It snuck up on us quietly, but we’re now officially into winter and only a few weeks away from the shortest day of the year. We’re getting to the time and season that many of us just want to hibernate under our blankets with a warm cup of tea and stay there till summer. Unfortunately, short of having our heater cranked 24/7 and never leaving the house, we can’t really avoid winter’s chill and the melancholy that can sometimes come with the grey days. But, there are plenty of simple ways that we can make the cold more bearable. Here’s my advice for staying warm and toasty, and positive and pampered over the winter months:
Keep up your exercise regime
Understandably, winter is the time of year that many of us put off doing exercise. Without the bright sunshine to entice us, or get us up and going early in the day, it can be hard to find the motivation to get outside and moving. However, if we want to stay warm, exercise is one of the best ways to do it - especially in the morning as it keeps you warmer all day. Working out lifts our core body temperature and, as a bonus, helps to boost our immunity so we can fight off sickness in the cold and flu season.
If you’re someone that usually exercises outside, try doing some yoga or light exercises indoors first, so that when you brave the outdoors your body is already warm. It also helps to layer up, so you can remove items as your body adjusts to the outside temperature. Or, if the weather is truly off-putting, try joining gym classes for the winter months, or even working out indoors at home instead. Hiring treadmills or other exercise equipment for a couple of months might be an option for you, but I love the diversity of trying new YouTube workouts. There's plenty of them and you'll be surprised how sweaty you can get!
Warm your extremities with slippers and socks
Have you ever noticed how your hands and feet seem to feel the cold more than the rest of your body? That’s because your body takes heat from these places to warm up the rest of your body and protect your vital organs first. It also means that we need to take a little more care in making sure that our feet stay warm - trust me, I've learnt this the hard way more times than necessary!
Because they distribute their heat to other areas, our feet and hands reach uncomfortable levels far quicker than other parts of our body, which can significantly affect our overall perception of how cold we are. By keeping our feet comfortable and warm, we help to ensure our body temperature stays stable and consistent. Invest in a good pair of woollen socks or some warm Ugg boots, and you’ll never look back! *Just don't be wearing them outside, friends!*
Add a bit of spice to soups and drinks
There’s a reason why, when winter rolls around, we’re suddenly drawn to spicy curries and soups. Not only does the temperature of these dishes help to make us feel cosy and warm, but studies also show that the spices themselves can raise our body temperature and improve circulation. If you’ve ever gone bright red and sweaty from eating a very spicy meal, you’ll have experienced this effect first hand.
Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of hot food, other spices also have these properties. According to the food website Foodal, spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, cumin and turmeric can all produce a warming effect on your body.
So, try having a delicious chai latte as an alternative to coffee or tea, and experiment with adding spices to your winter soups. Your body will thank you for it!
Relax with a candlelit bath
Candlelit baths are amazing at any time of year, but they’re especially comforting in the winter. Dreary weather can legitimately affect mood – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing – so candlelit baths are a great way to both warm up and relax to bring in those good vibrations.
Candles create the perfect mood lighting and they radiate a sense of warmth even though they don't let off much actual heat. Put on some relaxing music, add in some scented bath oil, and you have the perfect winter escape.
Winter can be wonderful when you keep warm and keep your spirits high.
What else do you love to do in winter to feel good?
Let us know in the comments below