For many folks, the “winter blues” is more than just a passing phrase – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a reality many of us face during the colder months. Amidst the snowy landscapes, long nights, and chilly winds, taking care of our mental health becomes a priority. So, whether you’re a homebody, a strictly-indoors adventurer, or someone who simply prefers warm blankets and an ergonomic gaming chair to downhill skis, this list will arm you with strategies to help you thrive no matter the weather outside. Let’s begin mastering the chill while nurturing our mental and physical wellness along the way.

  1. Embrace Cozy: Create your own cozy haven with soft blankets, warm lights, and your favorite sensory additions. Giving yourself what you need to feel safe and comfortable on those long nights can help make the darker days feel brighter.
  2. Solar Recharge: Carve out time during the daylight hours to bask in natural sunlight, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Just 20 minutes of sunlight exposure each day has been shown to improve mood and boost vitamin D levels!
  3. Laughter: Whether it’s movie nights, game nights, or D&D nights, sharing laughter (or adventure) with loved ones can help lift your spirits.
  4. Winter Hobby Bliss: Explore hobbies that give you that warm feeling inside. From crafting to cooking comfort food, doing what you love can keep those winter blues at bay.
  5. Stay Active: Movement equals mood improvement. Try a virtual dance workout or practice some mindful stretching – keeping active is a powerful way to boost your mood.
  6. Connect: Keep your spirits high by staying connected with your loved ones, even when the snow is falling outside. If the snow gets too deep and you don’t feel safe driving, even virtual calls with a friend or loved one can remind you that you’re not alone in navigating the winter months.
  7. Self-Care: Prioritize self-care rituals that make you feel amazing. Pamper yourself with warm baths, skincare, a fire in the fireplace, and a hot cup of tea, that new romantasy novel you’ve been thinking about, anything that feels nurturing.
  8. Plan Mini Adventures: If you’re feeling up to venturing out into the world, try spicing up your routine with a small adventure – take a winter walk in a nearby park or try out that new cozy café downtown. It’s all about those micro-thrills.
  9. Prioritize Your Mental Health: If you find the winter blues weighing you down more than you can handle, there’s no shame in asking for help. Reach out to a mental health professional who can provide guidance and support tailored to your needs. Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.
  10. Stay Ahead with Prevention: Don’t forget about keeping your physical health in check. Staying on top of vaccinations like the COVID-19 and influenza shots, practicing respiratory etiquette, and masking-up when you’re not feeling 100%, all go a long way towards keeping you and your community safe and well.

Winter in Alaska brings a slower rhythm, a chance to cozy up, and an invitation to honor the tranquility that accompanies the season. Whether you find solace in the comfort of your home, delight in indoor pursuits, or simply prefer the embrace of warmth and coziness, we’ve equipped you with a few helpful strategies to not only navigate the winter months but to thrive within them. So, as winter envelops us once more, let us welcome her not as a foe but as an opportunity to cultivate resilience by embracing wellness practices that nurture us and our community.

Stay Healthy, Alaska!

How to Embrace a Winter of Wellness at Any Age

As the crisp air of winter draws near, it’s time to gear up for the flu season and ensure our health stays in peak condition. We can make a world of difference by taking proactive steps to prepare for this annual challenge. Let’s dive into how we can embrace a winter of wellness and safeguard ourselves during the flu season.

Arm Yourself with the Flu Shot

Immunizations serve as armor against seasonal respiratory illnesses, offering protection against influenza and COVID strains that are more prevalent during the winter months. Getting vaccinated is a quick and painless way to build our defenses and reduce the risk of severe complication due to illness. Experts recommend getting vaccinated early in the winter months to give your body time to build immunity against pathogens. Don’t miss out on these powerful shields – schedule your annual vaccinations now!

Stay Informed and Be Proactive

Keep an eye on flu and COVID activity updates from trusted health sources. If flu or COVID cases are on the rise, consider limiting close contact with those who are unwell and practicing preventive behaviors, such as handwashing and wearing masks when necessary.

Prioritize Wellness Habits

A robust immune system is our greatest ally. Nurturing our well-being with healthy habits helps bolster our immunity during the winter months. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutrients that support our body’s defenses. Regular physical activity, even gentle exercises like walking or yoga, can work wonders in keeping us fit and resilient.

Stay Hydrated and Well-Rested

Drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest are essential for maintaining optimal health. Hydration keeps our bodily systems functioning smoothly, while ample rest rejuvenates our bodies and minds. Adequate sleep plays a pivotal role in supporting our immune response and warding off illnesses.

Seek Prompt Medical Attention

If we start experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, or body aches, it’s essential to seek medical advice promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in managing symptoms and preventing complications.

A Winter of Wellness Awaits!

By preparing for the flu season and prioritizing our health in the upcoming colder months, we set the stage for a winter of wellness.

Stay Healthy, Anchorage!

As we emerge from the challenges of the past and the official end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment. Now more than ever, our actions as caring community members play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of our fellow Anchorage residents. The good news is that we have the power to create a brighter, healthier future together, simply by embracing everyday preventive measures. What does that look like?

Respiratory Etiquette: Cover, Protect, and Care

Respiratory etiquette may sound fancy, but it’s simply about showing thoughtfulness and care for one another. Imagine you have a fancy shield that can capture any sneezes or coughs before they reach anyone else. Well, that’s precisely what respiratory etiquette does! The best part is, this superhero move is super easy to master. When you cough or sneeze, just use your elbow or a tissue to cover your nose and mouth. It’s not just a gesture of politeness; it’s a powerful way to prevent the spread of germs. Let’s make this a normal part of our day-to-day interactions, demonstrating our care for our community and protecting one another like the superheroes we are!

Embrace the Power of Vaccination

Getting vaccinated is a superhero move that not only shields you from COVID-19 and other deadly, but preventable, illnesses, getting vaccinated also extends that shield’s protective embrace to our entire community. It’s a symbol of strength and unity, showing that we are committed to keeping each other safe. If you haven’t already, join the ranks of our community’s protectors. Check out Vaccines.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you – let’s power up and unleash the hero within!

The Mask: Your Everyday Superpower

Your everyday superpower lies in something as simple as wearing a mask. We’ve grown accustomed to masks being a part of our lives over the last few years, and now, it’s time to view them as symbols of our care for one another. When you’re not feeling well or experiencing any symptoms, wearing a mask becomes your superhero cape, protecting others from any potential exposure. It’s not just a piece of cloth; it’s a testament to our commitment to each other’s health and well-being. So, let’s keep our masks handy and wear them with pride, knowing that we’re making a difference by being responsible community members.

Together, We Create a Healthier Anchorage!

As we navigate this new chapter, let’s remember that the power to shape our future lies in the everyday choices we make. By incorporating these preventive measures into our daily routines, we weave a safety net that envelops our community in protection and care.

So, as you venture out to enjoy the beauty of Anchorage, meet with friends, or support local businesses, let’s stand united in our commitment to respiratory etiquette, vaccinations, and mask-wearing when unwell. Let’s be the embodiment of compassion and responsibility, knowing that each action we take, no matter how small, contributes to the collective health and well-being of our beloved Anchorage.

Together, we’ve shown resilience, and together, we’ll continue to thrive. The PHE is over, but our journey towards a healthier Anchorage has just begun. Let’s seize this moment to create a future where care, kindness, and well-being reign supreme.

Join us in this mission – because in unity, there’s strength, and in prevention, there’s health.

Stay Healthy, Anchorage!

Let’s set the record straight and clear the air of any lingering doubts about vaccinations! It’s time to debunk those common myths that might have swirled around us. Together, we’ll embrace the empowering truth about vaccinations, shining a light on the science and facts that make them our trusted allies in maintaining good health.

Myth #1: Vaccines Cause Serious Side Effects

Reality Check: Vaccines are thoroughly tested and monitored for safety before being approved for use. While some individuals may experience mild side effects like soreness or low-grade fever, serious side effects are extremely rare. The overwhelming majority of people benefit from the protection vaccines provide, far outweighing any potential risks.

Myth #2: Vaccines Can Give You the Disease

Reality Check: Vaccines are designed to stimulate our immune systems to build protection against specific diseases. They do not contain the live viruses that cause the illnesses they protect against. Instead, they introduce harmless components of the germs, helping our bodies recognize and fight the real thing if encountered in the future.

Myth #3: Natural Immunity is Better Than Vaccine-Induced Immunity

Reality Check: While recovering from an illness can lead to natural immunity, it often comes at a significant cost of suffering and even life-threatening complications. Vaccines provide a safer alternative to acquire immunity without experiencing the full effects of the disease. Additionally, vaccine-induced immunity is well-documented and highly effective.

Myth #4: Vaccines are Only for Children

Reality Check: Vaccinations are not limited to childhood! Folks of all ages benefit greatly from staying up-to-date on our vaccinations, including the flu shot, pneumonia vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine, and so on. These protect us against preventable illnesses that can have severe and long-lasting consequences.

Myth #5: COVID-19 Vaccines Were Rushed and Not Safe

Reality Check: COVID-19 vaccines underwent rigorous clinical trials involving thousands of participants to ensure their safety and efficacy. Their development was expedited due to the urgent global need, but no corners were cut in the process. The vaccines were granted emergency use authorization only after meeting strict regulatory standards.


Let’s Stand United in Truth

By dispelling these myths, we empower ourselves with knowledge and wisdom. Together, we can build a healthier community by embracing the truth about vaccinations and the remarkable protection they offer. Let’s support one another in making informed decisions, prioritizing health, and staying strong together!

COVID-19 testing is essential in helping slow the spread of the virus by identifying those who have the virus and enabling treatment or quarantining.