Winter is a wonderful season pivotal to the natural cycle of the world, a time of darkness and cold, but beautiful in its serenity. However, there are, of course, some downsides to the season. The elongated hours of darkness can lead to one feeling unmotivated, and the cold may disrupt your everyday routine. With the right mindset and preparation though, you can keep yourself motivated and healthy during the winter period, whether it’s by making some tangible changes, or spiritual ones.
Love your skin
Perhaps one of the most frustrating consequences of the coldness in the air is the drying effect on your skin. We’ve all struggled with flaking skin at some point or another, and the winter months are when the problem is at its height for many. In order to combat this, and take good care of your skin, it might be a great time to change up your skincare routine. Exfoliating the dead skin cells will leave your face feeling fresh, and adding in a thicker moisturiser (and perhaps a skin oil) will rehydrate your skin, protecting it from the bite in the air. Making these changes is a wonderful start, and your skin will thank you, but for those who wear makeup, it might not be enough. It’s a known fact that face makeup such as foundation can be especially heavy and unflattering when one is battling dry skin, so it might be worthwhile swapping your foundation for a lightweight face concealer that won’t cling to your pores and exacerbate the dryness. An added bonus of using concealer is that it will brighten up your look by covering the darkness below your eyes that is prevalent throughout winter, leaving you looking (and feeling) a lot more energetic and motivated. Be kind to your skin this winter!
Routine is your friend
Another way to help stay motivated this winter is to stick to a routine. You might need to adjust your current one in order to optimise the health benefits and to coincide with our bodies’ natural winter rhythms. Making changes to your sleep schedule, such as increasing your total sleep time to 8 hours, will leave your body feeling more in-tune with its natural flow. Whilst it’s recommended to sleep for 8 hours throughout the year, studies have shown that humans tend to naturally reach this target in the winter months, with most averaging around 6 hours in the summer. Take this into consideration when you are planning your day, and allow your body to rest as needed. Whilst you may find sleeping more an easy adjustment to make, you will probably find making time to exercise, and having the motivation to exercise, considerably more difficult in the winter. With darker evenings and less-than-ideal weather, it would be easy to throw your hands up and abandon all fitness regimes. There are, thankfully, some things you can do to ensure you are keeping yourself fit and healthy despite these disadvantages. Perhaps this is the perfect time to try out the gym with a friend, or join a dance class? Indoor exercise is the optimal choice for winter, and the socialisation that comes with these types of exercise will aid in keeping your mental health at its peak too!
Whilst summer is the time for light meals such as salad and smoothies, winter is the season for warm and wholesome meals. Hearty soups, fulfilling stews, and (if you like the heat!) spice-heavy alternatives to your favourite dishes will help you curb the cold and feel cosy and content. Carbohydrate-rich food can also help you fight winter fatigue, with things like baked sweet potato making a delicious and filling snack! Nutritional value is important year-round, but more so in the winter in order to keep your immune system up and running. Check out some hearty winter recipes, and you can be sure to find some nourishing vegetarian options too.
Make the most of the waning winter sun
Winter is beautiful in its own unique way, and one of the ways you can get the most out of the season is to embrace it. Take advantage of any sunny day, hop up, and enjoy a walk in your local park. It’s too easy to curl up with your blankets and huddle around a fire, and whilst that might be a great way to spend your nights, you’ll find it much more beneficial to spend as much time in the sun as you can. Going for a stroll in the crisp winter afternoon will help rejuvenate and energise you, and perhaps taking in the frost-coated grass and dew spotted leaves will give you a new and more positive outlook on the wintery months – maybe you’ll even start to enjoy them! Just be sure you go out in the appropriate attire, with a good warm scarf and gloves.
Take time to treat yourself
No matter the season, taking time to yourself is important. However, the winter blues are very real and can add to your feelings of tiredness or worse, seasonal depression. Why not try meditation and practising mindfulness? Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical – the two go hand in hand after all! Furthermore, treat yourself to some aromatherapy, or perhaps book yourself a weekend away? Even something as small as indulging in hair oil to keep your locks healthy and shiny (check out our post on Alphavedic Onion Hair Oil) can help alleviate some of the seasonal stress, and help keep you feeling confident and motivated. Taking the time to slow down as you enact some of these self-care rituals will do wonders for you, just remember that it’s okay to take time off from being productive, and actually paramount to your own wellbeing to do so. It’s okay to indulge in a guilty pleasure every now and again, and it will help keep you motivated in the long run!