July 18, 2014
- Cultivate warm feelings
The temperature gauge might be dropping, but you don’t have to feel it! There are little things you can do to encourage warm feelings within – and it’s incredible how effective these techniques can be. Studies have found that even looking at a flame or pictures of warm scenes can evoke feelings of warmth; so use this to your advantage. Light candles in the house at dinner time, switch up the artwork in your home for more ‘warm’ scenes or colours; and place rugs in your living areas to make them feel more cosy.
- Feed your body
Salads and smoothies are perfect for summer, but they don’t quite cut it in the colder months. Find other ways of getting your daily fruit and veg – like stewing fruits with honey, adding them to oatmeal, and roasting or stir-frying vegetables to have with meals. Soups are also a great way to get your greens in winter. I used to find it hard to think of soup as a complete meal; but I visited a friend’s house for dinner recently and she cooked a vegetable soup topped with thick slices of haloumi cheese and roasted chickpeas. It was so filling and so tasty. Mix it up & try new things!
- Feed your skin
Don’t forget that the air is nearly always drier during the winter months; so your skin needs extra nourishment. (That goes for your lips too). Switch your normal moisturiser for a more hydrating one, or mix it with a few drops of a natural oil or serum. Keep a natural lip balm and hand cream on your desk or in your purse – hands and lips are particularly susceptible to the colder weather, and some commercial/non-natural lip and hand creams can actually increase dryness in the long-term, exacerbating the problem. Stick to natural nourishment!
- Slow down
It’s hard to get out of bed during winter. Don’t make it harder! Set your alarm early enough that you have time to get up at your own pace, then treat yourself to a hot shower. It relaxes the muscles, reduces tension and increases the body’s temperature when it’s cold outside. I use a more intensive body oil in winter, and I apply it just after my morning shower when my skin’s still wet. It takes all of two minutes, and it adds that extra barrier between my body and the elements. It also locks in moisture, so my skin looks healthy and moisturised all year round. Take the time to nurture your body and it will thank you come summer-time!
- Mix up your exercise regime
Are you finding it hard to get motivated during the winter months? It could be because you haven’t tailored your exercise routine to the weather. If it’s 5 degrees outside, of course you’re not going to want to get out of bed and go for a run.
So find other ways of meeting your fitness goals. I find that gym classes are great during the colder months, because they’re usually indoors and they don’t require as much self-discipline; there’s someone at the front making you move! Winter is also a great time to finally try out that bikram yoga class you’ve been considering.
(Number 6 - keep your feet cosy like I do!)