What can we do to improve our wellbeing through winter?

3 easy ways to improve your mental wellbeing this winter:

Food

Think about food choices:

  • Plan meals for the week ahead and shop for the food required for those meals
  • Don’t buy things which you may reach for in a moment of weakness
  • Start the day off with a protein-rich breakfast
  • Make sure that what you are eating is giving you the necessary nutrients to optimise your health and feed your brain
  • Hydrate – if cold water puts you off, drink warm water with lemon, herbal teas
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol
  • Try to avoid eating after 8pm. If you’re bored, reach for a book or a glass of water – not the sweet treat

Exercise

Have a winter exercise plan:

  • Having winter options for the things you may already enjoy doing – Run, walk cycle – plan your routes (safety, lighting, mud etc)
  • Have a friend to exercise with and who will help keep you accountable whether that is physically together or checking in with each other or at least turning up to the gym together
  • Do something you enjoy – if it’s a chore you won’t do it
  • Just move – dance in the kitchen, do squats while you brush your teeth, press ups off the kitchen bench while you wait for the kettle to boil, take the stairs instead of the lift

Meditation

Tap into your mindfulness:

Take some time to nourish your body mind and soul this season and lean into the benefits of mindfulness. This is about being in the present moment, not worrying about the past or future. Take time to be with your thoughts without judgment or reaction. Simple awareness, which can be reached by focusing on the breath, mindful colouring, reading, yoga or focused slow movements.

Meditation and mindfullness, as well as these other great tips can help to overcome the challenges this winter.

The Five Senses

One great way to nourish yourself is to tap into your senses.  We use our senses to explore the world around us, but these senses do more than just identify the world we live in, they play an integral role in our emotional processing, learning and interpretation. Our emotions and senses are tightly intertwined. Our different senses relate to our emotions; psychologically and neurologically. If something looks or sounds or smells or tastes or feels nice, then we feel calm or happy. Maybe it’s hearing a favourite song from your childhood or the smell of a cake baking that reminds you of great times at your Grandma’s house…

So take a while to be with your senses.  

Sit somewhere nice and quiet – this could be inside or outside and take a deep breath in and out. Sit comfortably and think about these things;

  • 5 things you can see around you
  • 4 things you can hear around you
  • 3 things you can touch
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Take a few a moments to think about each of these, why they are important to you and what feelings they bring up. Try to check in with this every so often and see what new things come up.

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