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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Staying Safe and Healthy Over the Winter

It’s here again - that freezing, awful, bone-chilling part of the year that many of us detest. I try to think about winter as only the months of December, January and February, but in our Michigan reality it is usually a little longer. If you want a winter getaway to somewhere warm, make your plans ASAP. You’re already late with the arrangements. A beach vacation dreamily watching the waves as your toes curl in the warm sand with a tropical drink in hand is a welcome winter respite for many. I’m ready! Get me on the next plane outta here! But if you’re unable to get away at least make a pact to stay safe and healthy this winter.

·         Keep gas tanks full – avoids ice in the tank and fuel lines
·         Check tire tread – replace as needed
·         Put together an emergency car kit – charged cell phone, roadside assistance information, blankets, water/snacks, sand/kitty litter for traction, booster cables, flashlight, first aid kit
·         Winterize inside and out
·         Have fireplaces/furnaces inspected by a professional
·         Replace batteries in smoke detectors/CO2 detectors
·         Keep gas available for the generator in case of power outages

·         Dress for the weather – bundle up with a coat, gloves, scarf, hat and boots
·         Spread salt, kitty litter or sand on icy patches around your home
·         Take your time shoveling snow – listen to your body
·         Watch the weather reports – heed warnings
·         Let relatives/friends know your route and expected arrival time
·         Have a plan for emergencies – see the emergency car kit above

·         Use hand sanitizer and wash your hands – a lot
·         Take your vitamins
·         Keep active not only to stay in shape, but to lift your mood
·         Get plenty of sleep – it’s dark outside much earlier to help in your quest
·         Eat well – bring on the oatmeal, but also hearty soups, stews, winter fruits/vegetables
·         Stay hydrated – drinking water isn’t only for the warmer months
·         Socialize – we’re not bears in hibernation
·         Name three things you like about winter – yes, you really can
·         Boost your immune system with all of the above
·         Get your flu shot
·         Keep skin healthy – moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
·         Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - If you’re prone to feeling down or blue during the winter, try light therapy. Simply getting more light into your life can help a lot. See a doctor to have your Vitamin D checked. Get outside when it’s sunny.

We can’t stop our Michigan winters, but we can make it easier on ourselves by trying to stay healthy and being prepared for what the season may bring. I’ve embraced the season…but I’m also on the countdown clock. Spring 2017! I can’t wait!

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