Struggling with dry skin, low energy and feeling stressed this festive season? My new wellbeing column for HN Magazine sharing my winter wellbeing hacks…
Don’t make the mistake most people make of accepting defeat this winter when it comes to your wellbeing. The odds may feel stacked against you but see these as opportunities.
While the dark nights feel neverending, use it as a chance to start powering down on an evening. Try and establish a routine to enable you to relax, unwind and head to bed early. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and always get up at the same time.
- Drink hot lemon water to start the day and avoid caffeine at night and first thing in the morning.
- Make your mornings matter: A powerful morning routine is crucial and by the morning I mean the start of the day.
I’d recommend taking a moment in the shower or in bed to set your intentions for the day, doing some movement, mindfulness practice even if this is while you’re washing up or doing your makeup.
My key is always exercise to get my endorphins going and to clear my head. I also walk the dogs as fresh air is great for our wellbeing.
- Track and reflect journaling: A good way to track your mood and food as well as reflecting on what you’re grateful for and your daily achievements is through journaling. My friend Victoria has a Time to Heal Journal for people healing from trauma and I have created a mind, body and career planner.
- At the start of your working day, do the one you’ve been putting off first that way you’ve already accomplished something.
- We all need the accountability a fitness coach or personal trainer offers us. It not only helps motivation but technique too which we don’t get when we’re training alone. I’m a personal trainer and I still have a coach too. Jody Hopwood PT who trains me specialises in body building whereas I focus on Yoga, bodyweight and Pilates style training with my clients but for myself I want to learn how to powerlift like a pro.
- Talk positive to yourself. Our words are so powerful, speak to yourself as you would a best friend.
- Dress in Athleisure wear so you can keep active and look fashionable all day, it saves on heating too and keeps you warm outside when you’re moving faster.
- “To achieve your goals you need to live as if you’re already the person you want to be. I’ve been training to be a professional boxer so I’ve spent the last couple of years living as if I’m already a professional athlete,” said Brandon Pickup who has just signed his first professional contract.
- Make sure you wrap up warm inside too because central heating can cause dry skin because dry cold air holds less moisture.
- Winter is a perfect time for hearty stews, broths and plenty of warming root vegetables.
- Try to avoid drinking tea with your meals, the tannin in tea affects the body’s absorption of vital minerals such as iron and calcium, especially important for women experiencing the menopause.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D eg egg yolks, tofu and fatty fish. Take a supplement of this “sunshine vitamin,” but not on an empty stomach.
- “Try floatation therapy, an infrared sauna or a massage, it’s all about nourishing your mind, body and soul,” said Marc Johnson, owner of the Branch Wellness Clinic.
- Take breaks for fresh air because you need as much sunlight as possible especially if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Don’t forget when it comes to your wellbeing, think about your finances too. Head to a Citizens Advice Bureau for support and check on .gov.uk you’re getting everything you’re entitled to
- We all need a bit of stress in our life to motivate us but it is important it’s good stress and we manage it because as the Mental Health Foundation states: “Excessive or prolonged stress can lead to illnesses such as heart disease and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”
The good news is all of the above will help us to live as healthy and as stress-free a life as possible.