Make this winter a time for rest and renewal
Winter can be a difficult and even dreaded time of year for many. We often see challenging weather conditions, our days are shorter, there’s less light, we spend more time indoors and endlessly dodge colds and flu. But what if we could learn to embrace winter? Could we even learn to love this frosty season in which we spend a quarter of our lives, every year?!
Nature flows effortlessly from one season to the next, harbouring the strength and energy in the dark winter months, to shine bright again year after year as we come into spring and summer. Turning inwards to nurture its roots, a tree often appears ‘dead’ in the darkest months. What’s really happening is a little of what we should all be doing too! A deep renewal, a time of rejuvenation in preparation for another season of productivity.
We can also look to those who celebrate winter as a time for comfort, warmth, connection and enjoyment for inspiration. This can teach us a great deal…especially from the country consistently ranking at the top of the happiness scale: Denmark. The Danish word hygge is hard to translate literally, but it embodies a sense of cosiness, contentment and well-being. Inviting a sense that life is good, and meant to be enjoyed year round.
With just a few simple changes to your home and daily routines, you could be well on your journey of discovering these deepest darkest joys of winter! Read on for our top tips to make this winter a time for true rest and renewal.
Add extra lights to your living spaces
Candles, lamps and lanterns can make a huge difference to your mood throughout the darkest days of winter. It gives a lovely festive glow too!
Don’t just turn up your heating, grab all your blankets and cosy loungewear, dig out your hot water bottle and favourite winter mugs as a reminder to drink plenty of hot drinks! You’ll also avoid stiff achy joints by piling on the layers as the temperatures drop. Your joints will thank you for it!
It’s SO important to stretch everyday, whatever your situation. Stretching releases tension, improves posture, decreases back pain, prevents muscle soreness as well as decreasing your risk of injury to name but a few benefits! You’ll find an extensive catalogue of video tutorials covering the whole body in 1 minute or less snippets, to guide you through safe and effective stretches on our website here.
Aim for unprocessed, organic food to minimise intake of immune-suppressing toxins. Add garlic to meals or hot water for it’s antimicrobial benefits and ginger for anti-inflammatory properties. Warm lemon tea with freshly grated ginger and honey is a great way to start your day!
Boost your Vitamin D levels
It’s so important to help regulate the immune system. In the UK we only obtain adequate levels of Vitamin D from the sun between April and September. You’ll also find it in oily fish, grass-fed meat and organic eggs, but an additional D3 supplement may be needed, especially if you follow a vegan diet.
Add supplements and probiotics
Think zinc as well as Vitamin C as both nutrients are essential components of our immune cell response. Vitamin C is readily available in fresh, raw fruit and green veg. Zinc is found in meat, seafood, and nuts and seeds – in particular, pumpkin seeds.
Make time for a little exercise everyday, even if it’s just a quick walk to the shops. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, whether it’s outside, in a gym or at home. Your risk of heart disease will decrease, your mood will improve, and you’ll be helping your body to fight all sorts of illnesses such as diabetes and obesity.
Feeling stressed has a debilitating effect on our immune function, so be sure to nurture yourself. Ask for help with tasks, speak to a therapist, up your self-care, take a rest day… the list is endless. Do whatever you need to do to ease the pressure.
Get enough sleep
7–8 hours is optimal. If you are not getting enough restorative sleep, your immune system can be compromised. The rest, nourishment, and self-care that you will reap the benefits of, will protect your health and wellbeing in the long run.
Rest and renewal
Winter offers us the perfect hideaway, time to rest and focus on what we really need, to feel our best selves. Get cosy making your nest this winter!!