Look After Yourself This Winter!
Every year we remind you about the importance of looking after yourself during the winter months. This year we feel it is particularly important that people take extra care and plan ahead. The clocks go back this Sunday (25 October) so the shorter daylight hours will soon be particularly noticeable and many of us have already started to feel colder and have cranked up the heating.
We have gathered together our favourite ideas for looking after both your physical and emotional wellbeing during the months ahead.
Don’t wait until you feel ill – boost your immune system now to give yourself the best chance of fighting off illness. The easiest way to do this is to increase those vital vitamins and minerals by loading up your plate with seasonal vegetables and lots of citrus fruits. It’s like having sunshine on a plate!
Essential oils are a lovely way to boost the immune system. Eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree oils are believed to have cleansing properties and are perfect for using in room diffusers. You see our selection here.
- Get More Rest
Getting enough sleep is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting your health. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. The key here is consistency; try to stick to a routine and don’t be tempted to stay up late at the weekend and then laze in bed on Sunday morning. Disrupting your sleep pattern is detrimental. If you have difficulty getting, or staying asleep, natural therapies such as Indian Head massage, aromatherapy massage and reflexology can prove really helpful.
Switch off from using screens and social media at least 2 hours before bedtime as these stimulate your senses and will keep you awake at night! Listening to relaxing music or mindfulness apps at bedtime is a much better idea.
- Manage Your Stress
Winter can be a particularly stressful time for many people, especially with the long, dark nights meaning we tend to spend more time indoors. Natural light has a massive impact on mood and we love the daylight lamps that we use in our basement office at the Centre. We call it our “sunshine lamp” and would definitely recommend trying one!
Make sure you regularly do something “just for you”. Have a hot bath with your favourite essential oils – something warming like ginger, combined with invigorating lime. Book yourself an hour of your favourite therapy; massage is known to relieve stress and help us relax. Put it in your diary so you don’t forget, prioritise it the way you would a meeting.
Exercise produces feel good endorphins and is a great stress and anxiety reliever. Regular exercise benefits you both physically and mentally. You don’t have to run a marathon, a gentle 20 minute walk will do the trick!
- Go Outside
Go outside. Every. Single. Day. It’s so tempting to hibernate during the winter, especially if you are working from home, but you really will feel much better if you get outside each day. Even if you are shielding you can still wrap up warm in your favourite coat and hat and stand outside for 15 minutes. Take a mug of delicious hot, immune boosting herbal tea (our favourite is hot water, fresh orange juice, honey and a cinnamon stick) and enjoy the bracing fresh air. It will leave you feeling wide awake and refreshed.
- Stay Connected
Social distancing and different Coronavirus Tier Levels can mean we are unable to meet up with family and friends. This is likely to make this winter feel even longer and more isolating than usual, so it is vital that we stay connected with our support networks. Schedule regular phone and video calls with your loved ones and check in with anyone who you feel may be vulnerable and in need of extra support. If you are worried about your mental health and find yourself struggling to do the things that normally give you pleasure, we have trained professional Counsellors who can help you.
And finally, don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, wear a mask and follow your local Alert Level guidelines.