How to Stay Healthy + Happy This Winter

I don't know about you, but winter is one of the most difficult seasons to stomach (barely anything grows!). That said, there are beautiful things about winter like freshly fallen snow, cozy nights, and hot cocoa. To stay healthy, inspired, and happy, here are simple things you can do every day to make the winter a little more tolerable. The best part? None of them will break the bank.

Take more naps

Believe me when I say, I love sleep. But have you ever noticed you crave more of it in the colder months? There's a reason for that: Winter is all about deep rest. The more rest you get, the more balanced your weight, adrenal health, and overall beauty will be. After all, winter rest is a natural process that happens to a lot of warm-blooded mammals: It's essential for energy storage and survival. Try going to bed a little earlier, sleeping a little later, and taking more naps whenever possible. If you find it hard to go to sleep, try drinking some chamomile tea, or warm almond milk with nutmeg to relax you.

Eat more (healthy) fats

Whoever said fat was bad for you surely wasn't talking about the healthy fats. Eating a diet rich in wild salmon, avocado, and walnuts will help you store energy and moisture in your body. Moisture is essential to healthy skin: I would know -- I suffer from dry skin all winter long because there isn't as much moisture in the air. By eating healthy fats, I can help lock in more of the moisture I need to avoid dry skin, with the added bonus of extra energy. Plus, healthy fats can help balance other important things, such as hormones, blood sugar, and absorption of essential vitamins. Without these fats, you might start to feel like you're walking around in a fog, unusually cold, and over-hungry. If you're a woman, your menstrual cycle may even go out of whack. To avoid this, stock up on plenty of healthy fats this winter like coconut oil, avocados, grapeseed oil, ground flaxseed, olive oil, cold-water fish, and raw nuts and seeds.

Boost your immunity

Everyone is always so afraid of getting sick in the winter: That's because your immunity level tends to drop. To keep it up, eat plenty of vitamin C rich foods such as Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cabbage, kiwi, kale, and of course, oranges. Vitamin C  not only boosts immunity, but it also works to keep skin toned and firm by promoting the production of elastin and collagen. That said, Vitamin C isn't the only nutrient your body needs: Eat plenty of foods that have vitamin D (such as mushrooms and pastured eggs) and zinc (such as chia seeds and quinoa) too. That's because vitamin D is essential for bone building, immunity, and energy, and zinc is important for tissue healing and collagen formation.

Eat warmer foods

In the winter, it can be harder to digest raw, cold foods like cereal and salad. That's because when something is raw, it's not as soft and can be harder to break down, causing unneeded stress on the gut. To avoid this, simply cook warmer, heartier dishes such as oatmeal, soups, and stews. Make sure to drink warmer beverages too, like tea and unsweetened hot cocoa. It's also a good idea to add some warming spices to your food, such as ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. I personally love adding cinnamon and nutmeg to organic bran in the morning. Pair that with a cup of hot green tea, and I'm ready to go!

Improve your body's circulation

While resting is encouraged during the winter, that shouldn't stop you from exercising. Since you'll naturally be doing more resting, you need to counteract it with some kind of movement. Exercising regularly will bring oxygen and nutrition to your skin, along with reducing stress, lifting your mood, detoxing your body, and even boosting your immunity. Plus, even though some people find sweating to be unpleasant, it  actually triggers a response in your skin to release natural oil that softens and moisturizes skin (something winter parched skin always needs). If you need extra motivation to work out, just remember: More sweat = less dry skin. So get moving!