In the heart of winter, with its shorter days, colder nights and grey skies, it's natural to feel a bit sluggish and unmotivated, and as we step into the chilly embrace of a new year, it's sometimes better to shift our focus from the hustle and bustle of resolutions that can sometimes add unnecessary stress to our lives and instead focus on nurturing ourselves, taking things slow, enjoying the beauty of hibernation (cosy time, yes!) and exploring ways to promote our well-being, both physically and mentally.
‘Positive Steps, Not Giant Leaps’
Positivity During Darker Days
January, notorious for 'Blue Monday,' can cast a shadow on our mood. The reduced daylight in winter can affect our mood and energy levels.
Combat this by surrounding yourself with positivity.
Maximise exposure to natural light during the day, even if it means a short walk outside during lunchtime.
Engage in activities / hobbies that you enjoy.
Connect with loved ones.
Schedule a massage.
Practise mindfulness - take a moment each day for mindfulness or meditation. These practices can help ground you in the present, alleviate stress, and foster a positive mindset. You may consider apps or guided sessions to ease into this.
Consider journaling or practising gratitude to shift your focus towards the positive aspects of life.
Indulge in your favourite comfort food.
Surround yourself with uplifting experiences to navigate this day with resilience.
The natural world slows down during winter, and so can we!
The colder months invite us to slow down and embrace a natural rhythm of hibernation. Instead of rushing into the frenzy of new goals or plans, why not consider adopting a more hibernation-inspired mindset?
Remember, it's perfectly okay not to have it all figured out in January.
Why not take inspiration from the Danish and embrace the concept of ‘hygge’ – the art of cosiness!
Surround yourself with cosy blankets, a warm drink, and the soothing glow of candles. Creating a hygge-inspired environment can transform your home into a sanctuary of comfort and warmth where you can enjoy the simple pleasures of quiet moments.
Hygge ("hooga") = "taking time away from the daily rush to be together with people you care about - or even by yourself - to relax and enjoy life's quieter pleasures".
Rest & Recharge
The changes in seasons can sometimes affect our mood.
These therapies have been proven to help improve our mood, reset our circadian rhythm (our body clock), plus help to improve our sleep and give us more energy!
By allowing ourselves to rest we can recharge our bodies and minds, preparing to ‘spring’ into action, rejuvenated and refreshed!
Movement for Mind and Body
While it's tempting to snuggle up indoors and not do a lot (!) Maintaining a regular movement routine is important for both physical and mental health.
Whether it's a short yoga session, a leisurely walk, or a few stretches at home, regular movement can improve circulation, alleviate stress, and enhance overall well-being.
Find what brings joy to your body and make it a part of your daily routine.
Not only do these activities promote physical well-being, but they also contribute to mental clarity and emotional balance.
Even in the midst of winter (and despite the cold weather!) Spending time outdoors can have profound effects on our health, mindset and well-being.
Bundle up and take a stroll in a nearby park or woodland area. The crisp fresh air, the natural surroundings and light (even on cloudy days!) can invigorate your senses, boost your mood, provide a welcome break from indoor routines plus helps regulate your circadian rhythm, contributing to better sleep and overall well-being.
Whether it's a brisk walk in the park or simply sitting in your garden, connecting with the outdoors is vital for maintaining a healthy balance.
The Power of Quality Sleep
Amidst the cold and darkness and the hustle of daily life, don't underestimate the importance of quality sleep.
Create a restful environment, establish a calming bedtime routine and make sure your sleep space helps you relax and unwind.; dimming lights, and disconnecting from screens at least an hour before sleep, and allow your body to rejuvenate during the night.
Quality sleep is a cornerstone of good health, positively influencing both your physical and mental well-being and lays the foundation for a more positive and energised day.
Remember, it's the small, intentional steps that lead to lasting change.
Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Management of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Ali Iles is a Reflexology & Massage Therapist based in Downend, Bristol, UK.
Providing you with time for relaxation - relieving tension and helping to improve your sense of well-being and health.