It’s true that life in the mountains is beautiful. The snow, the frosty air, the stunning blue skies make for an Instagram-worthy holiday or lifestyle. But last week, as I walked to work, it was to the serenade of a thousand hacking chesty coughs. And I realised, that it was that dreaded time of winter: You’ve been working non-stop to get your chalet or business up and running; then got hit in the face by Christmas and New Year - oh and to top it off, lets just throw in a couple of meters of snow to make life slightly more challenging - but beautiful of course!
And now January has arrived, we all breathe a sigh of relief, eye up our under-used skis or board and bam! Flu season arrives in force!
And really, is it any wonder that after 6 weeks of non-stop working/drinking/skiing your body is burnt out? Time to make some changes.
So what the best way to keep clear of the lurgy this winter? Here’s our top tips for staying on your A game this year.
The sun … that big yellow thing in the sky yes? I know, it’s been a while since we’ve seen it this season. But try and get outside in the daylight. Some days [insert transfer day here] you get up in the pitch black, work non-stop all day and head home (often via the bar) in the dark. Even worse, if you live in your chalet sometimes days can pass and you realise you haven’t stepped outside - going to the doorstep for a fag does NOT count!
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing people! Lack of sunshine can lead to depression, sluggishness, trouble sleeping, irritability and weakened immune system. It really is stunning living here so take a moment to just take a look around and appreciate that you live somewhere that people pay thousands of pounds to visit for a week. You’ll feel healthier for getting outside and you’ll feel a bit smug too!
Get to bed early! Mum always says “nothing good happens after midnight” and having worked seasons for over a decade, I’d have to say she’s not wrong! Take advantage of the apres lifestyle which means, you can ski/work all day, and enjoy a little celebration, but be done by 8pm, have some dinner and go to bed! Get your full 8 hours sleep - you need it.
We’re all guilty of it, the alarm sounds (when you should get up) ... but you also know that you can hit ‘snooze’ 3 times, sack-off breakfast and have a few extra minutes in bed. Then you end up running up the road, stuffing jaffa-cakes in your mouth (they have oranges in them, right?!) to keep you going until lunch.
Lunch will be a mix of whatever is left over from guest dinner last night (think carbs by the plateful) and some cake from afternoon tea, if you’re lucky!
Dinner … well whatevers to hand right? Super noodles / pizza from the bar / or let's be honest, beers followed with jagar for dessert.
Hmmm… not ideal. Time for some improvements. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic juice-fast / veganism-is-my-life movement! Swap those biscuits for a banana, and think about sitting down to eat it… shocking I know. At lunch, again, keep it light, but get some colour (other than yellow) on your plate. Dinner, try to make time to just sit and eat something - odd are, you’re cooking in the kitchen, so make a little something for yourself - don’t just taste and nibble. That’s when you end up in the bar later filling up on pints and pizza.
I know - we’re all pros at it by now, right? But I’m talking water not beer/jagar/toffee vodka. You know you need to drink more water but let’s be honest, it’s hard work to keep on top of when you’ve got a life right? Not just the actual drinking but the constant toilet stops - especially when you’re out skiing wearing layers upon layers…
Top tip I have, keep a bottle of water by your bed and when your alarm goes off in the morning, just drink the whole thing. It will completely flush you out and get you ready for the morning. Plus you can do it with your eyes closed whilst you’re still in bed!
And for every pint of alcohol, you need to up your water intake to avoid the raging dehydration hangover tomorrow!
Wash your hands (...and the rest)
I know, it’s too simple right? But seriously, who out there is guilty of working the morning, getting changed for skiing, racing through lunch and heading up the mountain, cutting it a bit tight… flying down that last run on pure adrenaline and racing back to the evening shift…. Hang-on where does the shower fit in? When you think about it, it’s pretty rank. You wouldn't hit the gym head back to work in the same clothes so why do it in the mountains? Take literally 5-10 mins to regroup, have a quick shower and freshen up before heading back to work.
Please, just do it.
Oh, and if you have kids / work in any kind of contact with kids, I’d get the hand-gel out and use it throughout the day! It doesn’t replace the hand washing, but it does help keep sticky-germ-ridden kids spreading their nasties to you!
You don’t need to join the gym, just get up the hill and go skiing or boarding. After all, it’s why we are all here! Plus, you know you’ll feel better for it, physically and mentally.
So there we go, our top tips. Looking back, it’s like a list of instructions for kids : daylight = awake; eat; sleep; wash; ski. Repeat as necessary. Simple.