Christmas is over, and with it the part of winter that’s tailor-made to brighten the long, dark days with fairy lights, boxes stuffed full of gifts and deliciously indulgent food. Staying positive, upbeat and focused on your wellness goals can be difficult when evenings draw in early, social distancing is still in effect and spring feels very far away.
As well as these challenges, winter is a time when our immune systems could be lower than usual because of the cold weather and reduced vitamin D levels thanks to the lack of sunlight in the UK in January.
So how do we stay well, alert and happy this season? We’ve assembled the best wellness tools to help you have a healthy, productive and positive winter.
Try some supplements
While you battle the long, gloomy days of January and February, it helps to have something in your back pocket fighting alongside you. That’s where Innermost’s targeted nutrition for both body and mind comes in, helping you to be the absolute best version of yourself that you can be.
To keep your fitness journey on track, The Health Protein is a great resource. Not only is it vegan, it’s been formulated to support your immune system, boost your health levels and support muscle repair and growth - all essential things for your January glow up.
For a little something to help you focus despite the winter blues hanging over the population like a literal dark cloud, The Focus Capsules will help to sharpen your mind. With research-backed ingredients that boost your brain performance and processing speed, shaking off the mid-afternoon fog will be easy.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and worry and experiencing lack of sleep, The Relax Capsules could be just what you need. Nootropics designed to reduce stress and promote relaxation, adding these into your routine will help to make life feel that little bit easier.
Keep those hands clean
Even setting COVID-19 aside for a moment, winter has always been prime time for bugs, colds and other illnesses to thrive. Stuck indoors and with our immune systems on the defensive, you’re far more likely to get a cold in February than you are in July. And with COVID-19 a constant worry, it’s more important than ever to practise scrupulous hygiene.
Try to make it part of your routine to avoid touching public high-trafficked surfaces, such as train handles and doorknobs, if you’re extra-worried about germs (without becoming obsessive, of course). Wear a face mask and avoid coming without two metres of someone in an indoor space if you can.
Washing your hands with soap and water is a tried and tested technique for keeping the germs away - for 20 full seconds (if you don’t want to bother counting, simply sing two rounds of happy birthday under your breath). A hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol is effective if you’re out and about, however.
Write down your thoughts
Many studies have shown the benefit of writing expressively and creatively, and how it can boost mood and wellbeing. It’s also an accessible and effective way of clearing your mind and processing your thoughts. Sometimes, we just can’t tell what we’re thinking until we get it down on paper.
Keeping a journal is a lifelong habit for many, but don’t let the fact that you’ve never done it before put you off. Forget those English lessons at school where you had to write in a certain finicky prescribed way, and simply put pen to paper, or thumb to screen, and write down whatever wants to come out. A stream of consciousness-style writing exercise can help to reveal what’s really on your mind, pinging about in your brain.
Once the words are written, you can decide whether you want to reread them. Rereading can be a great tool for processing and considering your thought patterns, or equally you could never read your words again, which can be a constructive way to work through your feelings and purge memories or concerns.
The final part of the winter wellness puzzle is getting a good night’s sleep, which is often not as easy as it might seem. When you’re worried, busy or cooped up too much inside, rest often doesn’t arrive without a fight. Luckily, we’re here to help you win that battle.
We’ve already mentioned our The Relax Capsules, which will give your body the natural helping hand it needs to nod off to sleep. But have you ever considered a sleep soundtrack before? White noise, classical music or other ambient noise such as rain sounds or waves crashing onto the shore could be just the thing that helps to drown out the sound of your anxious brain and allow you to get some shut eye.
It’s always a good idea to ensure that your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet, and you can also try techniques such as having a hot bath before you climb into bed, as your body’s subsequent drop in temperature can help you to fall asleep. A weighted blanket could also be something to consider. Research shows that they can have a soothing effect and encourage more restful sleep. Designed to relax you in the same way that swaddling does for a newborn baby, the experience of drifting off to sleep snuggled under a warm, heavy blanket is something everyone should get to experience.