Winter is all about slowing down, reflecting, and recuperating. Instead of thinking of it as an invitation to eat pies, guzzle red wine, and embark on a three-month Netflix marathon, it’s actually the perfect time to make a few small changes that will have a big impact. Follow these steps to winter wellness and you’ll be fighting fit come springtime.
It can be tempting to become a total couch potato over winter. It’s cold out, dark in the mornings, and pitch black by 6pm. Not exactly enticing. But getting enough exercise is even more important during the colder months, when the lack of light is more likely to result in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Regular sweat sessions are essential to boost those happy-making hormones. And they also make it easier to stay in shape for bikini season when it rolls around.
Now’s the time to try something fun to keep you inspired. Maybe a hip hop yoga class (yes, really), celestial disco yoga, hoopdance, Bey Dance class, or F45 will do the trick. Treat yourself to some luxe new activewear from Talbot Avenue and you’ll be busting to get to class.
I’m sure we don’t need to ask you twice to make sure you’re getting plenty of zzzs over winter. Sleep is essential for the body’s repair processes, but getting a quality night’s sleep during winter can be harder as the release of melatonin, which tells your bod it’s time to get ready to wind down and sleep, is suppressed by the lack of natural light. It’s important to set good habits – try and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, make sure you are nice and cosy but not so cosy you’ll overheat, and avoid caffeine and tech before bed. That means phones down at least an hour before bedtime!
The benefits of mindfulness are well known: reduced stress, increased clarity and creativity, better relationships, improved coping mechanisms – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Learn to meditate by joining a group, trawling YouTube, or downloading one of the many apps. Headspace is one of the most popular and very user-friendly for complete novices. Set your day up right with a ten-minute guided meditation and you’ll be more able to deal with tricky workmates. Journalling is another mindfulness technique employed by everyone from CEOs to sports stars.
Decluttering has never been so on trend, and an organised space is shown to help create a calm mind. One quick and easy place to start is with your cosmetics. We bet you have products in there you’ve been using waaaay longer than you should. Here’s a handy guide to how long you can safely keep makeup to avoid contamination and bacteria. For mascara it’s just three months! Time to get chucking. We’ve also got some tips for cleaning your brushes. You’re welcome.
You’ll probably be spending more time indoors, which means more time for a good ol’ at-home pamper sesh. Try applying a lush mask to increase skin radiance and hydration. We love the natural goodness of Aroma Magic masks, which are free from parabens, harsh chemicals, alcohol, artificial fragrance and colour. The Reviving Oxy Pack includes a shot of oxygen molecules to detox and invigorate the skin, while the Anti Pigmentation Glossy Pack is great for brightening and clearing clogged, lacklustre complexions.
It might sound mean, but it’s time to have a think about who you really need in your life. Most of us will have people in our lives who could be classified as toxic. People who belittle you, are regularly dishonest, have no regard for your boundaries, or consistently take take take. It’s time to cut ties with these people as they bring nothing but negativity to your life. You don’t need to cut people who are merely annoying – hey, we all have our flaws – but actively spend time with the people who have your best interests at heart. Also try and hang out with the people who energise you, rather than those you always walk away from feeling depleted.
Studies have shown that smiling, even if you have to force it, can actually trick you into feeling better. For a whiter smile and healthier mouth and gums, try the ancient practice of oil pulling. It might sound kind of gross – you hold coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 15 minutes, preferably first thing in the morning – but these convenient single uses sachets from Cocoswish are actually delicious, with a fresh, minty flavour.
Remember to Drink Water
You might want to guzzle coffee and hot chocolate throughout winter, but it’s as important as ever to keep you your water intake. 2 Litres a day is the rule of thumb. Pumping up the heating can also lead to dehydration, so keep your H20 at the ready. Herbal teas are a great way to get your daily recommendation, and many have other health benefits too. Green tea is a super antioxidant (but watch the caffeine), while spearmint is said to have benefits for acne and these awesome glass and bamboo flasks from Fressko are sure to remindyou to drink up.
Green juices are all well and good, but the chilly weather means it’s soup season! Make a big batch of vegie soup on the weekend and batch free for workday lunches. Give yourself an immune boost and fend off winter colds with garlic, ginger and onion. Yum!