This time of year brings about a lot of change, echoed by the transitioning seasons and dip in temperatures. With dark nights and chilly days upon us, looking after number one is essential. We spoke to some familiar faces to see how they take care of themselves and their wellbeing during autumn and winter.
In winter months, I find it so important to make time to be outside during the daylight hours. If I only get my downtime once it gets dark, then I do start to feel low. There are special lights that you can get for this, which are great for those who aren’t able to get outside during the day, but personally nothing compares to the real thing along with the fresh air.
To keep myself going through the winter months, I supplement and supplement some more. A great multi-vitamin is my starting point (Prime Fifty), lots of vitamin C (I love Your Zooki) and for normal energy levels, I never miss my iodine (Doctor Seaweed). When I have got all that down me, I always try to get outside and see the sky above me for an hour a day…. No mater what the weather! That usually does it.
I’m very much a summer person and I find the shorter days and longer nights can make me feel hemmed in. So I’ve found a fabulous trail close to home that takes me across wide open fields and countryside. It doesn’t matter what the weather, just being out there in the space and light lifts my spirits. Sometimes I listen to my audiobooks but more often I just enjoy the peace and quiet and the change in seasons. Life is busy and can be stressful, and I think it’s very important to sometimes escape completely from the world and just be.
When it comes to winter wellbeing I’m all about activity… keep moving during the day and snuggling up and getting cosy at night. Staying fit and active gives us a happy, healthy life and stronger immune system. Get lots of layers on and wrapped up then head out for a brisk stroll in nature. I love to walk by water, so rivers, lakes or the sea ideally, it gives me the feel-good factor. Also crank up the supplements focusing on immunity and gut health. Most of all I stay positive and choose happiness!
As the leaves begin to fall and the air begins to cool, it’s really important not to forget our wellbeing. For me as a fashion lover, I absolutely love autumn styling and nothing makes me feel better than a well put-together outfit that lifts my confidence and mood. So I say, take this time to experiment with layering and explore your personal style. WynneLayers is a great place to start with simple yet effective layering pieces and the new autumn collection by Dannii Minogue has got some stand out pieces that can instantly update any wardrobe. Now, looking good and feeling good isn’t just about our outfits – one of my top tips for winter wellbeing is looking after your skin and, trust me, moisturisation is key! Our skin can get so dry in the lead up to winter, so keeping it hydrated is a great way to put your best face forward. I’ve been loving Superfood range from Elemis; particularly the Kefir Tea Priming & Hydrating Mist. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for a facial mist or spritz. I think it’s because it fun to apply, kinda wakes you up and provides moisture at the same. What’s there not to love?!
My winter wellbeing is quite simple really, I just have to stay cosy. I just don’t function if I’m cold! I even went glamping once in the height of summer and that was far too cold for me. So I use every cosy comfort I can lay my hands on, including my fluffy bed socks (I can’t stand cold feet!) My friends always laugh at me as I’m the first one to reach for a hat and scarf and pile on the layers. Although my top tip is I never sleep with the radiator on in the bedroom and always just have the window opened ever so slightly. I think it’s a much healthier winter sleeping environment.
When it comes to winter, there are a few things I like to do to keep me going, both physically and mentally. First up, getting outside in the daylight. Getting a bit of fresh air alone is worth getting outside for, but getting the daylight into your eyes and letting it register with your brain is something I find really helpful, particularly first thing in the morning or as soon as I can when the sun is up. It helps to wake up your brain, which I usually need a lot of help with in winter. If I happen to be exercising while I am outside, then so much the better!
We are all time poor, so you might think you don’t have time for that, but there is a simple system I try to follow that can be done in as little as five minutes or you can take as long as you like. It’s called “The Three M’s”. (I didn’t come up with this, someone else did). It is best to do this upon waking at the start of the day. The first “M” is mindfulness. You can do this when you are still lying in bed if you want. I find it easiest to use a meditation app and follow that. This can really help to set your mind in the right gear for the day ahead. The second “M” is for movement. This, again, can be anything from a two minute stretch to a one hour workout. Whatever your time allows. The third and final “M” is motivation. You can do this while having your breakfast or brushing your teeth. Here you simply recite motivational phrases to yourself or if you’re not into that, just remind yourself of what you have been successful at, or what you are good at. Again, this gets you into the right mindset for the day. These are just some of the exercises I use to keep me positive and motivated during the dark winter months.
I’m not the biggest fan of the shorter days during winter months, so I spend as much time outdoors as possible before the evening draws in. Having said that, I do love a cold, crisp winter’s morning. I find it really invigorating. Cool fresh air, clear blue skies and glorious sunshine. Perfect! I enjoy nothing more than to be out with my two dogs. I find it the perfect way to relax and unwind. My phone rarely leaves my pocket when I’m out, and for me it makes all the difference. I really like to be ‘in the moment’ – taking in my surroundings and connecting with nature. Something as simple as a squirrel running across my path or a fox peering from behind a bush can make my day, which I would miss in a heartbeat if I were on my phone!
For me, the most important thing to help keep a sense of well-being in the winter months is to get outside into daylight and fresh air as much as possible. I’m a big believer in “there’s no such thing as bad weather if you’re wearing the right clothes!”, and although it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out on a freezing cold or wet day, I always, always feel better for it. I love to wrap up and go for a run, but even a brisk walk to the end of the road and back can make a difference. (I make an exception if it’s slippery underfoot – broken bones do not give a sense of wellbeing!). I also change my skincare routine a little in winter, with richer moisturisers, hand creams and luxurious oils instead of lotions. A little pamper always makes me feel better on a dull day!
To keep on top of my wellbeing in the winter, I like to start my day with a lemon and ginger tea with turmeric and honey. It’s warming, soothing, comforting, and great for our bodies. I try to do a five-minute guided meditation, ideally while still in bed. I really found this helped settle my mind and keep positive during the height of the pandemic and kept it up through the winter. I find that if I do it in the morning, in my mind it’s setting me up for a positive day, but it can be done anytime to centre, be present in the moment and bring that calm to us.
I also like doing Muay Thai in the winter, it’s a great way to warm up your body and keep active. It’s great for the body, mind and soul as it takes a lot of focus and martial arts is quite spiritual. Dancing also is fantastic and fun, if it’s cold and miserable outside, I turn up the music or put my headphones in and dance like I’m Sasha Fierce – Beyonce’s alter ego.
As a young school lad, I really looked forward to winter. There was always lots going on what with Halloween, Firework night, the school Nativity play, then the build up to Christmas Day and in my case, my birthday too, all rounded off by New Year’s Eve! Perhaps that’s why I still look forward to winter, or rather I don’t dislike the darker, colder months as some do. It will come as no surprise that for me a long walk, either with my dogs or a camera, or sometimes both, is the best way I know to unwind, clear my head and reset. The cold has never bothered me and I’ll happily walk out on a snowy day, provided I have the right footwear and clothing on. Even a rainy day can be exhilarating, the only downside being how long it takes me to dry the dogs and light all the fragranced candles around the house. There are some great outerwear brands at the Q right now, if you fancy giving the great outdoors a try this winter – I’ll keep an eye out for you.
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