How to Take Care of You During Winter

Winter can be a time to build strength, stability and resilience of body and mind.

Winter can be a time to build strength, stability and resilience of body and mind.

During the shorter, cooler days of winter, you may find it more difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, experience reduced energy, a tendency to gain weight and an increased susceptibility to colds. In Ayurveda, winter is the season of Vata, representing cold, dry and wind, and Kapha which is heavy and wet. To remain in good health during these months, Ayurveda offers methods to counter these tendencies so that winter becomes a time to build strength, vigour and stability for body and mind. 

  1. Get more sleep

In an ideal world we would go into semi-hibernation during winter. We would spend more time resting, building our strength and contemplating life so we’re ready to burst into spring full of energy. Sadly, the modern world slows down for no one. Aiming to get an extra hour of sleep, preferably waking at around 7am, suits our natural rhythm during winter. Alternatively, an afternoon nap or an earlier bed-time is ideal. This will give your body the chance to go into restoration mode, allowing it to repair and recharge, and you will wake with a clear, alert mind.

2. Morning routines are important

Carrying out these 3 simple activities each morning will make an enormous difference to the quality of your day. Each is designed to release tension and anxiety, soothing the mind and setting you up to face the day with calmness and creativity. 

  • Performing Abhyanga, a form of self massage using a warming body oil like our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil, is a wonderfully soothing and nurturing process. If time is short, performing a simple foot massage is almost as beneficial. 

  • Follow with some morning exercise: yoga, an invigorating walk in the fresh air, or an exercise you enjoy that suits your body and level of fitness. Taking deep, slow breaths and raising your heart rate will stimulate the release of natural endorphins and immediately raise your spirits. 

  • Follow with a short meditation. Meditating will allow you to connect with your inner self and will ground you throughout the day. It will leave your mind clear of stress, raise your vibration and draw positivity into every interaction.

3. Eat a healthy, warming breakfast

…and make all your meals nourishing and satisfying. Winter is the time to indulge in warm spicy foods that satisfy and stimulate the senses. Go for soups and stews, favour cooked vegetables over raw, eat fruits that are in season, and stay away from sugar. 

4. Dress in natural fibres

…and wear layers to ensure you remain comfortable if you spend time in air-conditioned spaces. If possible, spend your day in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of exposure to viruses, but protect yourself from cold winds and rain.

5. Stay hydrated on the inside

Sip room temperature or warm water throughout the day, together with warming herbal teas - ginger tea is particularly beneficial during winter.

6. Stay hydrated on the outside

Cold air holds less moisture, so your skin will tend to dehydrate over winter. Spending time in artificially heated buildings will aggravate this, as will taking long hot showers. The remedy is to switch to a moisturiser with a higher level of barrier protection.

Oily and combination skins may need to switch from our Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum to Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum (for normal/dry skin) during the winter months. 

Normal and dry skins may need to move from our Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum to one of our face creams: Light Face Cream, Pure Face & Body Cream, or Rich Face Cream, which offers the highest level of barrier protection.

 If you already use one of our face creams and you feel the need to step it up further, you can layer the Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum under your face cream for an extra protective boost.

Whatever your skin type, remember to keep your lip balm handy at all times. Our Coconut & Blackcurrant Lip Balm offers the perfect solution to dry, cracked lips, with both moisturising and protective properties that will keep them in perfect condition. 

7. Bedtime rituals

A calming night time routine will help you enjoy a wonderfully restorative sleep, which will keep your immune system healthy and keep your mind fresh and alert. Aim to be in bed by around 10pm and and eat at least 3 hours before bed time. It’s best to stay away from alcohol and caffeine to give your nervous system time to wind down. Also, stay away from screens for an hour or so before bed. Instead read, write or listen to music while sipping a calming herbal tea like chamomile or lemon balm. Take a warm relaxing bath or a shower to relax the body and wash away the tensions of the day, and follow with a light massage with our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil. Make your bed inviting and comfortable and make sure your room has some air flow by keeping the window just a little open.  

If you have trouble drifting off, try performing Yoga nidra, a beautiful meditation where you relax each part of the body in sequence. You can find guided meditations for Yoga nidra on the internet.

Now, relax and sleep…

Marion O'LearyComment