away all your devices and going to bed earlier so you can get more sleep. Quality sleep is crucial to keeping the immune system strong and able to fight off germs. Plus, better sleep leads to greater energy and focus allowing you to enjoy the things you probably wouldn’t if you’re feeling tired and all over the place.
Drink more water! The dry, heated air indoors along with the harsh cold and often wind outside easily leads to dehydration-- not a good thing for bodies that are made up of about 60% water. Keeping well-hydrated can also reduce the chance of headaches, dry skin and believe it or not, over-eating.
Move your body. All this coldness and slowing down can lead to what we call in Chinese medicine “stagnation,” or stuck energy. Moving your body daily helps all your organs work smoothly, keeps bodily pains away, and manages stress. Spinning like mad or walking back and forth from the couch to the fridge are not ideal for stagnation. Try something that moves your body gently while also nurturing your mind. Get bundled up and go for a walk in the park. Surrounding yourself in nature is always healing and grounding and if the sun is shining, you’ll get a nice boost of Vitamin D. When the weather is not so welcoming, stay indoors and do some yoga. If this sounds too boring or challenging, try it at home with a video. Even 10 minutes a day encourages you to breathe fresh oxygen into all your muscles, be in the moment, and move any stuck energy in a way that your body and mind will surely appreciate.
To book an appointment with Carla, call (201) 653-7700 ext. 5.
“Mindfulness Moments” from Licensed Counselor Andrea Inauen
We all try to not get sick-- we wash hands, drink fluids, and do all of the recommendations to prevent illness. However, sometimes germs and viruses find a way into our systems, despite our best efforts. This month, whether you are staving off illness or managing symptoms if already sick, here’s a few mindfulness moments to help get you through!
Mindful breathing. Pick a regular time at the start of the day (perhaps in front of the mirror when brushing your teeth), and practice deep breathing-- breathe to the point that your lungs are at capacity for the intake of air, hold the air for as long as you can, and then exhale. This can help center your spirit and cognitive focus for wellness for the day.
Stretch. Take 30-60 seconds 1-2 times per day to stretch your body. Bend over and touch your toes, arch your back, or pick a stretch that helps with the mind-body connection. As you stretch, think about opening your body to wellness, letting toxins out of the nooks and crevices and allow for a cleaner, more centered you.
Toolbox. Consciously think of 2-3 things that help you feel in control of your situation. Tissues, hand-soap, vitamins...pick a few concrete items that enhance your sense of control.
To book a consultation with Andrea, call (973) 886-0941.
Wellness Tips from HHA Founder Beth O’Boyle:
Try to limit touching your face. Washing your hands may sound like a no-brainer, but even more important is keeping your hands away from your face. It’s not as easy as you might think! Every time you touch a doorknob or handle, a counter or table in a public place, a package - in short –anything ‘out there’, you can pick up germs. Your hands only need to touch skin, rub your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears to transfer germs. Make it a habit to wash your hands as soon as you arrive home or at your destination.
Be tuned in to your stress level. Stress can put a tremendous strain on the immune system, diverting valuable energy from supporting your health and wellbeing. Self-care is not an indulgence – it’s a necessity. Consider scheduling regular relaxation treatments. Reiki sessions are a wonderful addition to any wellness regime. Not only are they deeply relaxing, the practice is a wonderful way to support wellbeing on all levels.
Consider aromatherapy. A great way to relieve stress and uplift your spirits is a Raindrop Essential Oil session– a deeply relaxing treatment that incorporates essential oils for relaxation and immune system support.
Find something that inspires you. It may be a new book, a food you’ve never tried, or a great online course that awakens your interest and opens your mind to a new way of being in the world. We believe in stretching your mind as well as your body!
And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook— our posts are intended to delight, inspire, support, and uplift your spirits!
To book a session with Beth, call (201) 653-7700 ext.1.
Nutrient-Packed Winter Salad
Think salads are only for the summer? Our rockstar nutritionist and acupuncturist, Joe DelGiodice, says otherwise! Check out his latest YouTube video, where he shares a delicious organic salad recipe that is sure to satisfy while giving your immune system a lift.
To book a session with Joe, call (201) 653-7700 ext.3.
Let Hudson Healing Arts Give You a Winter Boost
Hopefully, the above tips help you embrace this time of rest and renewal with greater health and happiness. And, as always, we’re here to help— feel free to check out our diverse range of our services here. While we offer various healing modalities, the common thread is resetting your nervous system and encouraging deep relaxation, which goes a long way toward boosting your immune system and your spirits.
Bonus! This month, we’re offering a special deal on Feldenkrais Method® sessions, which use gentle movement and directed attention to promote flexibility, ease of movement, and self awareness, and decrease stress and pain. Feldenkrais is the perfect way to move into spring with greater freedom and an enhanced sense of wellness. Call Noreen Haren, our Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, at 201-798-1632 to schedule an introductory session at a reduced rate of $50 during the month of February.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.