The Importance of Healthy Habits for Winter Wellbeing

The Importance of Healthy Habits for Winter Wellbeing
11th October 2021 James Brooke

The Importance of Healthy Habits for Winter Wellbeing

Tips from a Scandi lifestyle expert on how to beat the winter blues, balance our work, home, and social life, and make the most of the ‘hibernation’ season.

Daylight saving ends in the UK on 31 October, heralding the impending arrival of winter. As days become shorter, weather colder, and the festive social season draws nearer, ensuring a good balance between work, home and play to avoid burnout and boost our health and wellbeing should be a top priority.

Setting ourselves boundaries, implementing healthy habits, and creating a sanctuary at home is essential in order not just to survive, but thrive this winter season.

Here, lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman, provides her Scandi-inspired tips on how to win at winter wellbeing.

Catharina says: “The winter months can understandably make us feel low; waking up to dark mornings, colder temperatures, evenings closing in early, and feeling a need to hibernate indoors rather than enjoying al-fresco living, can all create a sense of doom and gloom. This, compounded with the social pressures of the season, can often lead to lethargy or feeling overwhelmed.

“Us Scandinavians, however, are well versed in ways to make the most of the colder months and have a myriad of tips for Brits on how to make the season not only bearable, but enjoyable too.

“Implementing healthy habits, a daily routine, and making small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. Similarly, the language, thoughts, and mindset we use during the winter can impact mood and happiness levels.

“By simply shifting our mindset to seeing the colder season as an opportunity to gather with friends and family, implement healthy habits, embrace new traditions and try different experiences, it means that the season can be transformed from a gloomy time into a period full of possibility.”

Read on for Catharina’s winter wellbeing tips.

Light up your life

Using the darker months as an opportunity to create a gentle glow in the home is a great way of enhancing your space, making it both welcoming and calming. Hang up softly lit fairy lights and start a warming fire to bring light and warmth into the home, creating a cosy nook where both household members and guests feel drawn to spend downtime.

SAD lamps to combat the lack of daylight through the winter months are a good way of helping your body produce serotonin to boost mood, and reduce melatonin levels, which make us feel sleepy and tired. However, in the UK winter days can often be sunny, so keep curtains open to let natural light stream in and get out in the sunshine as much as possible. Even just a short daily lunchtime stroll in the sun can be a great way of waking up your body, enjoying a change of scene, and loading up the body on much needed vitamins and hormones.

Balance your body

In the summer, eating fresh foods and going for a hike in the hills is an easy and standard activity. As winter sets in of course, the urge to stay in and comfort eat is stronger and hibernation can seem like the most appealing option. To balance our body and minds however, it’s important to ensure we continue to move, eat well, and get the right amount of quality sleep.

Using seasonal winter produce – especially fruit, vegetables, and spices – in your cooking makes for warming dishes that leave you feeling good from the inside out. On the weekends, going for a long invigorating walk means you can soak up the daylight as well as admire the autumnal colours and winter whites. By keeping active during the day your body will also be appropriately tired at night, allowing you to maintain a healthy sleep pattern, which is essential to ensure your internal body clock stays balanced.

Social and downtime

The long nights of winter, especially as we head towards the festive season, bring some of the busiest of the social calendar. While it’s nice to have events in your diary, social pressure and anxiety can build up, especially after a period of less social interaction. Creating space and time in your schedule for downtime to recharge and reset, are just as important as socialising.

Don’t feel that all events are unmissable. Not every social gathering needs to be attended if it won’t actively and positively benefit your wellbeing. Overspending energy socially is an easy trap to fall into, but don’t allow yourself to be afraid or think you are letting anyone down by sitting an event out if you need some downtime. Friends and loved ones will understand if you are honest with them.

Most importantly, have fun the way you want to. Organising an intimate party with warm drinks around the fire, or watching a festive film with friends, can be just as special and memorable as a big, glitzy night out.

Home is your sanctuary

Knowing that there is a calming space to come home to is a pleasing and positive thought.
You can create an uncluttered, inviting space by using neutral tones (paint or wallpaper) to add to the sense of peace, while adding textured soft furnishings such as rugs and blankets can bring dimension – and more cosiness – to the room. A roaring fire, soft lighting (lamps and fairy lights as opposed to ceiling lights), scented candles, blankets, cushions, and warm slippers all make for a more zen-like environment.

Adding in personal touches will make a space your own – a great way to do this is with elements that give you something to do and can invoke calming rituals in the room. A sketch pad or journal on a side table, or a fire to light, allows you to do what makes you happy in your own space. Having a physical space to retreat to is essential for wellbeing, making you feel secure and comforted.

For more information on Contura, please visit www.contura.eu.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

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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 www.contura.eu