30 Oct Simple wellness tips for a healthy and happy winter
We love Autumn days when the skies are blue and the morning mist gives everything a mysterious beauty – as well as the utterly heartwarming and cosy hygge experience of this season – snuggling under a blanket, candles galore, pies a plenty and hot choc for everyone!
However, as the nights draw in and the temperature drops, the temptation increases to hibernate and not re-emerge until the Spring! Whilst that does sounds dreamy – hello Netflix marathons! – Winter can be a struggle for some with an increase in illness and a decrease in mood affecting our health and well-being.
Now is the perfect time to set some intentions to ensure you have the healthiest and happiest Winter possible.
Here are some fab suggestions to get you ‘Winterised’ (yes, we totally made that up)!
Easy wellness habits to have a healthy and happy winter
1. Spend time in natural light
An article in The Independent states that: “A recent study by BetterYou found that 19 per cent of British adults have low levels of vitamin D […] Signs of vitamin D deficiency can manifest themselves in common health conditions such as constant coughs and colds, tiredness and fatigue, seasonal affective disorder, poor bone and tooth health and low mood.”
Understandably, getting enough vitamin D during the winter can be tricky, especially as most of us get up in the dark and return home from work after sunset. Its a good reminder that its not necessarily sunlight we need – but daylight! Try getting outside on your lunch break for a quick stomp around, walking to the shops instead of taking transport and making the most of your weekends. If you still struggle, you can boost your diet with foods that are rich in Vitamin D such as oily fish, or a good quality vitamin supplement. Even sitting near a window where natural daylight floods in will boost your mood.
2. Keep up your exercise
Putting the breaks on our exercise routines can play havoc with our wellbeing, as we need the endorphins movement brings at this time more than any other! Hibernating all the time just isn’t an option (unfortunately!) so it’s up to us to keep active over the winter by planning exercise into our schedule and making it as enjoyable as possible.
The NHS have some good tips on exercising during winter; choose an activity you can do indoors such as yoga, swimming or a fun dance class, or wrap up warm and get outside on your bike, walk or jog. Warm, waterproof and visible clothes (for darker mornings and evenings) are definitely a winter essential for getting the blood flowing – plus some common sense when it’s icy and slippery outside. It can be hard to find the motivation to do it – but we promise, you’ll be 100% glad you did!
3. Keep social
We all channel our inner bear and fancy hibernating all winter long as soon as the temperature plummets and the days are short. However, this burrowing can be tricky because it may exacerbate feelings of loneliness, isolation and cabin fever.
Even though the weather may try its best to limit our social activities, it’s still super important to get some time in your diary to keep up those connections with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Whether you wrap up warm with wellies for a walk around the local woods, or invite friends and family over for a proper hygge evening – make a belly-warming stew, get some mulled cider or hot choc on the go and light the fire (or candles will more than do!) Getting people together to catch up and connect is the sure fire quickest way to warm our cockles and ward off the winter blues.
4. Stay hydrated
Understandably, when its cold it’s common for us to drink less water in the winter months. Staying hydrated is still really important as our body relies on water to keep our skin nourished, our digestive system happy and many other vital functions.
Replace a chilly glass of H20 with a cup of hot water and lemon or try various herbal teas until you find one you love! Turmeric, mint, or lemon & ginger are what we live on as a winter warmer.
5. Keep your food choices healthy
In winter it’s tempting to overload on comfort food that is warm and filling: pies, puddings, takeaways – we crave stodgy, hearty meals. Macaroni cheese anyone?
Seasonal vegetables and fruit are cheap and easy to come by and mean that you can still include a rainbow of colour into your diet. It’s easier than you think to still eat a scrummy, healthy meal – think: hearty casseroles, roast chicken and winter veg or chunky soups. One recipe we recommend to our clients over and over again is a simple chicken, bacon and vegetable stew – made in big batches and popped in the fridge or freezer to save you cooking everyday; delicious and easy dinners on-hand!
6. Wash your hands
This one is so important, especially in a shared office or communal space!
In the wintertime, cases of colds and flu spike. Washing your hands regularly is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting yourself from picking up or passing on nasties.
7. Put self-care in the diary
Probably our number 1 wellness tip and not just for Winter – you’ll hear us champion practicing self-care all year round.
Put time in the diary just for you and make it non-negotiable!
It doesn’t have to be much. When we bury ourselves under a zillion layers of clothing, even the simple act of a body scrub and moisturise can have a hugely rejuvenating effect on our mood (not to mention our skin).
Choose whatever feels right for you on that occasion and make sure it is ‘down time’ – relaxing and rejuvenating; a hot bath, meditation, an inspiring podcast, yoga, curling up with a good book, walking alone outdoors, immersing yourself in your favourite hobby – and make sure you repeat it regularly!
8. Practice gratitude
As we get closer to December, the pressures of the festive season build and build. Even if you love Christmas, it can be hard to ignore the bombardment of advertisements, the amount of money pouring out of your bank account and the expectation that we should be having a wonderful time – all of the time, even with an over-full diary! It can be exhausting!
Through all of the wrapping paper, the turkey and the forced joviality, it can sometimes be hard to feel genuinely happy.
To counteract the overwhelm, the lead up to Christmas is a great time to practice gratitude and remember what makes you smile:
– Get in touch with family or friends and tell them what you love and appreciate them! (It feels great, promise)
– Head outside into nature and appreciate its incredible beauty
– Remember the good things in your life that bring you joy; practice a hobby, watch a video, read or talk to people who inspire you, reminisce over some of the proudest moments in your life
– Grab a journal and write down everything that has made you happy today – big, small, silly, just get it down and enjoy the feeling of warmth spread across your chest (that’s joy that is!)
Remembering what you are grateful for is a powerful way to overcome feelings of stress and anxiety by focusing on good vibes and positivity.
How will you have a healthy and happy winter?
What will you do to ensure your look after yourself this winter? Are there any intentions you are setting that you are determined to stick to?
We’re not medically trained, so of course if you have any concerns about your health then please consult a doctor, however, we know how we feel after a healthy meal, some fresh air and time well spent doing what we love or with family and friends.
Embrace the winter months. It’s a fabulous reason to get rugged up for a walk followed by a hot chocolate or red wine by the fire!
If you have a fab tip as part of your winter survival guide, then we’d love to hear it!