During the wintry months, the long nights, cold weather and many other seasonal factors can take their toll on our physical and mental health. If you’re wondering what you can do to stay well this season, here’s our top tips on how to practice self-care through winter.
We all lead busy lives, so it’s important to create space in our daily routine to check in with ourselves. Setting the pace when you wake up can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed throughout the day. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of tea, going for a run or doing stretches first thing in the morning – take time to find out what helps you start your day the right way. Aim to check in with yourself throughout the day to readjust your pace if necessary. If you work at a desk, we recommend setting an alarm every hour to move and do gentle stretches. This also provides an opportunity for you to check in with yourself.
Music is more than just a source of entertainment. It can also be an extremely powerful tool to boost our wellbeing. Whether you’re looking for something to motivate you, exercise to, or to help you wind down after a busy day, putting on your favourite tunes is a wonderful way to practice self-care. Music apps and streaming platforms like Spotify and Youtube allow you to create your own playlist for a more personal touch, or to explore recommendations to suit your mood.
Indulge your senses
Using essential oils, scented candles and diffusers at home can be a fantastic way to unwind. Research shows scented oils can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and can help improve your sleep. From the calming effects of lavender to the energising properties in peppermint, take time to choose a scent that compliments your mood and indulge yourself. Find out more about aromatherapy massage at our Yeovil clinic.
A balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables is best at any time of the year, however certain foods can be particularly helpful during winter. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Iron are particularly important at this time of year as they help maintain a healthy immune system. Opt for foods including oranges, kiwi fruit, lentils, fatty fish, broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens. Incorporating foods rich in these vitamins will help keep your health on track.
Keep a gratitude journal
The practice of keeping a gratitude journal has had plenty of coverage over the last few years – and for good reason. According to Psychology Today, the benefits of consistently writing down positive thoughts range from better sleep, better physical and mental health and improved self-esteem. The good news is you don’t need to invest too much time in keeping your journal. Simply aim to think of something you are grateful for each day – however small – and make a note of it. Writing it down in a dedicated notebook means you also have a log of all the things which make you happy. Perfect to look back on on a rainy day!
A good night’s sleep brings a myriad of benefits, from boosting your immune system, improving memory and cognitive performance to helping to prevent weight gain. According to the Sleep Council, adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but only manage to get 6.5 hours on average. To ensure a good night’s rest, avoid screens an hour before bed and use low lighting to help you relax. Read more tips on practicing good sleep hygiene.
Staying connected with friends and family has never been so important. Although spending time with people in person may not be possible, technology gives us plenty of options to keep in touch through this time. You can also surprise your loved ones by communicating the old fashioned way – by sending a card or a letter to make their day.
Although the weather is darker and colder at this time of year, it is important to try to get outside most days if possible. Natural light is important to help keep your body clock regulated. An added bonus is that being in nature helps reduce stress and be more mindful!
Whether it’s simple stretches or yoga at home – or a walk, cycle or a jog outside, exercise releases endorphins which help boost your mood, decrease stress levels and improve physical health. Exercising with a friend is a great way to stay motivated, while having fun too. If meeting up is not possible, try a group video call so you can workout at home with your friends. It’s important to stay on top of any aches and pains that arise through exercise or otherwise. To book a consultation with our Chiropractic practitioners, click here.