“Rest” and “rejuvenate” are the mantras for Winter. This is the time of year to restore the body so it’s energised for the active Spring and Summer months.
If we skip this cycle of restoration we tend to burnout, feel overwhelmed, and can put ourselves at risk of chronic fatigue, illnesses or disease.
As mentioned in the previous module, the colder days and longer nights of Winter make it an ideal season for slowing down, hibernation and restoration.
Many of us find ourselves overworked and under-rested, which means we really need to take advantage of this time of year.
Not only do we need and deserve this time to rejuvenate, but it also benefits everyone around us, because when we feel our best we give our best.
But, we must also watch out for tendencies to slow down too much and get the “Winter blues.”
The cold can lead us to feeling lethargic, depressed or over eating and cause more than the healthy winter warming weight.
To avoid this, it’s important to maintain an exercise regime that promotes heat and increased circulation.
This is the best time of year to do vigorous, cardio exercise. Ideally, exercise in the morning to start the day heating but ready to rest and relax by evening.
Restore in the evenings
Focus on restoration by shifting evening routines to become more easeful and wind down early.
Evening tips for Winter:
- Eat earlier
- Go to bed earlier
- Take on fewer commitments
- Carve out extra time for self care (hot baths, gentle yoga)
- Dim all the lights in the house to induce relaxation
- Play calming music
- Reduce screen time
Activate in the mornings
We want to be increasing blood circulation to keep our organs and tissues vital and vibrant, as well as boost the metabolism for heavier winter foods.
Morning tips for Winter:
- Drink warm ginger and lemon water to stimulate digestion first thing
- Exercise before you eat
- Do 20 minutes of vigorous, heating exercise in the morning
- Try to break a sweat and increase heart rate
- Eat a high protein, warm breakfast
- Focus on something inspiring to keep spirits high (music, quote, comedy)
Healthy Habits in Action:
- Pick one small self-care habit you can start doing in the evenings. Get clear on what trigger will remind you to do this (see Healthy Habits Sticking Secrets, Module 2).
- Dim the lights in your house after making dinner. The reduced light will increase melatonin production in the brain and cause sleepiness – Nature’s relaxation pill.
- Get clear on a simple 20 min exercise regime for yourself, when you can realistically fit it in to your life and what obstacles you need to work with to make this happen.
Get the kids involved
To get the kids to wind down earlier, start dimming the lights in their room, playing relaxing music at night and encouraging less screen time.