Winter has arrived, and while some may dread the colder temperatures, the chilly season can be the best time to rest, recuperate and practice self-care. It’s important to look after yourself both mentally and physically throughout all the seasons, but as winter can also bring a myriad of nasty health conditions, self-care should be even more of a priority when the temperatures drop.
To get you through those chilly mornings and long nights, we have pulled together seven self-care tips so you can make the most of winter.
1. Stay Active
While it can be tempting to stay warm under the covers all winter long, exercise is an important part of beating the winter blues. Exercise releases those wonderful endorphins that can help your mental health and overall happiness. Here are some easy ways to get an endorphin fix:
- Instead of meeting at the café for a coffee, grab your hot drink to-go and take a walk with friends. Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup
- When you can’t muster the courage to brave the cold outside, there is always YouTube. There are endless at-home workouts for you to choose from, and we love these videos from Pamela Rf for a full body workout in your living room
- If you prefer to exercise outdoors, it can be easier to warm up inside. It won’t feel as cold, plus you’ll be taking much needed care of your muscles
2. Keep Warm
It’s important to protect your body against drops in temperature. Cooler weather and chilling wind can affect your body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections, so why not take the opportunity to indulge in a little retail therapy. Make sure your wardrobe is stocked with these winter essentials:
- Woolly knits
- Quality boots (don’t forget warm socks – we love Ice Breaker’s Merino range)
- A snuggly scarf
- Quality base layers (pro tip – avoid cotton as it can actually make you feel colder. Try merino wool or synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture)
3. Stay Hydrated
It’s surprisingly easy to become dehydrated in the winter. With drier air and a reduced urge for thirst, we often don’t get the hydration we need to stay healthy. Here are a few fresh ideas to make staying hydrated a little more interesting:
- Track your intake by using a bottle instead of a glass. S’well has a range of beautiful, insulated bottles that keep your water hot or Perfect for every season.
- Enjoy soothing winter teas like Love Tea’s Organic Floral Tea. Rich with rose, chamomile, lavender and calendula, this tea offers offer therapeutic benefits for the nervous system and complexion.
- Combine hot water, lemon, ginger and honey or infuse chilled water with fresh fruits and herbs for a refreshing twist
4. Enjoy nourishing winter food
Rejoice in the magic of mother nature! Winter brings with it a bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as many warming winter specialties. Be sure to eat well and try not give in to every carb craving (it’s all about balance ). Some things to consider in your diet this winter:
- Wintery greens are packed with vitamin C. Try integrating cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli into your weekly food plan
- Zinc helps keep the immune system strong and is an important part of maintaining good health. Foods rich in zinc include meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, dairy and legumes
- Soups are the real winter superhero. An easy way to meet all your nutritional needs and boost your vitamin intake in one big bowl of YUM. We are drooling over this immunity soup and Jamie Oliver’s red lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup
- Start your day off warm and toasty with a bowl of oats. Oats have many proven health benefits, including lowering your risk of heart disease. Jazz it up with some frozen berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds, or try an overnight oat recipe
Winter can be the best time to rest and recuperate. Sleep is especially important in winter, as it is integral in maintaining a healthy immune system. Here are some tips to help you get enough rest:
- Resist the urge to oversleep. If you sleep too much, it can actually make you feel sluggish. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and aim for about 8 hours each night.
- The shorter days and longer nights in winter can throw off your body’s sleep cycle, leaving you feeling sleepy. Let some light in to your bedroom to help balance your melatonin levels.
- Watch what you eat in the afternoon and evening, particularly your caffeine and sugar intake.
- Turn off distractions, like Netflix or social media. Instead, opt for a book or a sleep podcast (try Sleep With Me) to help you switch of your mind for a long, relaxing sleep
6. Indulge yourself with spa time at home
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s often hit hard in winter. Indoor heaters and a drop in humidity makes the air drier, both inside and out. Why not indulge in a few at-home spa treatments to keep your skin glowing all winter long. A few top tips for looking after your skin:
- Love your skin daily by using a natural bodywash. Weleda’s Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash makes us feel especially pampered
- Don’t forget your face. Using a hydrating face mask once a week will help hydrate your skin, remove excess oils and improve the appearance of your pores. We recently tried out the Kohle Charcoal and Coconut Deep Clean Mask and it was magical
- Regular exfoliating (twice a week) will buff away dead cells so new cells can come in healthier and without obstruction. Try this Love Your Body Polish and a gentle Brightening Exfoliating Powder for your face
- Last but not least, use a quality moisturiser to give your skin the extra nourishment it needs. We recommend the Ethereal Nourishing Daily Moisturiser for your face, and this luscious Vanilla Lemon Body Mousse for your body (it even sounds delicious)
The winter blues are real. Caring for your mind should form the foundation of all self-care this winter (and beyond). Regular meditation can help reduce stress, control anxiety and promote emotional health. If you are new to meditation or need inspiration, there are some great apps and YouTube videos available. We really like:
- Yoga With Adriene has a range of yoga and meditation videos, varying in length, that will help you find your inner peace
- This meditation guide has been created specially to chase away the winter blues
- There are many apps to guide you and keep you on track, such as 10% Happier (developed especially for you sceptics out there), The Mindfulness App, Headspace or Breethe
We hope you take the opportunity to practice these self-care tips this winter, to keep your mind and body happy and healthy all season long.