The transition to the shorter days of fall can be a challenge. To help ease the change, try a few of these wellness tips to get you ready for the colder months and keep your mental and physical health in check.

Ask your physician about starting a Vitamin D supplement. We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, so our intake decreases when the weather is colder since we spend most of our time inside during the fall/winter seasons. If you find you are not getting outside much, a Vitamin D supplement can boost your mood and immune system. Take some time to yourself. Autumn and winter are the Earth’s way of telling us to slow down. Start a journal or track your moods to get more in touch with how you’re feeling.

Get your flu shot, COVID vaccines and yearly check-up. Boost your immune system. You can do this by drinking plenty of water, washing your hands often to prevent sickness, and eating nutritious foods.

Beets, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, pumpkin, squash, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, apples, and citrus fruits are all great choices.

Stay active! It can be easy to just sit around all the time, but it’s important to get in some movement throughout the day. Raking leaves or shoveling snow counts! Wear layers and protect your body from the dropping temperature. Make sure you have gloves, a hat, a scarf, a winter coat, warm socks, and snow boots.

Adjusting to daylight savings time can be difficult when the daylight hours are so short. Keep a schedule. The cold months can seem to drag on and push us into isolation. Stay on track by scheduling time in your day to do things you like to do. Plan activities for the evenings. Get some books to read so that you don’t fall into the trap of too much screen time in the evenings. Try to go to bed earlier when you can.

Do some organizing and cleaning before you get out those holiday decorations. Clean out your closet, organize that back room, and rid yourself of things you don’t need. Prepare your home for possible extreme weather conditions. Do you have a shovel and/or snow blower? Do your flashlights have batteries? Is your heat working okay?

Be kind to yourself. The holidays can cause weight gain, the shorter days can cause low mood, and the flu season can cause sickness. Listen to your body and give it what it needs, and don’t beat yourself up!

Perry County Health Department is working to keep you healthy where you live, work and play. For more information about any program or service offered by the Perry County Health Department, or to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or booster, contact us at 740-342-5179 or visit us on online at perrycountyhealth.info

Deborah Raney is the director of health education and a weekly contributor to the Perry County Tribune.

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