Indulging in hot cocoa, feeling snuggly in winter bedding, cosying up with someone you love... The winter months may be chilly but inwardly, they’re a time for warmth and togetherness and a chance to take life at a more leisurely pace. Embracing flow can also benefit our mental and physical health.
According to Mita Mistry in her book All You Need is Rest, rest can be just as important as diet and exercise to our overall sense of well-being. Fulfilling your body’s need for wakeful rest, whether that involves walks, yoga or simply solitude can go a long way to sustaining the body and boosting the brain. Studies also show that wakeful rest plays just as important a role as practice in learning a new skill.
Winter in particular often brings on feelings of stress and fatigue. Our mood and energy levels are influenced by exposure to light, and the fewer daylight hours can be harder for us to feel our best. Many people experience the October sleep slump once the clocks go back, making everyday moments of self-care even more vital than ‘duvet days’ in the cold winter months.
Simple ways to celebrate rest in everyday life:
Most people focus their gratitude on the 'big' things rather than the little things in life. However, research suggests it’s small moments of joy, such as taking a long bath or jumping into a bed of clean and cosy winter bed sheets that make life pleasurable, rather than expensive trips abroad.
Take deep breaths
Taking a few minutes to practice deep breathing works wonders and you can do it anywhere. You get the most benefit when you make it part of a regular routine, e.g. in the morning while making your cup of coffee or waiting for your computer to turn on. You could even practice deep breathing while still huddled beneath your winter bedding to help energise you for the day ahead. See our buyers guide to choosing the best tog for winter warmth.
Stay active in winter
Our motivation for exercise often flags in winter despite needing it just as much to keep health and wellbeing levels up. Take your workouts outdoors to benefit from winter’s natural light or go for a morning or lunchtime stroll to tick off your sunlight quota and stay fit. A lack of natural light can also disrupt the body’s internal clock (sleep-wake cycle), making it harder to get high-quality sleep.
Be kind to yourself
The key to any ‘duvet day’ is relaxation so fill your fridge with nutrient-rich comfort food and take a break from booze. Create a cosy living space with candles, feel-good fabrics and the best blanket for winter warmth. Continue the spiritual nourishment in the bedroom with soft and silky winter bed linen and a winter duvet perfect for hibernating in (or at least until it’s time to get up!).