Winter is roaring ahead which means our self-care routines and leisure activities, much like our wardrobes, are in need of a switch-up.
With summer well behind us, a new mindset is a must to navigate the season and its challenges on our wellbeing. Hedonism reaches its peak during those hotter summer months as bottles of champagne pile up in the corner and our livers cry out for a break.
Lucky for us, and our bodies, the cooler months are all about rest, slowing down and the implementation of rituals.
Now, a strict diet of abstinence isn’t on the cards, so don’t fret. However, a consideration and kindness for our bodies are a must as our bodies move through the changing of the seasons.
Put the good stuff in.
During winter it’s natural to find solace indoors and seek regular comfort in our pantry, as we all know comfort foods and cold temperatures go hand in hand. We crave heartier portions in cold weather as our bodies need more nutrients to keep our immunity strong (and our bodies warm), so making nutrient-dense choices is the secret to feeling sated and staying well.
Savour slow-cooked casseroles, stews, soups, broths and plenty of starchy, energy-dense root vegetables. Incorporate sources of immune-boosting antioxidants such as carrots, red capsicum, beetroot, berries and pomegranates, all of which are anti-inflammatory and contain anti-viral properties. It also doesn’t go amiss to stock up on the season's citrus.
Oh, and keep those fluids up. Lot’s of tea, water and collagen to combat the frigid weather.
Try to cut back the sugar and dairy where possible. Switch to nut milk or keep it black. If you are a green tea/matcha lover, that’s perfectly fine (we’re working with our cravings here, not against them). The main thing is to tone it way down – stick to one cup or even less!
Lean into a ritual.
Everybody’s day-to-day looks different, but establishing a routine is the key to showing your body some love when the weather outside has turned south.
We’ve spoken about establishing good sleep hygiene, but a routine when you are up and moving is just as important for your body’s healing process.
Start your morning with hydration – be it a simple glass of water, warmer water flavoured with a lemon or herbal tea.
Movement is key in winter, even if it feels like the last thing you want to do. Not only to generate warmth, but our body’s systems need a little heated kickstart in the cooler months to get them moving the way they do in Summer. Light exercise such as yin yoga, pilates, a fascial release session (think foam rolling or a relaxing gua sha moment), or an extra long walk. To truly recharge, you need rest. Restorative, relaxing, lightweight movement is best.
Time for you.
Winter is about slowing down. Rolling sadness or irritation is normal irrespective of the seasons. Yet, those rainy days or winter chills can take an extra toll on our mood at times. This is where practices like journaling and active self-care come into play. Scheduling time in your day to treat your body to a relaxing massage with body oil, or time to read a chapter of your new book is paramount to making the most of the joys that this season can bring.
End of the day, the world is using Winter to reset itself too, so relish in the slowness and give thanks to the strength of your body.