Tuesday Ten: How to look after yourself this winter

I don’t know about you but I am more than ready for a little bit of warmth and sunshine now. My muscles actually ache from standing on the playground completely tensed up with the cold! 

During the winter months, our bodies have to deal with a lot. From the physical aspect of cold winds blasting us in the face, to the mental effects of SAD with the endlessly dark days.

I have to say though, I feel as though I have made it through this winter with a few tweaks here and there and I am definitely not suffering as much as I’ve done in previous winters. 

How to look after yourself this winter

Get outside as much as you can

It is so easy to hide yourself away like a bear in winter, but you must try and take advantage of the daylight hours to get much needed fresh air into our lungs. The walk will also get our blood pumping to keep us feeling energised throughout those sluggish months.

Throw open the windows

As well as getting outside for your fresh air, it is important to make sure you throw open the windows every few days to flush out the stale, germy air in the house. I saw an interesting video about the ‘indoor generation‘ and it instantly made me open all of my windows!

Bring the light in

The short days mean we spend a lot of our waking hours without seeing any daylight at all. The bright lights of offices and main lights in the home are far too harsh as an alternative. After falling in love with hygge, the Danish way of living, I now make sure that we have plenty of candles burning and it brings a lovely cosiness to an otherwise dark day.

Listen to music

Whenever I am feeling down I pop on my favourite playlist and have a dance around the house. It makes the housework less of a chore and lifts your spirits instantly!

Practice gratitude

In the depths of winter, especially once Christmas is out of the way, you can start to feel the negative effects of the cold and darkness. A way to keep yourself feeling positive is to keep a gratitude journal. I start every single day by listing out 10 things that I am grateful for – from ‘a good nights sleep‘ to ‘having friends to keep me cheerful‘, it all gets written down to help me see that I have plenty to be happy about.

See friends and family

The cold months mean we tend to get out and about less compared to the summer when it is picnics and splash parks galore! By making sure you arrange regular meet-ups with friends, either in coffee shops or around each other’s houses, it gives you that much needed boost of human interaction.

Keep hydrated

Does you skin start to look a bit grey during the winter? I hear you! I am quite obsessive about lathering my skin in moisturiser to create a protective barrier against the elements but I also make sure I drink plenty of water too. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish so keep up the fluids and keep yourself feeling fresh.

Exercise

I know that winter feels like the ideal time to snuggle up under a blanket and hide away until spring but actually, it is the best time to get up and out and get your blood pumping. I go to 2 exercise classes a week and I swear that is why I haven’t felt so gloomy this year.

I have to say, I am not a natural exerciser but I have persevered until I’ve found a class to suit me. I do DanceFit and Circuit training and I love them – I also go with a friend which totally keeps me motivated!

Up your vitamins

Stodge, stodge & more stodge – that is the main menu for the winter, right? The salads of summer have long since disappeared along with the goodness that they bring- leaving me full of carbs!

This year I’ve made sure to eat plenty of seasonal fruit and veg and I have taken a multivitamin every morning with my breakfast. The more vitamins, the more protected I will be against the germs of the season.

Sleep

As much as it is important to get up and out, to get enough exercise throughout the season, it is also important to give in to the sleep. Our bodies have a natural sleep rhythm and the darker days make us naturally want to rest. Give in to it and let your body do what it wants to do. Come spring you’ll be full of energy again!

Have you got any tips for staying well through the winter months?


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