1. Embrace winter
Winter is a time for slowing down and storing up energy before spring. It’s important to remain active, but slow down.
In slowing down, it allows us time to sleep longer, practice restorative activities and focus on our physical and mental health.
What can you do to embrace winter?
2. Adapt to the brisk air
Its still important to get out into the fresh air and natural light. We can adapt by putting on the thermals and coat and taking a brisk walk. When we set out to challenge ourselves and create new habits, we often find we enjoy things more than we thought – this is the art of adapting. Have you ever walked under the trees in a forest or park when its lightly raining in frosty weather? It’s invigorating. Choose hiking and camping if you really want to build resilience!
Did you know one of the best ways to absorb vitamin D is through sunlight; our skin and eyes?
Of course, we need to be mindful of the time of day and the length of time we spend in the sun without protection.
3. Keep hydrated
We can be less inclined to keep hydrated during winter because we don’t feel as thirsty as we do in hotter months, so it’s a good idea to keep a water bottle with you. Add fruits or herbs for flavouring. Winter also provides a good opportunity to get creative with soups, teas and shakes.
You can get others involved and share recipes or have cook-offs.
4. Eat immune boosting foods
This is a big one!
Everyone has a different theory about what and when you should and shouldn’t eat. Really, many people have different health requirements. One school of thought is that in general, we should eat according to the season – what is grown in your region in the season and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables should be a big part of your meal plan.
Fad diets are best to avoid as you want to trust your body to do what it does best and simply support it with high vibrational foods.
What are high vibrational foods? Non-processed, fresh, organic foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamins – and full of life force.
It can be helpful to add legumes and pulses for additional nutrition. These may or may not be right for your body.
As soon as produce is harvested, it starts to decline in nutritional value – so maybe include a brisk walk to the local markets once or twice a week as you adapt to your new winter routine?
5. Keep connected!
It’s easy to hibernate in winter and helpful for our bodies’ rejuvenation processes– to an extent. The winter blues can creep up on some people and can impair motivation to keep healthy. Join a community group or club. If the weather is too harsh to go out, hop online and find a group with similar interests to you, participate in a weekend course, go winter foraging with a community group, volunteer or get a group together for activities – even take turns for activities in each other’s homes.
Keep in touch with one another and maintain community connections. Look out for your family and neighbours too.
6. Treat yourself
Create a plan with a list of special activities for yourself or as part of a group, or set out to look for new things and do something spontaneous.
Whether it’s just you, family, pets, friends, colleagues or other community members; tee up a time to treat yourself or include others.
You could snuggle up with a book and an old movie, get your hair done, book a massage, go to the cinema, go to a local spa, book a weekend away, lather yourself with scented oils after a salt scrub in a steamy shower, give yourself a manicure and pedicure or pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to start.
Create a plan with a list of special activities for yourself or as part of a group.
When did you last take the time to treat yourself?
7. Keep active
To avoid getting into a mental slump and creating unhealthy habits for mind and body, keep active.
Here’s some ideas for keeping mentally and physically active during the wet, rainy season:
- Brain, board and card games
- Picture and crossword puzzles
- Start a Lego project for yourself or someone else
- Take up macrame or knit a scarf (perhaps with a local community group)
- Make your own bonsai or learn the art of flower arranging (this is a good way to stay connected with nature during winter)
- Write poetry, short stories or start a blog
- Take the opportunity to start a course – even mini courses. This can also keep you connected with community
- Learn a new language
- Take up calligraphy, painting or drawing
- Hire, borrow or buy an instrument and take lessons – you can jam with others
- Walk your pet or borrow someone else’s
- Join a wellness centre, indoor fitness centre or sport club
- Warm or hot yoga (this is perfect for people ranging from beginners, older persons, athletes and people who are injured or have osteo or back pain with the right instructor)
- Grab your friend or a pet and stretch together or even try acro yoga with a partner
- Aqua therapy – join a class, have a private session or simply go by yourself or with a friend and do some resistance training in the water (choose a centre that has a warm pool)
- Ask a friend, organise a private trainer or join a local group for boot camp or join an online bootcamp
- Make a bootcamp course at home for the kids – and join in (they’ll love it)
- Try a martial arts class (perfect for mind and body and you can go at your own pace)
- Qi Gong (Chee – gong) is an extension of martial arts and is rooted in medicinal movement from ancient China. This is sure to get your circulation flowing and help keep your mind and body in balance
- Dance! By yourself, with your pet, with your loved ones. It doesn’t matter how you dance, just dance. Many cultures would ask you, if you were feeling down “When did you stop dancing and singing”?
Don’t be afraid to start something new. It’s very humbling and provides the perfect opportunity to make new friends, learn more about yourself, overcome mental and physical difficulties and enjoy life!