Tis the season to be merry, cheerful bubbly and bright…or is it? In previous years, in our evolutionary past, we would have hunkered down in winter. We would have fattened up too if we could. When the sun set we’d have gone to bed and when it rose we would have got up. Our diet and our sleep patterns would have adapted for the winter months. Mother Nature even sees to it that we have a bounty of herbs, vegetables and berries that give us what we need at that time of year. A classic example of this would be the rosehips and elderberries we see in hedgerows and gardens every autumn. These are packed with vitamin c and other nutrients that can help keep coughs and colds at bay. Yet in our fast paced world, we expect to keep going as normal in the winter months. We push ourselves hard. We rarely adapt for the coming winter.
Many of my customers tell me they feel more tired at the moment, and they are starting to feel more exposed to viral infections, especially in their work environments or if their children are at school. Even the winds change in the winter as they become, bizarrely, drier. Combine this with central heating and heating our cars and suddenly your skin becomes a lot drier and parched. So you may need to drink more than you think and change or enhance your skincare and ensure you moisturise to a deeper level.
Below are some tips to help you adapt and get ready for the winter:
- Continue to drink plenty of water – most of us drink less in cold weather. Try a mug of warm water and add a little elderflower syrup or a squeeze of lemon
- Use a natural facial serum or facial oil before using your moisturiser (these penetrate to a deeper level in your skin and therefore offer more protection). Using one containing essential oils means you benefit from the mood enhancing properties of the oils too.
- Ensure you have good levels of vitamin C. preferably in your diet but if not then you can take a good organic supplement
- Give yourself a boost with some Echinacea herbal tea (avoid if pregnant)
- Use an aroma stone or a diffuser to maximise the anti-viral properties of some essential oils. A diffuser is especially good in a dry environment as it may also act as a mini humidifier. One of my favourites this time of year is pine. Cinnamon is also an amazingly Christmassy smell and combines nicely with orange for an uplifting zing!
- Try a slow cooker – you can come home to a warm hearty meal and therefore save time in the evening and bank a little bit more sleep time! Many of have amazing herbs in our gardens that are packed full of goodness and work well in casseroles such as thyme or sage
- Give yourself a minute to take stock. What do you need to do or set up in so you feel prepared for the coming months? Have you built in ‘rest time’ amongst the frantic pre-Christmas preparations?
Most of all enjoy the change in seasons, be aware of the wonderful things that happen every year around each season and be thankful.
I wish you a healthy, happy winter.