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When it gets chilly outside, sometimes you just need to take care of yourself. Here are a few ways you can do that!

No matter where you’re located, it can get pretty cold during the early part of the year. Understandably, those low temperatures and dreary-looking clouds can make us want to stay inside and forget about the outside world. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and avoid succumbing to the season’s effects on mood or morale. Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself during the cold weather!

1. Moisturize

While it may seem like hot, dry weather takes the greatest toll on your skin, it’s incredibly important to moisturize in the cold. That cold weather, especially if it’s accompanied by low levels of humidity, can dry you out quickly, but moisturizing can replenish your skin and prevent it from becoming excessively dry. Wind can also impact your skin, but the right moisturizer can create a barrier to lock the moisture in and protect you from even the chilliest breeze. Also, while it’s crucial to give love and attention to your hands, be sure to get your face and lips, as those are locations where irritation commonly occurs. You’ll be grateful both in the short term and the long.

2. Drink Lots of Water

Just as the cold weather and air can dry out your skin, it can zap the moisture from your entire body. That’s why it’s important to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Again, this is something to be mindful of year-round, but it can be easier to forget to take a nice big swig of ice water when the temperature calls for something warm and steamy. Also, this isn’t just to keep your whistle wet or to sustain body temperature. Drinking water hydrates your skin, helps you maintain consistent blood pressure, gives you energy, helps with digestion and improves your overall functionality. Don’t forget to get your water in, especially during the cold months.

3. Keep Warm Clothes

Granted, science hasn’t proven that keeping warm clothes is as beneficial as consistently drinking water, but in the right time and place, and even if for just a moment, there’s nothing like wearing a warm sweater when you look outside the window and see gloomy skies. It just feels… right, and it’s good for the mind. Also, the reason we say “keeping” instead of “wearing” is because you’re going to want it on hand if you start to feel the chills. It’s much easier to walk to your closet and throw on your sweater or your winter coat than it is to brave that weather and grab something that also takes a shot at your wallet. Furthermore, having those cold-weather clothes gives you one less excuse to not get out there and face the day. If the cold is keeping you inside, a warm coat is the perfect way to combat those feelings and find a way to get out and get active.

4. Cook Up Hot Food and Drinks

Hot food and drinks are one of the best ways to bring your body temperature up when you can’t seem to find a way to stay warm. It could also be a great way to stay social. Grab your partner, your friends or your family and light up the stove for a nice home-cooked meal. It might even be the perfect time to try out a new recipe or a new baked good. Start scouring those cookbooks that have been collecting dust in your cupboard for decades, and try to make a new, delicious dish. Food is one of the greatest constants that unites us all and makes us feel good. If you’re feeling a little down, a great plate of food is the perfect way to lift your spirits.

5. Get Sunlight and Exercise

Sometimes throughout December, January and February, you might find yourself looking up into the sky wondering if the sun is really up there, and if it is, if you’ll ever see it again. Still, however, it’s important to get out, get active and get moving, especially in places where the sun doesn’t shine as much. Of course, we’re people, not plants, so it’s not for photosynthesis. Sunlight does, however, help us regulate serotonin in the brain, improving our mood and keeping us motivated. But the sun isn’t just for those good endorphins. A great place in the sun can help you stay warm and active, and even when you only feel like crawling back under the covers, it can draw you outside and help you get the exercise you need to stay healthy.

6. Stick to a Healthy Sleep Schedule

Again, we’d understand if you wake up, look outside, only see clouds and decide to get back in the sheets, but routine can be healthy for any person at any time, especially when it comes to sleep. That routine can help you shut down for the right amount of time, which can be infinitely impactful, both physically and mentally. Sleeping is also a great, revitalizing way for your body to connect with itself and replenish all that energy you exerted throughout the day. But there is such a thing as too much sleep, which can cause you to fall victim to some of the adverse health effects or the lack of motivation to pop out of bed when it’s time to be active. So, be sure to develop and establish a healthy sleep schedule. Your body will be the first to thank you, from your belly to your brain to your skin to your immune system. Sleep has an almost magical quality to it, making it the ultimate cure for so many of life’s ailments.

7. Be with Those Who Make You Happy

We get why cold weather might drag you as low as the temperatures. So, what’s the best solution? For many, simply being around those they love and who make them happy can be a near-immediate fix. It can also give you something to look forward to, whether you feel stuck in the monotonous nature of life, or you’re actually stuck indoors. Furthermore, love is warm by nature, and being around the people who are most important to you can be a huge boon to your morale. Whether you’re out and about, spending time at home, in the workplace or doing what you love, try to be around those who bring your spirits up.

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