How are you feeling in your body and mind right now?
If you are feeling a little restless, agitated, or frustrated, it might be to do with the season. In this article, I share my simple strategies to support your well-being at a transitional time of year.
I always see this time of year as a transitional period. It’s no longer mid-winter, but it’s not quite spring. The festive season is over but there is a while to go until sunshine holidays. The spring flowers are awakening, and yet we feel a little sluggish.
Think about other transitional periods of our lives, the period between finishing one job and starting another, between being pregnant and giving birth, the period between getting engaged and married and the summer between school and college. It’s a time of anticipation and preparation, but also a period of waiting, of almost being a little stuck. It is not unusual for us to struggle to stay buoyant and lifted at this time of year.
Given that I feel this way myself from year-to-year, there are some strategies I have developed to support my well-being throughout this period. I’m not going to lie, at times I have jumped on a plane for an injection of winter sunshine, but with a wedding this year, I have to focus on what can be done here and now to make me more at ease with being in this moment.
I am creating brighter, lighter plates of food. I feel the need to transition my diet away from comfort, warmth and soft towards, fresh, cool and crunch. There are some wonderful winter salads around that do this really well. Using spices and fresh herbs wherever possible freshens and excites a sluggish palette. Chuck fresh herbs in your salads and break out the spice wherever possible.
We can experience a little anxiety and discomfort in our bodies at this time of year. Perhaps our skin is a little tired and blemished from constant exposure to artificial heating and being covered with clothing, or maybe we are just feeling a little grey. Try to be kind to yourself. Use gentle scrubs and body brushes to bring your skin back to life, have a nice facial or buy a nice body oil.
Natural spaces can help us to feel psychologically restored. There is a large body of evidence suggesting that time spent in green spaces supports our physical and emotional health, with increased creativity, empathy, improvements in blood pressure and reductions in stress named as but a few of the benefits. Green spaces don’t have to be expansive field or hill for us to experience the benefits, a park, garden or will do for just 15 minutes every day.
Get outside into natural light daily. It is worth noting that in the UK, the sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation from October to early March for our skin to be able to make vitamin D. But light exposure wards off seasonal depression and helps you to sleep better. If the sun is shining, I make sure I turn my face towards it for as long as possible!
Mind and Emotions
Use scent to lift your mood. Fill the house with flowering bulbs like hyacinths. Use aromatherapy diffusers to set the mood – I love zesty oils like lemon, lime and grapefruit to create energy at the moment. Use daily rituals like affirmations, meditation or whatever it is that works for you to keep you afloat, here is one of my favourites for this transitional time:
Each day I am renewed, restored and changed. I start again with refreshed purpose and vision.
If you create a daily ritual around these things it will really help you to maintain some balance at this time of year. Much love.