Transformation, harvest, letting go… There’s a lot to love in Autumn, but when the hour went back this week, it suddenly felt a bit dark… and rather cold!
We’re turning our focus towards cosier days – warm clothes, woolly blankets, candle-light nights and other comforting ways to sustain ourselves through the colder days (and nights).
BUT it’s important to find a balance and not hibernate completely. Staying active during this season can help to combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), as well as keep your mind sharp and your body working – so you can hit the ground running come Springtime!
If your routine is changing with the season, and you just don’t feel as energised as you did in Spring and Summer, here are some ideas to switch it up and keep yourself motivated and moving until the light returns.
Keeping your body and mind active through the winter is very important, especially if you are someone who naturally finds the colder months a little dark and depressing. Both physical and mental activities can keep our internal flame bright. So, wherever it’s safe and permissible, keep up with your regular activities, making reasonable adjustments wherever you need to – high vis gear for darker nights, running buddies, etc. On nights in, look for a creative hobby to keep your mind occupied.
They may be fewer, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get fresh air in your lungs. Wrap up warm and get out there whenever you can. Lightweight base layers can sit snugly under your workout gear to keep the chill at bay whilst retaining your mobility. Whether your activity is a run, hike or a brisk dog walk followed by a pub lunch, every step counts!
Make it Social
No doubt, it is hard to motivate yourself when it’s cold, dark and dreary. Make your next yoga class a date with a friend, or a frosty morning walk with a loved one. Making the effort to include others enhances your wellbeing and makes you far more likely to stay motivated. It also bolsters our sense of connection and community, which is so important in the darker half of the year.
Add in a bit of challenge to stop things from feeling stagnant. It could be as simple as trying a new exercise, hobby or setting a new goal. Or why not try a new yoga class? Allow your body to move in new, unexpected ways and just maybe fall in love with a new practice… Our beautifully heated yoga studio is a sanctuary on the coldest days and our classes are a balm for chilly muscles. Try practicing at a new time of day, to shake up your routine and see what reaps the best benefit.
Trying new things can stimulate the mind as well as the body. Try something creative – such as wreath-making or pottery, learn to bake, or for a real brain tease, try an ‘escape room in a box’ puzzle. These are sent to your home with artefacts, puzzles and documents to piece together and a mystery to be solved. For something more nurturing, try a gong bath or sound healing session, where chimes crystal singing bowls and/or gongs and used to create a soundscape. The vibrations of sound move through the floor, walls and the air, creating a feeling that the sound is washing over you, to promote deep healing and relaxation.
Creating connections and community is so important in winter. If you have a little time spare, using it in service of others allows you to take your yoga off the mat and into the community. You might wish to volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank, or homeless shelter. Or look for an opportunity closer to home – collect shopping for a vulnerable neighbour, or volunteer for a buddy service that connects lonely older people for phone calls to enhance their wellbeing.
Having something to look forward to is a wonderful thought, so if the cold is getting you down – give yourself a little sunshine to look forward to with one of our luxury retreats!