9 Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy in the Winter: Ayurvedic Self-Care Practices for Women

The holidays are an exciting time of year, but they can also be a stressful and anxious period. With all the work that goes into shopping for gifts, cooking big meals, and running around visiting family members, it’s no wonder we end up feeling like we’re “running on fumes.” All this stress can lead to overindulge in unhealthy food and drink, or not take care of our bodies like we should. That is where Ayurveda comes in! This blog will discuss how you can use Ayurvedic self-care practices during the winter months to help reduce stress and promote your own health.

Ayurvedic Food Tips

Your mid-day meal should be your heaviest meal.

Your digestive fire (or “agni” in Ayurveda) is most powerful in mid-day. This means your body can digest and absorb nutrients most efficiently when your biggest meal happens around lunchtime. During the holiday season, many gatherings happen in the evening, and usually involve rich foods and sugary desserts. You can minimize bloating and uncomfortable digestion by trying to eat as early in the evening as possible, and adjust your food choices toward lighter items the later it gets—toward fruits, and cooked vegetables, and other warm plant foods like oats or lentils. 

Feeling extra bloated lately? Try Belly Fix to alleviate bloating and calm digestive inflammation.

Eat warming foods such as squash, nuts & seeds, and cooked grains.

In the winter, Vata energy can become imbalanced. The cold, dry weather means your body needs warming, moist foods to stay balanced. Eat more cooked vegetables such as squash, greens, and asparagus. Then, work in starches such as cooked oats, lentils, and chickpeas.

This is also the right time of year to add plenty of protein and healthy fats to combat out the dryness of the season. If your diet preference allows, add naturally-raised animal proteins such as poultry, fish, or the occasional grass-fed red meat.

While the Western world tends to shift focus toward raw “cleanses” that focus heavily on cold vegetables and smoothies this time of year, Ayurveda teaches the opposite. During the winter months, we should lean into nourishing, nutrient-dense cooked foods to best support the body. You can still enjoy special treats at family gatherings, as long as you keep in mind certain self-care strategies.

Ayurvedic breakfast with hot cereal and fruit.

Sip ginger and lemon in the morning.

When you wake up in the morning and still feel a little bloated from last night’s festivities, don’t force

 yourself to have breakfast right away. Instead, prepare warm or room temperature lemon water, and add a bit of minced ginger.

Sip this first thing in the morning, before eating anything. Ginger primes digestion and may help alleviate bloating due to its ability to help food move through the digestive system (1).

Then, when you’re ready, begin with a breakfast of hot cereal and stewed seasonal fruit like figs.

Try triphala if you overindulge.

Triphala can enhance the process of digestion and elimination. If you really end up overindulging at a party or late night with loved ones, try supplementing with this herb.

Read more: 3 Detox Methods That Actually Work

Rescue Tonic for the Holidays

The Detox Tonic


  • 1 small cucumber, chopped 
  • 2 ripe kiwis, peeled
  • ½ cup kombucha 
  • ¼ cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • Ice cubes


Add all ingredients, minus kombucha, to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large glass and stir in kombucha.

Get more wellness shots: 7 Tonics for Women’s Hormone Balance, Glowing Skin, and More

Ayurvedic Stress Busters for The Holidays

Amidst all the merriment of the season, we forget that traditionally, this was a time to slow down, and keep the body warm, nourished, and moisturized. Stress aggravates the subtle energy of the Vata dosha which can dysregulate the whole nervous system. When Vata goes off balance dry skin, low energy, and stress hormones begin to ramp up. Keeping a nurturing daily routine can uplift your well being and help you stay centered during the winter months.

Find out your Power Type to learn how your personality, hormones, and energy affect how you feel each day.

Winter Yoga Asanas

In the colder months, stick to a slower, less intense exercise routine. This isn’t the time to start a new HIIT class or super demanding regiment.

Walking, yoga, Pilates, or tai chi are greatly beneficial to keep you physically fit without creating imbalance. This type of exercise can help you stay calm and decrease stress in a slower-paced way without contributing to the overwhelm of the season.

A yoga practice great for the winter includes downward dog, forward-facing lunge, prayer lunge, side plank, and fierce pose. These poses relax your joints and muscles, promote circulation, and may help prevent bloating after sugary sweets.

Guduchi helps to balance Vata.

Guduchi is known in Ayurvedic medicine for the power to detoxify, rejuvenate, boost immunity, and more.

In Sanskrit, Guduchi means “that which protects the body from diseases” and it helps to rebalance your energy and wellbeing. Guduchi is used to reduce stress, calm the mind, and to promote clear thinking. It’s also been used to (2):

  • Fight inflammation
  • To increase antioxidants
  • Support joint health
  • Reduce stress
  • Support the immune system

Have a Grounding Daily Routine

In Ayurveda one of the most efficient ways to stay well in the winter season is to maintain a daily routine, or dinacharya. These are daily activities that–practiced regularly–help to keep you healthy and promote your overall well-being.

These rituals include eating well, exercise, meditation or journaling, oil massage, and getting to sleep at a reasonable hour each night.

Spend time to settle into a soothing daily routine which helps maintain your natural rhythms, and provide deep rest for the busier times ahead.

Soothing warm oil massage

This calming technique is most important during the holiday season. Using warm oil for body massage helps maintain your complexion, relive muscle tension, promote good sleep, and cleansing excess toxins from the skin (3,4).

How to do a warm oil massage:

First, choose an oil like coconut, apricot, or sunflower. You can warm the oil by submerging the jar or bottle in warm water, or use at room temperature if you prefer. In the morning, before a shower or bath, begin at the feet, applying the oil with your fingers, making circular motions around the joints. Then, make vertical strokes up your legs and abdomen. Allow the oil to sit for about 15 minutes before showering.

Many of us neglect self-care practices during the holidays, but making these ancient practices part of your busy day helps soothe your overworked nervous system.

Heart-care tips

Ayurveda says that human heart has two parts: the physical heart and the emotional heart, and during the holiday season, our emotional hearts can carry a heavy burden.

A tired emotional heart can negatively impact hormonal imbalance, energy, and overall wellbeing. Try fortifying your heart with and emotions with things like essential oils and deep breathing techniques. 

I like to begin my daily routine with a gratitude practice, as well as applying rose essential oil. I find this helps center my emotions and set the tone for the rest of the day.

Watch: Top 5 Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

Using Ayurveda for the Holidays

The holidays are a time of year we all enjoy, but cooking big meals, wrapping up presents, and spending time with loved ones can be stressful too. We give our whole selves to the needs of others and forget about what is going on with us. As you go through this season it’s important to remember self-care practices from Ayurveda in order to reduce stress by balancing your mind, body, and spirit.

How can you find your best self this holiday season? Join this list to get all my tips and tricks for holiday hormone balance, food hacks, and so much more.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18403946/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924974/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21568717/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095496418300372