The cold of winter is lingering a little longer than we may have hoped. Once winter sets in it’s easy to let health slide as we indulge in rich foods, slow down our outdoor activities and basically bunker down until the cold passes. Winter is actually a beautiful time of the year to take care of the mind, body and spirit. All the energy stored up from autumn is used to keep the body functioning well, so it is not surprising that we feel the need to slow down and rest. Unfortunately, even though seasonally our bodies crave this slowing down, life is busy and many of us continue to push through winter susceptible to illness, fatigue and mental drain. Rather than wear yourself out, try these simple, highly beneficial self care rituals that help us through this seasonal shift.
1. Soak in a Bath
Take some time out for yourself, and allow stress to melt away. Soak in a warm epsom salt bath with a few drops of your favourite essential oil blend. We love Perfect Potion’s Relax blend – a beautiful synergy of calming scents. Epsom Salts have been used for hundreds of years and have many benefits including flushing toxins from the body, relieving muscle tightness and easing stress in the body so that you can relax.
2. Early to bed, early to rise
Winter is an important time of the year to have our own form of hibernation, we need to allow our bodies to rest and heal. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests nurturing the kidney energy (our sense of power and vitality) by getting to bed by 10pm and rising by 7am.
3. Eat nourishing foods
It’s easy to get lazy with our food as the cold weather creeps in. Try and keep the principles of SLOW in mind (Seasonal, Local, Organic, Wholefoods). Foods that are warm in temperature are much easier for the body to digest in the cooler months. Try this delicious Kitchari recipe from our chef Tash – https://www.billabongretreat.c
4. Move your body
Nurture your body with movement that allows you to conserve energy whilst building strength. One of the most beneficial ways to enhance physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is to practice yoga. Some great yoga poses during winter are those that lengthen and stretch the spine and hamstrings– try cobra, locust, forward bend, and shoulderstand – these poses will help to balance the hormonal and adrenal systems, relax the body and reduce any feelings of stress.
The breadth of research coming out around meditation and it’s benefits are impressive. Not only can meditation reduce stress and calm the mind, it can also help reduce inflammation in the body, thus keeping you healthy through the winter months. Deep breathing and focused attention slows down brain waves, creating a more relaxed state of mind. This allows us to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn, releases endorphins which flood the brain with “happy” hormones. Try this beautiful warming tea meditation by our teacher Basia:
About the Author
Heather Sunshine, Retreat Host
Heather is a multi passionate dreamer and doer on a bold mission to empower others to step up to their highest potential without the waffle and with a whole lot of real. Heather is a yoga teacher and holistic wellness coach that has set up The Luminous Life to inspire clients to illuminate the body, mind and heart to wake the soul. She oozes infectious optimism and is a massive life inspirer, keeping it real in a world that often gets lost in the superficial.