Winter Wellbeing – Top Tips For Winter 2023
Winter wellbeing can feel different for many of us. For some, embracing the cold and seasonal change is a welcomed event while for others, its creates a drop in more than just the temperature.
Every year brings about a series of changes in life for everybody. So, it is safe to say that this winter is not your standard seasonal shift. A lot of us are tired, fed up and exceptionally ready for a more positive future to lay ahead. Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, spiritually and everything in between. And honestly, it’s OK to admit that you may have had some difficult times.
But, there is a change in the air. We can feel it and from our discussions with our guests on retreats it seems, so can many others. There is a new level of ownership in our own health and wellbeing like never before. We have plenty of winter retreats in some sunny destinations that will allow you to break free from the cold weather and enter the new year feeling rejuvenated.
Top Tips for Winter Wellbeing
Start the Day Well
How you start your day can have a ripple effect all the way through until bed time. So, lets start the day really well! In the winter months this always feels harder as chances are, your alarm goes off when it is still dark outside. If you have not discovered them already, we love our Lumie lights that recreate the gentle rising of the sun and stimulate a natural waking cycle. It means that when you alarm does go off it doesn’t feel really abrupt and jarring as your brain is already preparing you for being awake.
Try getting into the habit of hydrating as soon as you wake up. In the winter our homes central heating is really drying and dehydrates us quickly. Just because you have been snuggled up in a jumper and not sweating does not mean you are not using looking fluids that need topping up. Ideally, we recommend starting the day with two mugs of delicious, warm lemon and ginger water. Hydrating, cleansing and immune boosting – the perfect way to start the day!
Cold Water Therapy
The last few years have seen a world wide boom in cold water therapy and wild swimming. And rightly so because it is fantastic!! Granted, it is harder to do in the winter when all you want to do is wrap up warm and feel cosy but, it is worth the it. Luckily, you do not have to live the sea or an open water swimming to be able to embrace the benefits of cold water – your shower does the same job. The list of incredible benefits include
- Helps wake you up!
- Boosts circulation
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Boosts circulation
- Doesn’t damage the sebum layer of the skin unlike hot showers meaning healthier hair and skin
- Creates an immune system boost
Now, it is worth mentioning that cold showers aren’t for everyone. If you are really ill then best to stay cosy. Also, if you are already cold, the shock tactic that cold water has that instigates all of the above, doesn’t have the same effect and just reduces your body temperature further. So be kind! Cold water is an incredible addition to your wellbeing routine but does need to be done mindfully. A short, sharp, one minute burst of cold water in the shower is all you need for all of the benefits.
Gently woken, hydrated, showered and ready to go! Kind of. We get it, motivation takes a nose dive in the winter months but hopefully if you have stuck to the above, you will feel it start to creep back in. Winter wellbeing often needs goals to help keep motivation levels up so begin by thinking of small, achievable targets that you can hit each week. Completing a certain amount of steps each day or miles in your weekly walks. Get involved in a yoga challenge on line or sign up to a block of classes at your local studio. We love having a list of all of our work tasks and joyfully ticking them off one by one. And remember motivation is always easier when you have a buddy to be your cheerleader along the way! Rope in a friend to join you and you can support each other but most importantly make it more fun! Alongside your body and physical health thanking you, your mental health will be grateful too.
Movement is Magic
Movement in the winter months can often be and feel very different. Our bodies are naturally in a slower rhythm and craving comfort – something we should listen to and respect. So think small and manageable. 10 minutes of yoga is better than 0 after all. A walk wrapped up in our warm coat and scarf may feel more beneficial than a run. Keeping moving in any form is key to keeping us not just or physical but also our mental wellbeing. It can also have a positive impact in your social and emotional wellbeing too!
In the winter months we like to honor that seasonal wellbeing by embracing a slower, softer pace. Yin yoga and restorative practices feel nurturing and nourishing for both body and soul! If you working from home or seem to be spending most of your time at a desk, give our 10 minute chair yoga class a go.
Get Outside Every Day
Do you find that in the winter your list of excuses to do the things that feel a little more challenging gets longer? Well, even us outdoor loving AdventureYogi’s sometimes feel like that too. Its too cold/ rainy/ windy/ dark/ busy or, the old classic, ‘I just have so many other things to do *casually pretends latest Netflix binge is of the most utmost importance*.
A great way to commit to incorporating some outdoors time in the winter months is create a great routine. If you are trying to boost your motivation in the mornings then see if you can escape out before you start your working day. A 30 minute walk or short run will set you up for a day at work feeling fresh and ready. On a sunny day a wonderful thing to do is wrap up warm and take your morning coffee outside for an alfresco moment of calm.
On weekends, make plans with friends and loved ones to go on mini adventures. Have fun! Use your time outside as your play time and you will be assisting your physical and mental health too. The winter is a great time to explore new places that may be really busy in the summer months. Discover secret beaches, new trails (that undoubtably lead to new pubs) and see if you can find a new favourite place!
Go on a News Diet
The only restrictive diet you will EVER find us on is from our news feed!! Honestly, if you only do ONE thing for your over all winter wellbeing, this is it. The last few years we have been bombarded with a barrage of awful news, scary statistics and confusing rules and changes to our daily lives. Let’s be fair, this winter has been tough. Our nervous systems have taken on a workload unlike ever before and it’s time for a rest.
To start, make weekends a news feed free zone! Feed yourself with something wonderful, nourishing and positive instead. No news on weekends has an instant effect and creates time and energy for the fun things in life. We also love having a news curfew – no news or scrolling after 6pm on a weekday means that your brain has time to rest and unwind before you go to sleep.
Why not take a total break from social media over Christmas? Enjoy what you are doing and who you are with without the need to share it with the wider world. We all know that endlessly scrolling through our Facebook and Instagram feeds often creates more barriers and boundaries to real life socialisation and communication so, let’s just take a pause. Your life will not feel any less rich not knowing what your peers Christmas lunches looked like or what time they unwrapped presents. Just stop! Take a break and be fully present in the real life you are so very blessed to be living.
Be Kind to Yourself
As we have already agreed above, the last few years have been a bit mad. Take extra care to be kind to yourself this winter, for your wellbeing sake. You have truly earned it. This will look different for all of us but self care and kindness may take shape in some of the following ways.
- Been invited to an event you really don’t want to go to? DON’T GO! It’s perfectly OK to say no if you know your time and energy needs to be protected or spent elsewhere.
- Don’t be afraid to retract already agreed events too of you don’t feel comfortable now the situation has changed.
- Switch your phone off and get an early night.
- Tempted to check your work emails even though you have signed off for the holidays? It’s ok to not think about work and emails totally for a while! Step away from the inbox…
- Run the bath, light the candles, soak and relax.
- Stop that guilt trap and cycle you are in. Repeat after me, ‘I deserve to take time for myself’.
- Fall madly in love with restorative yoga.
- Create a great meditation habit by using apps and guided meditations.
- Don’t watch the news.
Whatever you need to do to make getting through winter do-able, do it. Remember, this is just a list of some ideas that we have but no doubt you could create your own! Why not make your won winter survival guide pack full of all the things that bring joy into your life.
Need something fun and positive to look forward too after winter? Why not join us on a yoga holiday somewhere warm and wonderful in 2023! We have retreats in Madeira, Atlas Moutains, The Peak District and Marrakech so you can take a break from the winter weather and spend some time this winter refreshing yourself for the coming year.