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Start 2021 on the Right Foot: Find Balance and Calm this Winter

Start 2021 on the Right Foot: Find Balance and Calm this Winter
16 December 2020 James Brooke

Top tips from Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura.

Has there ever been a year we’ve all been so keen to see the back of? It’s fair to say that 2020 has been exhausting. Never has it been so important to take good care of ourselves and those around us, but doing so amidst an ongoing global pandemic is tricky to say the least.

Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at Swedish wood burning stove brand, Contura, shares her tips on finding balance and calm as we head towards the new year.

Catharina says: “We all know what we should be doing in order to take care of ourselves but it’s easy to lose sight of the basics amongst all of the quick-fix options being thrust upon us from all directions. We have a tendency to go all out, trying to implement 101 different strategies all at once, which will only ever serve to make us feel dejected when we’re unable to stick to them.

“In Sweden, we have the term ‘lagom’, which translates as just the right amount; not too much and not too little. This is the perfect way to approach wellbeing – focusing on a few basic and important life goals that are bound to leave you feeling balanced and re-centered as we approach the end of this tumultuous year and begin a new one.”

Read on for Catharina’s five top tips.

Prioritise sleep and rest

Aim to get no less than 7-9 hours’ sleep each night – it’s essential to ensuring your body is able to rest and repair before each new day. A good night’s sleep can boost your immune system, improve your mood and increase productivity – things that we’re all much in need of as 202 comes to a close.

Many people assume that sleep is simply a switch; you’re awake or you’re asleep, however, it’s rarely that simple. Sleep is a process that starts with a wind-down routine and relies on you committing to a similar routine every day. Think of it as a muscle that needs to be strengthened, daily.

A wind-down routine can be as little as 15-30 minutes before bed and consists of mental and physical signifiers to your body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep – enjoy a warm bath or shower, read a book, do some gentle stretches or focus on your breathing.

If you’re struggling with anxiety about the next day, try journaling or free-flow drawing. You’ll often find that if you get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, they’re less of a distraction.

It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it serves to make you feel relaxed and you are consistent with whatever routine works best for you.

Get moving

Enjoying some form of exercise first thing each morning is the perfect way to start your day on a positive note. Physical activity has huge potential to enhance wellbeing and it doesn’t need to be a high impact fitness routine that leaves you aching for days. Wrap up warm and enjoy a brisk walk in the fresh air or do a gentle yoga workout. Just 10 minutes of exercise can increase mental alertness, energy and boost mood.

Regular physical activity can also serve to increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. Who doesn’t need those benefits after the year we’ve had?

Eat fresh, seasonal foods

Whilst it can be easier to think of biscuits, cakes or chocolates as comfort foods and easy energy boosts, these will only serve you in the moment as they offer little in the way of nutrients. Consider turning to these as treats rather than daily staples. Come mealtimes opting for fresh, seasonal foods that are more nutrient dense will keep your energy levels up and your immune system in tip top shape.

Apples, beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, cranberries, kale, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, pears, potatoes, red cabbage, watercress and turnips are all delicious and currently in season in the UK.

For seasonal snacking enjoy chopped apple with nut butter, home-made kale crisps, sliced pear and blue cheese or make your own trail mix with dried cranberries, raisins, nuts and dark chocolate chips.

Winter ‘spring’ clean

It’s tempting to let items pile up on shelves, tables, chairs and surfaces; left ‘to be dealt with’ another day, but as we approach the start of a new year, it’s the ideal time to consider decluttering your home.

Look through your wardrobe, at your bookshelves, side tables, desks… Any nick-nacks, papers or clothing dotted throughout the house should only be kept if you have a real connection to them or find them useful.

Sort anything you don’t want to keep into what can be donated or needs to be thrown away or recycled.

You’ll be surprised how much more relaxed you feel in a tidy, clutter-free home.

Ditch the tech

Whether it’s the constant news alerts, work emails, or losing hours of your life scrolling through social media, the best thing you can do is to put the tech away.

Not only will you discover time that would have otherwise been wasted by staring at a screen, but it could also reduce your stress levels. Being ‘on’ 24/7 isn’t healthy for mind nor body; both need time to recover from daily stresses.

Start by committing to spend one hour tech-free a day. Instead you could do something creative like painting, colouring or drawing, reading a book, enjoying a stroll in the park, gardening, baking, or writing post cards or letters to send to loved ones. Why not just spend a tech free hour enjoying a long hot soak in the bath…

Before long you’ll find this time spent re-connecting with yourself an invaluable part of your daily routine.

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Notes to editors:

  • Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
  • The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Jo Kendall | Julie Aguilera
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Contura:
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

Starting at £1,095, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.

Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.

Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.

Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.

For more information please visit