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Practical Ways to Boost Wellbeing this Winter

Practical Ways to Boost Wellbeing this Winter
8 January 2024 Samantha Anderson

Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura shares practical guide to keeping calm, energised, and cheerful through the colder months.

Though the shortest day of the year is now behind us, there’s still a way to go until the first of the spring flowers begin to bloom. And, with most of us back at work following the Christmas break, the short, dark, cold days can feel even more bleak now that the anticipation and delights of the festive season have been and gone.

There is no better time explore and embrace simple ways to boost wellbeing to counter the January gloom. Let’s find ways to create our own glow to ensure we start the year as we mean to go on.

Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Bjorkman, says: “Swedish winters are known for being long and harsh. Not only do you have the bitter cold to contend with but there is little to no sunlight. In January, the sun rises around 8.47am and sets at 2.55pm. So we’re well versed in the various straightforward, practical ways we can boost wellbeing at this time of year.

“And it’s not just about hunkering down indoors. Dressing for the weather, embracing the outdoors, awe hunting, enjoying soul food and practising gratitude all play a big part in keeping you content in the depths of winter.”

Read on for Catharina’s practical guide to boosting mood this winter…

Embrace the outdoors

Getting out into nature for as little as five minutes a day has been linked to boosting mood and self-esteem. This supports the Nordic philosophy of friluftsliv, based upon the belief that spending more time outdoors and being in harmony with nature is hugely beneficial to both physical and mental wellbeing. So, though you might not feel like leaving the cosy comforts of your home to head out into the chilly winter weather, you won’t regret it once you do.

Sunshine – even its brief appearances throughout winter – is believed to stimulate the production of serotonin (a hormone that plays a key role in mood, digestion, and sleep). Similarly, physical exercise – whether a brisk walk around the block, a gentle jog to your local park, or bike ride into work – will help boost the production of endorphins, aka the happy hormone.

Light to feel bright

Whilst it is important to get outdoors and make the most of the natural daylight, the shorter days do inevitably increase the amount of time spent inside, so it is essential to be mindful when it comes to illuminating your home. Done right, interior lighting has the potential to help boost your mood even on the darkest of winter days.

Keep in mind that brighter does not necessarily mean better; a harsh, singular, uniform glare emitted by a ceiling light does little to make your home feel like a cosy haven in which to wind down in, but rather, can feel cold and clinical.

Instead, opt to create the semblance of natural light. Layering the soft, varied glows of table and floor lamps, a candle’s delicate flame, fairy lights, the blaze of a woodburning stove, and even dimmable ceiling lights, will help to recreate the depth, texture, and tone of natural light. Not only will this light up your interiors, but it will help to create an environment that is restorative, relaxing, and comfortable – essential functions of any home.

Feed your soul

Many of us tend to enter January feeling a little lethargic, which is unsurprising considering that the average Brit is thought to consume almost 20,000 extra calories thanks to the daily doses of chocolate, mulled wine and cheese throughout December. Whilst the sweet treats of the festive season are undeniably delicious, they do little to sustain our body’s energy levels.

To kick off your year energised, calm, and fighting fit, fill yourself with simple, homemade, and nutrient-dense foods. Such a diet will do wonders for your energy levels, immune system, and quality of sleep, to name only a few benefits. Think warming porridges topped with seasonal fruit, hearty soups and nourishing stews packed with veg.

Make healthy snacking an easy and convenient option by having chopped carrots, cucumbers, and homemade dips in the fridge. A cupboard filled with pre-portioned nut, seed, and dried fruit trail mixes and a varied and full fruit bowl are essential to for grab-and-go snacking.

Embrace an attitude of gratitude

Practising daily gratitude has been found to have a positive impact on both mental and physical wellbeing; from boosting focus and mood, to improving sleep and immunity.

From witnessing a beautiful morning sky, reading a great chapter in a book, or eating a delicious meal, to receiving a thoughtful text, lighting your favourite candle, hugging a loved one, or simply being able to breathe through your nose after a wretched cold (!), every day is filled with reasons to feel grateful.

Whether you think of five things when you wake up each morning or write a line or two in a journal before you head to sleep, this simple yet effective exercise will help you take a moment to pause, reflect on, and appreciate the many things that bring you joy each day.

And breathe…

Breathwork is another habit which, when practised daily, has been found to reduce stress . One of the simplest ways to practise this is with the box breathing technique. Simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for four seconds before beginning again.

Breathwork is also a key component of meditation, which can help you manage stress, make you more self-aware and reduce negative feelings. In the long term it can also reduce anxiousness, lower blood pressure, increase immunity and even lead to better sleep. If you struggle with meditation, try downloading a guided practise to help you through the process. And don’t worry if it feels awkward or strange; commit and keep trying – it will quickly become an important part of your everyday.

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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:
Tilly Everard | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)203 440 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 £1,495, 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. All 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.

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