For me, this time of year is a struggle Mumma. I’m not a Winter person. Do you suffer with the January blues too? If so, then you’re not alone. Read on as I share my thoughts and suggest 5 ways to nourish yourself this Winter.
Back to Reality
The boys and I made it through the first week back to school after the Christmas holidays. It was tough, I knew it would be. Mild anxiety always visits me as we face the early morning rush, all of us disoriented by waking up to an alarm for the first time in two weeks. The protests from the kids not wanting to go to school and the inner turmoil I feel – wanting to stay in our holiday bubble, but also needing time and space to myself. Feeling guilt as I march them to school against their will, but also feeling relief that routine will help us all feel grounded again.
So, yes, here we are back to ‘normal’. The Christmas magic feels light years away. The joys and disappointments of the festive period have faded away for now, until they come around again next year.
And now January looms with the air of expectation of a new start. But nothing irritates me more than all of this ‘New Year, New Me’. Seeing people all over social media charging forth and raring to go with their goals, diets, exercise, career, making a million dollars blah blah blah.
I wish I could feel that motivated, but I absolutely do not. Winter for me is not a time when I have extra energy for self-improvement and pushing forward with life.
It feels like it should be time to slow down, reflect, muse on our dreams. It’s a time to be easy on ourselves, get more rest and sleep. Its nice to plant seeds of ideas, but not until Spring do they flower into buds that need action. I like the idea of working with the cycles of nature. It flows better for me.
I heard a woman in the shop yesterday say how much she loves the new year and the ‘freshness’ of it all. I feel anything but fresh, I feel tired and drained actually. And if I’m honest, panicked at all the talk of resolutions and this year being ‘The Year’…I just don’t feel it right now. But I know this too shall pass. I know that Spring will soon come and so with it my spark and lust for life.
5 Ways to Nourish Yourself This Winter
In the meantime I do try and keep myself healthy and nourished. I know the value of taking care of mind and body all year round, and especially during Winter when it feels harder. So, below I share 5 self-nourishing actions I’m taking that you can try too. Maybe they will help you ease gently into the new year with self-love, rather than setting rigid goals that set you up for a fail.
1. Drink lots of warm herbal teas.
Keeping your tummy warm keeps you soothed and calm in the cold weather. I love to keep hydrated but drinking too much cold water can shock your digestive system and according to Ayurvedic science, put you out of balance. Instead, try cutting up some fresh ginger root and pouring over hot water in a mug to give yourself a warming drink. Add a little raw honey and you’ve got yourself a wonderful health tonic, as ginger and honey both have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
2. Use your slow cooker
I’m all up for healthy eating after the festive indulgences but Mumma, put away the salad! That stuff is for hot weather! Ayurvedic wisdom says we should eat in season and dose up on warming foods in the winter in order to sooth your gut. Science now shows that the gut and brain are connected and what you eat affects your mood. Anxiety and depression have been linked to digestive issues such as IBS. So this winter why not make some nutritious and gut-warming dinners in your slow cooker. This way of cooking retains lots of the vitamins and nutrients in food and gives so much flavour, especially if you use fresh herbs. My slow cooker faves are chicken casserole, vegetable stew and lamb tagine.
We Mummas are just so busy and as much as I love journaling, it’s always something I always struggle to make time for. But during Winter I find it a source of comfort and healing, so I make sure to keep my journal and pen by my bed and even if I can only write a few setences, I express myself each day. It releases pent up emotions and often as you write down your feelings, solutions and new ways of thinking bubble up. So give it a go and commit to just opening up to whatever comes up. Don’t think, just write. You will be surprised at what surfaces up for releasing. Soemtimes I start by just writing ‘I have come here to write’…and wait for the words to flow.
4. Make exciting plans
While I’m still needing more rest, sleep and TV comforts in the winter, I like to jot down exciting plans for the year ahead when I know my energy levels will be back up. Family meet ups, weekends away, day trips out…I write a list of all I want us to do and start drawing up plans from my bed or sofa. It makes me feel like I’m still progressing with life and I feel good knowing we have lots of activity to look forward to when the time is right!
5. Get more sleep
Sleep is so nourishing for our bodies and mind. As a society we are all more sleep-deprived than ever. So take advantage of the dark evenings and get to bed that little bit earlier. It will boost your immunity and stablise your moods if you suffer with low mood in the winter. It’s also so good for your kids to be getting the right amount of sleep, so they can grow, heal and solidify learning (see my article on boosting kids immunity here). So make it a family thing to introduce more zzz’s .
There you go Mumma, I hope you give these ideas a try. And before Spring and Summer arrive with a flurry of action and energy, make the most of this time when it is okay to be quiet and restful.
Let me know your ideas on how you keep happy and healthy this season.