Joyous Blog

4 Natural Ways to Survive Winter

Jan 31, 2015 BY Joy McCarthy

In most of Canada right now and certainly in Toronto, we are in the thick of winter. It's bitter cold today but at least the sun is shining brilliantly and the sky is crystal blue. It's the perfect day to get outside for a brisk walk, as long as you've got a few layers and your parka on!! For those readers who live in warmer climates, don't be so quick to pass up this post as you never know when you'll find yourself in the next ice age, or a 20ºC/68ºF Florida cold snap. Here are 4 tips I use to outsmart and survive Winter!

1. Dry skin be gone!

Feeling dry, itchy and scratchy? It's tough in the winter to have dewy, moisturized skin. Heaters running on high and dry air blowing at you whenever you're indoors is enough to crack the skin on your face. I'm someone who's always suffered from drier skin in the winter but I've got a few good tips up my sleeve to combat this.

2. Feel joyous, not blue!

Feeling tired and overwhelmed this winter? It could be the winter blues. I love homeopathic remedies (you may recall my expression of love for Pascoflair -- a homepathic for sleep and anxiety). Well here's another one: Neurapas balance helps provide a healthy, balanced mood. The combination of St. John’s Wort, passionflower and valerian root in this product help to relieve symptoms associated with imbalanced mood and sleep disturbances. Treat your symptoms of burnout and stress with a natural remedy. Of course it's important to always talk to your natural healthcare practitioner to ensure it's safe for you to take because St. John's wort cannot be combined with anti-depressant drugs.

3. Howdy partner!

Bears hibernate, not humans. Research shows that social isolation puts you a greater risk for a depressed mood. John T. Cacioppo's book Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection says that it is as great a health risk as smoking and obesity. It's in our human nature to connect with others and we already know how good we feel when we spend time with those we love/like. With that in mind, rather than staying at home tonight because it's freezing cold, go to that social gathering or call up a friend and meet for tea. You feel immediately more cheery .

4. Adjust your diet to the season.

The middle of winter may not be the best time to go on a raw food or liquid cleanse. Raw foods although bursting with enzymes and nutrients tend to be cooling to the body. That's not to say all raw foods are this way. In fact, there are many raw food restaurants that offer meals such as raw pizza with a buckwheat crust that has been dehydrated. This type of raw food is not cooling. On the other hand, eating tons of raw veggies, raw smoothies and juices is not ideal in the winter. The one caveat is if you are someone with a lot of "heat" in your body, then raw in the winter may be beneficial. I recommend plenty of veggies in the winter, but cooked veggies especiallybeets , carrots, sweet potato , winter squashes and raw salads in moderation. Lucky for us (or rather, as nature intended) these foods are known for their immune building properties too. Need some recipe inspiration? Beating the Winter Blues including the power of wearing COLOUR!

Have a joyous day and good luck!


Jan 31, 2015 BY Joy McCarthy
Cyndi   •   January 31, 2015

Honestly I hate winter but am forcing myself to try to make the most of it this year. I am forcing myself to take walks during my lunch. It helps that I finally have a really warm parka, it was a bit of a game changer.


Isabelle Cerat   •   January 31, 2015

Enjoying the outdoors as much as possible is key for me! I have 2 large pooches that require daily walking so I dress properly and out we go!! I've also been dry brushing daily for about a week now and it helped a lot in our Calgary dry weather!!


Hazel   •   February 1, 2015

What helps me survive the winter is meditating every day, reiki, getting sunlight, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep. I trust my body's wisdom so when it wants to go slow I will do exercises like yoga & pilates. For when it wants to go fast: zumba & cardio exercises.


Vicki Harnett   •   February 1, 2015

Skating! I'm re-learning how to skate after 20 years of not being on a pair of blades and it is turbo fun! I might as well accept and find ways to embrace the fact that winter happens every year. Skating helps in its own small way!


Amy Webster   •   February 1, 2015

Hi Joy. Thanks for this article. It's a good reminder that we can take our winter blues into our own hands and do something to help. Today I am driving to Rouge Park near Scarborough to go for a winter hike/walk. Packed a healthy lunch and some hot tea! I was feeling blue yesterday so called a friend and made these plans. Hopefully it will help :) Amy


Noelle   •   February 1, 2015

Planning my winter survival by hitting the gym and mat regularly and looking forward to upcoming trips


Marie   •   February 1, 2015

Winter is crazy here in Ottawa! So cold! I've been trying to survive by drinking more tea, eating more soup and taking extra vitamin D. this post has inspired me to try harder to get more fresh air. Thanks :)


Susan   •   February 1, 2015

Hi Joy, Like you, I live in Canada and normally struggle through long, cold winters ... which do nothing for my overall mood and just make me feel like hibernating until spring! However, I don't want to waste months stuck indoors, feeling bitter about the bitter cold! So, this winter I began taking a weekly yoga class with my best friend - which forces me to get out of the house, no matter the temperature - and I keep warm by sipping on turmeric-ginger milk and making hearty, healthy soups and roasted vegetables ... they help to warm my body and my soul! :)


riann   •   February 2, 2015

This winter, I try to spend more time outside and not let the cold stop me from doing my normal activities. Investing warm boots and jacket, and meeting friend for lunch can help me survive winter.


Leah   •   February 2, 2015

Well, I am definitely not a person who likes the cold I would much prefer warmer temps for sure but I do find that if you get up and on the go earlier and go to the gym it really helps invigorate you for the day. Also I find I get dry skin a lot during winter and I find coconut oil is wonderful for moisture for my skin!!:)


Deborah Gurash   •   February 2, 2015

Taking time to cook and bake clean, plant based, & packed with superfoods, so my family has healthy comfort food choices to boost their immunity through the winter months.


susan   •   February 2, 2015

Hi Joy, I love winter snow! The best way to beat the blues is to bundle up go for a refreshing walk in the cold. You will feel so invigorated and full of energy when you return home. Thanks for the giveaway!


Aleksandra   •   February 2, 2015

Joy, Loved this post! I survive the winter by making sure to meet up with friends for coffee or tea dates, or winter walks. I completely agree with your "Howdy Partner" post! Surrounding yourself with positive people is the best way to embrace the coziness of the winter months.


Danielle   •   February 2, 2015

After this past weekend, surviving winter has become all about not driving as much as possible. My boyfriend and I were both in separate car accidents and we're down to one vehicle between us. I'm so glad we're alive and well and I'm making the most of it. Today is a snow day. We've had our morning workout, shovelling the driveway, and we're going for a walk (shuffle?) through the snowy sidewalks this afternoon. My boyfriend has also just started working towards a plant based diet so we are both eating much better. It's much easier to be a healthy vegan with his support. Joyous recipes from this website help a lot, too!!


Cindy   •   February 2, 2015

Winter definitely makes me want to hibernate but I force myself to get out and enjoy the weather. Just the other day I took a walk through High Park, and it was lovely. If you push yourself to get out, then once you are, you feel great!


Jialynne Zhao   •   February 2, 2015

I plan on keep exercising and drinking my lemon water every morning to boost my immune system; eat lots of anti-inflammatory whole foods; and staying joyous!


Meg Watkins   •   February 2, 2015

We are headed to Hawaii in three weeks!! But other than that, I try to get outside for walks when I can, and eat lots of fruits and veggies. With warming spices like curry and cinnamon. It will be Spring soon enough!


Kate Millie   •   February 2, 2015

Thank goodness for my children as they make goin outside a must. Fun in the snow and then warm tea once we get inside that's how I survive winter.


Janette   •   February 2, 2015

As much as I hate the cold, I don't mind winter because it's a great opportunity to try to surround myself with the people I love. Cold and miserable weather makes for a great excuse to meet a friend for a coffee or dinner. And skating on an outside rink with my nephews is always a blast, even when I can no longer feel my toes! :)


Cynthia   •   February 2, 2015

I keep myself nice & toasty in my far infrared portable sauna, I close my eyes & imagine I'm elsewhere. Other than that I heavily immerse myself in my new found hobby- fermenting delicious probiotic drinks (water kefir & kombucha). They keep my healthy so I can get through the winter.


Anita   •   February 2, 2015

Winter is a great time for me to focus on taking care of indoor projects like organizing and sorting through areas of my house that get neglected once gardening season hits. Haha. It's also a great season to spend more time on my indoor hobbies like sewing, practicing the piano and trying new, healthy recipes in the kitchen. I need to work on getting outside everyday in the winter, even for just a brisk walk down the road. I also find myself looking out the window and daydreaming of what I'm going to plant in my garden and where I might plant a new tree or shrub once the snow melts. Lol


Ashley   •   February 2, 2015

This winter has been a bit of a struggle. I have been walking daily outside! It's important for me to do this in the daylight and not at dark. Also, it is easy to isolate but I have been making an effort to visit with friends more, this article is a great reminder :)


Aurelie   •   February 2, 2015

How I survive the winter is eating loads of warm root vegetables!


Gena   •   February 2, 2015

hot yoga!!! (Moksha). There's nothing like a little sweat to beat the cold outside!! Especially today... brrrr... with wind chill at -32! (C or F!!! It's almost the same!). I also love cuddling up to my puppy and enjoying a hot vegetable soup :)


Connie   •   February 2, 2015

Hi Joy, like you I to do not like the cold! However living in Grey/Bruce you just have to go with it. My plan is to dress super warm and play outside. Great skiing weather with my son. Drink plenty of healthy tea and spread smile all day long.


Irene Livingston   •   February 2, 2015

Hi Joy, Thanks for your wonderful information. Making green smoothies and experimenting with adding in different veggies, nuts and seeds and other healthy add-ins has become my new habit this winter. Instead of feeling tired my energy level is better than ever. I feel great!


Jacqui Askin Matthews   •   February 2, 2015

My husband, Darren and I spend our winters curling. It a wonderful social past time that can be enjoyed by anyone. It doesn't require a large financial investment in equipment or needs an athletic background. This sport can be enjoyed by the young, and can be enjoyed all throughout your the life. The required equipment can be adapting to ones physical limitations. Curling is a challenging game, similar to pool or chess. Using strateges and math skills to play the game. Check out attached website to find a curling club in your area.


Elaine   •   February 3, 2015

To help me through the winter, I'm making lots of warming soups, drinking tea and taking a Genuine Health multi+ daily joy supplement keep myself feeling well. A tried and true tip, as you mentioned, is to go outside for even a smidgen of winter air and sunlight; immensely beneficial for mind, body and spirit.


Tessa McGibbon   •   February 3, 2015

How I survive winter (even though I live in Vancouver so it is A LOT milder here, but I still get cold very easily) is by drinking tea! Many studying filled days as a university student sadly does not leave me with enough time to get bundled up and go on my daily runs, but a nice hot cup of tea can get me through any cold day being cooped up inside studying.


Erin   •   February 3, 2015

Getting out and enjoying the weather with my son! He loves to be outside all day so it is a good motivator to enjoy his excitement for winter.


Alyssa geffen   •   February 3, 2015

A lot of hot yoga and bundling up when I go outside.


Chris   •   February 3, 2015

I am going to survive this winter by getting outside more (boy it feels warmer inside after the blast of outside cold!) and eating lots of soups - root vegetables and homemade broth….yummy!! It'll be spring eventually!


Christa   •   February 3, 2015

I will survive this winter with soup to warm me up from the inside and give me my doses of vegetables!


Kelly   •   February 4, 2015

I love to use my slow cooker, but esp in the winter- not much can beat the smell of a home cooked meal after coming in from the cold!


Marie Lewis   •   February 4, 2015

I absolutely love your products! I need to get a new dry brush as my kids keep sneaking mine into the bath tub and using it as a "boat". We love your book too!


Kendra   •   February 4, 2015

Getting outside is the key. Dressing warmly, even if that means snowpants, and getting that hit of fresh air makes all the difference everyday.


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