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8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

“Winter is coming” is not just something you hear on Game of Thrones; for those living in the Northern Hemisphere the mood of doom and gloom associated with winter is reality. Cheer up—winter comes and goes, and with a bit of creativity you can brighten up its dreariness. Here are some ideas to have fun with:

1. Drink In the Warmth

Why does winter send chills down your spine? Most likely, it’s raw winds, blizzards, or sleet outdoors, and dry air, sneezing, and coughing indoors—a recipe for a headache, sore throat, and a sick leave. To keep them at bay, keep a vacuum flask with hot herbal tea at home to drink immediately after coming in from the cold. The assortment of drinks to fight off chills is vast; check out some of the recipes!

2. No to Winter Blues, Yes to Activity

The key to a full life is not letting yourself succumb to the blues. The ways to do it are innumerable. Stop browsing Instagram—instead of envying friends’ pictures from a skating rink, a concert, or a hot-chocolate-and-pajamas party, do something like that yourself. Join your friends, or go and meet new people; and presto, there you have some warm winter memories!

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Enjoy the little things, like your cat purring by your side in the morning, birds chirping outside in a spell of sunshine, streetlights flickering in fancy patterns on a frost-stained window; even a bowl of good old-fashioned soup instead of a microwave-defrosted pizza can make your day.

3. A Christmas Bargain on Cars

Planning to buy a car? Here’s some good news: according to the latest market statistics, there’s been a noticeable decline in prices on pre-owned convertibles, as quite many people are willing to sell before Christmas in order to get money for celebrations. Ironically, buying a convertible in December is rather practical—modern ones, made since 1996, have foldable metal hardtops and other improvements making them fit for winter. Moreover, classic convertibles are eligible for insurance with handsome policy benefits. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

4. Après-Ski—A Social Touch to a Sporting Holiday

Skiing is a habitual holiday pastime for thousands of families, as well as student or corporate groups. However, skiing per se gets rather boring after a while, and tourists start seeking entertainment opportunities as well. If you are not keen on rushing down pistes, make sure to pick out resorts with après-ski options. Dusk-till-dawn parties at bars, chic restaurants, shopping, casinos, concerts—après-ski encompasses all these and more.

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As for mountain sports, skiing and snowboarding are not the only two out there. If you’re on the lookout for fresh experiences, try some fusion winter sports, like ski biking, ice surfing, speed flying over snowy slopes—many resorts will provide you with all that is necessary.

5. Indulge in Sweet Memories

If pre-holiday stress is getting at you, a sure way to relieve it is relishing something sweet—no, not sweetmeats, but memories. Remember Christmases of your childhood and how delighted you were even with the simplest things. It doesn’t take a posh Christmas party to make you happy; just taking a walk down brightly-lit streets alongside decorated shop windows can fill you with festive spirit.

6. Save on Bills to Buy More Gifts

In case you favor more practical ways of enjoying yourself—like optimizing your expenses—there’s a wise way of reducing your heating bill: warm yourself instead of heating the entire house. If you have no small kids or temperature-sensitive pets, it’s no use heating the house day and night. You can make do with incandescent bulbs (they give off heat along with light), heated mattress pads, a heated keyboard pad, and an extra layer of clothing. In a month compare the bill with the previous one—the difference will surprise you.

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7. Start Spring Cleaning in Advance

Spring cleaning is a tradition of our ancestors: they heated their dwellings with wood and coal, so by spring the entire house was full of soot, ash, and dust. But we have no such problem, so maybe it is better not to waste beautiful spring days but do spring-cleaning in winter, when we are unwilling to go out anyway?

8. Go Where It Is Warm

If summer has left us, why not follow it? Take a trip to where it is warm and have an excellent time, forgetting for a while about snow and howling winds. Just make sure to prepare for it carefully: learn all about your destination, arrange your affairs to take care of themselves in your absence, find out how to stand up for your rights in case your flight is delayed or cancelled (for example, with the help of Flightright).

It is not our surroundings that make us happy, it is our attitude towards them. Stay positive, and you’ll have happy and joyous memories in spite of the winter gloom!

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Featured photo credit: Winter/@Doug88888 via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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