Winter Survival Guide

Embrace winter with these daily practices for a healthy mind, body and spirit…

  • Get outside as much as possible during the day, especially if the sun comes out. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recognised condition – a type of depression caused by lack of sunlight and changes to the body’s circadian rhythm. Getting as much exposure to real daylight as possible can be so helpful.
  • Prioritise sleep. Go to bed earlier and, if possible, lie in later. Don’t feel guilty about this. Sleep is a time for the body to regenerate and renew. We need so much energy during winter to support a healthy immune response. One word of warning – please flick your mobile phone onto flight mode at night. So many people sleep next to their phones. The wi-fi, Bluetooth and mobile data signals your phone emits interfere strongly with deep restorative sleep. It will still work as an alarm clock in flight mode.
  • Eat nourishing food. Cooked food is better than raw in  winter. It requires less energy to digest and provides the body with warmth and easy to assimilate nutrients. Soups, stews, curries are all perfect.
  • Drink plenty. Good hydration is important for kidney health. In Chinese Medicine the kidneys are the primary source of vitality, energy and inner heat. Warm or room temperature drinks are best.
  • Make time to reflect, breathe, meditate. Nourish your inner spirit to generate more strength and resilience for the cold months ahead.
  • I use essential oils in my home for both practical applications and also their mood lifting and immune boosting properties. Diffusing citrus oils like lemon and orange with spicy oils such as clove or cinnamon is an especially good combination for positive mood and boosting immunity.
  • I would also recommend a few key supplements. In an ideal world, we would obtain all our nutrients from good healthy food. I’m not sure that’s entirely possible these days however as food is less nutrient dense than it once was and life is ever more demanding of our energy and mental resilience. So a good multivitamin with some extra vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc is a great place to start in boosting your reserves.