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Staying Healthy During Winter Months

By Dr. Michael Hoffmann, Internal Medicine Specialist

Staying mentally and physically healthy during the winter months can be challenging. The task is often easier from October through December as we look forward to spending the holidays with friends. However, after the cheer of the season has passed, we’re often left with the bitter cold, short days and grey skies of winter. It is my belief better mental health translates to improved physical health. That’s why I recommend the following suggestions to help you thrive in coming months.

Laugh Often: Take every opportunity to enjoy a good laugh as it warms the heart and lightens every situation. Laughter truly decompresses the most serious and difficult moments in life and has a surprising way of providing the proper perspective.

Live Well: Even when it’s cold and dreary outside, strive to keep activities on your calendar you enjoy. It can be as simple as planning a coffee date with a friend, calling a family member to stay connected or going hiking. Stay active and live well each and every day.

Be Grateful: When we consider all we have in our lives, especially those which meet our basic needs – the roof over our head, the clothes on our back, the light of a new day – it warms the heart and makes hard times easier to bear.

Be Kind: I’m often impressed by the kindness and sense of family here in southeast Indiana. Remember, simple gestures often mean the most. Visit someone who is lonely. Listen a little longer when someone needs to talk. Say hello to a stranger who looks sad or stressed.

While it’s important to prioritize your mental well-being, don’t forget the basic habits of good physical health, too. Eat a balanced diet, incorporate regular exercise into your routine, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Also, be sure to schedule your annual wellness visit with your primary care provider.

If you’re over the age of 18 and looking for a healthcare care provider, Dr. Hoffmann is accepting new patients in Margaret Mary’s Medical Arts Center located on State Route 129 in Batesville. A doctor for more than 25 years, he provides traditional primary care services, but is also specially trained to diagnose and treat more complex conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. For an appointment, call 812.932.5909.