As the temperature drops and those colorful leaves collect on the ground, many of us are left wondering how we’ll navigate a winter like no other. With the high rate of COVID-19 transmission continuing, staying home and limiting social interaction for the foreseeable future is a reality that many of us in North America are grappling with.
Isolating at home only gets more daunting when combined with cold weather and short days. Maintaining your physical and mental health is important, and if you’re committed to living sustainably, so too is the health of your environment. Let’s go through some easy tips that anyone can use to stay happy, healthy, and eco-conscious during this long winter. And remember, even though you may be home alone, we’re all in this together.
The importance of vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common and can lead to a host of negative health outcomes such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular complications. In North America, nearly 25% of the population isn’t getting enough vitamin D. This is often caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight, which is a problem for many in the winter months at the best of times. This winter, with so many people hibernating at home, it’s even more important to make sure you and your family are getting an adequate amount of this important vitamin. Taking nutritional supplements and eating foods that are rich in vitamin D such as mushrooms and salmon are a great choice when you can’t get outside to soak up some sun.
Eating sustainably: good for you and the planet
There are many small changes you can make towards eating sustainably that can benefit both yourself and the environment. This is especially true this winter when maintaining our physical health is a priority due to the pandemic. The benefits of eating local are numerous. It not only helps the planet by reducing carbon emissions produced by lengthy food transportation, but fruits and vegetables are more nutritious the more recently they’ve been picked.
What’s the centerpiece of your holiday dinner? As mouth watering as that prime rib may be, cows are responsible for 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less red meat is an easy first step toward a more sustainable diet. Opting for a locally and sustainably raised turkey is a fantastic alternative to beef this Christmas.
When preparing your holiday spread, no dinner table is complete without a salt and pepper grinder set. UppWell’s elegant duo, made from sustainable wood, offers all the flavor and none of the guilt. It makes a great gift too!
Indoor plants: the best roommates
If you can’t go outside, why not bring nature to you? The health benefits of maintaining indoor plants can’t be overstated. Studies have shown that they improve indoor air quality by removing harmful toxins and purifying the air. Additionally, they can reduce stress and improve your mood by bringing life and vibrancy to a sterile space. UppWell’s indoor plant stand made from sustainable wood is the perfect way to display your new green roommates. Check out UppWell’s handy guides for plant care essentials and mistakes to avoid with indoor plants.
Switch off the electronics
The winter of binge watching is upon us. A cornucopia of streaming services are lining up to deliver that sweet, sweet content. As satisfying as it can be to consume six seasons of television in one sitting, finding a balance of stimulating recreational activities is important. If you’re spending time at home with multiple family members, prioritizing throwback fun like playing cards and board games brings people together and lowers energy consumption. And don’t forget about those cool things called books. They can be pretty handy over a long winter, no electricity needed!
Sleep: there’s probably no pandemic in your dreams
A good night’s sleep is often the first casualty from a hectic modern lifestyle. Jobs, children, and innumerable other responsibilities result in people neglecting their sleep schedule. When was the last time you got your recommended 8 hours? A silver lining for many individuals living in areas with stay-at-home orders is the temporary relief from their morning commute. Less time spent traveling to work means more freedom to prioritize sleep. If you find yourself working remotely, take this unique opportunity to invest in your mental and physical health. Getting a full night’s sleep has been shown to improve mood and memory, prevent weight gain, and strengthen your immune system.