Winter is a time of festivities, rich food, family and friends, and cozy nights in; it’s also a time for plummeting temperatures, weight-gain, and mental and emotional difficulties. In winter we need to be aware of the dangers to our wellbeing more than ever and take steps to guard it. 

There are various ways you can do this and in the article we look at some of them. There are ideas to help keep you inspired, to keep your mental and emotional wellbeing on track, and create an appropriate winter diet to support your system without the extra weight gain. 

The winter season creeps in without us noticing and before we know it there are changes to our metabolism and mental health. Remember that these changes are sometimes outwith your control and take steps to improve your winter lifestyle. 

Make a Joy List

In order to get the most out of your life this winter you need to know what things bring you joy and inspiration. There’s no point in following other people’s ideas if they don’t inspire you into the right way. 

A joy list is a list of activities, people, and situations that bring you inspiration and make you feel re-energized. By reflecting on these things and writing them down you create an excellent resource for inspiring yourself through the winter months. 

When you have your list try to use it on a daily or weekly basis. If you keep your list loose it means you can choose items based on how you feel at any given time, that will help bring you the inspiration you need. 

Find Your Winter Ritual

Human beings are creatures of habit. We love our rituals and have done since the dawn of time. Whether it’s attending an event at a standing stone or lighting tea light candles for your bath, there’s something meaningful about the routine. 

Having a ritual in winter is excellent for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. A ritual such as a winter walk, a herbal tea in the evening, or a regular online meet up or class gives your life steadiness and structure.

If you reflect on your lifestyle you will notice that you already have many habits and routines. Some may be healthy, others not so much. Try to identify what habits might become rituals and make a commitment to practicing them. 

Get Cozy

In winter the temperature drops. One day you wake up and there’s frost on the grass and your car is frozen. You start to feel cold in your home when you would normally and everything becomes more of an effort. 

But this time of year doesn’t have to be cold and remote, it’s the perfect time to make your life cozy and enjoy the season. The first thing you want to do is make your home warm, you can do this with effective insulation and intelligent heating. 

After you’re warm enough it’s time to decorate your home and bring it to life. Introduce candles, fairy lights, and nature sounds into your home, curl up with a good book or online series and enjoy the season. 

Make a Winter Diet 

Our metabolisms change in winter along with the change in climate which can affect our weight without us realising it. Less of the feel-good chemical serotonin is produced due to lack of sunlight so we start to crave heavy foods instead.

Unhealthy food that tastes good such as pizza, fries, burgers, and takeaway booths our serotonin and replaces the sunlight, but it also puts on weight and makes us feel lethargic. A better option is a winter diet with tips to support your immune system.

Get your serotonin from exercise instead of food then you will crave unhealthy food much less. This frees you up, you can then plan a healthy winter menu full of fresh winter vegetables and delicious soups. By the time spring arrives you won’t have any winter weight to contend with. 

Practice Self-compassion 

Compassion can mean many things, it can mean kindness, patience, tolerance, understanding, empathy, and much more. Most people are compassionate to some extent, at least when it comes to other people and animals. 

Unfortunately, those same people who are kind to others are not so kind to themselves. In their heads they might talk themselves down and create a negative self-image. This is especially prevalent in the winter when the climate also affects us.

Practicing self-compassion is always important so we can be the best version of ourselves, but in the winter it’s vitally important to be kind to ourselves and keep our spirits lively. Self-compassion is not always easy but it’s worth the effort.