As we move into the winter months, down here in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun moves north and we lose daylight (daylight savings ends at Easter). However, we can still celebrate the change of season in lots of different ways.
Here are 30 great tips for staying well, vibrant and happy over winter.
- A few drops of lime or rosemary essential oil on a face cloth in your morning shower, helps overcome tiredness, stimulating the immune system. Jasmine and myrrh also promote wellbeing, alleviating nervous tension and fatigue (all oils are available at Commonsense Organics Kilbirnie).
- The smell of baked apples or baked bread increases your serotonin levels making you feel content and happy. Why not try it and see how you feel.
- Wipe your car upholstery and steering wheel with drops of lavender or tea tree oil, this helps create a sense of relaxation and can limit the transfer of gems between work and home.
- Vaporising some essential oil in a small bowl of hot water at work or home – juniper, rose geranium, and eucalyptus – helps purify our work spaces, increasing a general sense of well-being and mood elevation.
- Roasting fragrant herbs and spices adds culinary enjoyment – coriander, cumin seed and ginger have medicinal effects, helping with digestion and immunity; rosemary sticks and sage twigs make great fragrant BBQ skewers for halloumi and vegetable kebabs.
- Sew or knit a bright scarf and wear it to work or yoga. This not only uplifts your mood and boosts the mood of others, it also protects your throat and chest from the wind and cold.
- Bottle and preserve some bright red plums, green fijoas, or sweet golden peaches while they are still in season. These can be used over the next few months, making delicious winter deserts.
- Redecorate your lounge room or outdoor seated areas to be a place of warmth and comfort. Add warm coloured cushion covers, bright vases, and mirrors that reflect natural light. Make an outdoor fire pit out of bricks, or a terracotta plant pot. Toast marshmallows around the fire. You can have fun in the cold with a positive attitude.
- Buy some beautiful candles, or make your own floating-wick candle out of mustard oil or ghee (clarified butter) and a cotton wool wick. Natural light helps boost your serotonin levels (your happy chemicals!)
- Invest in some solar lights and put them on your path and in your trees (Bunnings or The Warehouse). Make a winter wonderland in your own front yard and celebrate new forms of light.
- Nourishing homemade soups like LAKSA can boost the immune system. These can be made easily with coconut milk, lime leaves or zest, turmeric, onion, garlic, chilli, spices, and seasonal vegetables. Plus, turmeric helps stop the growth of cancer cells.
- Hot mulled wine (red wine, honey, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, water, orange juice) can lift the spirits on a dull or taxing day.
- Garlic fried in ghee (clarified butter) can help alleviate joint pain.
- Cinnamon, which is great for the heart and has anti-inflammatory properties, can be added to hot milk – along with nutmeg, clove, for a soothing nightcap.
- Hot toddies made of lemon juice, grated ginger, manuka honey, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of chilli (and even a drop or two of whiskey) is a great way to get rid of cold symptoms, boosting an immune response.
Thyme essential oil rubbed onto the palms or soles helps stimulate the metabolism and increase circulation, preventing chilblains.
- Make a hot water bottle cover from an old woollen sweater. Take your hottie in the car; refill it when you need a boost of warmth … ha ha bring it to yoga!
- Go to a sauna, visit some hot pools, make an outdoor bath, soak in the tub, get a couple of extra hot water bottles for bed. Soaking and appreciating hot water is far more enjoyable in winter than in summer.
- Bring your favourite blanket and warm socks to yoga for relaxation. If you don’t have any warm socks or blankets, the wool store in Evans Bay sells amazingly warm bright alpaca blankets and marino wool socks
- Some sounds have a healing effect – German scientist and musician Ernst Chladni demonstrated that sound affects matter. He formed various geometric patterns using different violin notes. Dr. Hans Jenny also showed that sound has powerful effect on matter. Go online and listen to the sound of 528 & 432 hz –, or ask for sound-work at your next yoga class.
- Some sounds have an uplifting effect. The Wellington Youth Choir is performing on Saturday May 23rd, at St Pauls Paraparaumu, 2.30pm. Wellington Community Choir will be performing at the Michael Fowler Centre 29th August.
- Some sounds create sonic overload. Unwanted sounds such as radio or TV adverts, cell phone messages, and mindless chat can cause mental and emotional stress. Simplify your soundscape by savouring silence, wearing noise-cancelling headphones, or try listening to the many sounds that already fill our busy urban landscape.
- Some sounds are toxic and can affect your emotional/ mental wellbeing. Turn off wi-fi systems when not in use. Try to avoid participating in negative speech. Shun gossip that casts people in negative lights. “If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.” ~ Earl Wilson
- Use compassionate, kind language when addressing others and referring to yourself. This helps create open expression and positive communication.
- Why not join our 40 DAY YOGA CHALLENGE … ask Ali for more details
- Come to our next Mid-Winter Solstice event in mid-June.
- Do a random act of kindness and watch enjoyment flow to others and then back to you!
- Come to India with Ali and a new group of adventurous yogis in December 2015!
- Finally, yoga is a great way to maintain good health and wellbeing over winter. The following article explains how to overcome the ‘9 Obstacles of Yoga.’