February is here! I can't believe the beginning of the year has gone by so quickly! I still feel like saying Happy New Year to everyone I haven't seen since the end of last year. This year is going to be a challenging one given everything happening in the economy, but I still feel very optimistic about the business. We're working on some things to make our products more easily available for our US customers, and the team is better than ever, so things feel very positive. As it's February, as a team, our theme is love, and in the spirit of self love, I've come up with a few things to be kind to ourselves even when it seems inhospitable outside.
The winter months can be rough with the coldness and dark, and by the time February rolls around, I often find myself longing for spring all the while knowing that I’m still very much in the depths of winter. There is a little respite as the days start to get ever so slightly longer, but given we’re all probably suffering from low vitamin-D and a bit of season affective disorder, I thought it would be good to look at 5 things we can do to practice self-love and self-kindness in the winter months.
Plan Exciting Winter Activities
I’m good at planning activities that make winter feel fun in December when everything is bright and festive, but I’m not great at doing it once the new year rolls around. Yet, there are so many exciting things to do in the winter. For those with the means, skill or inclination, winter is the perfect time for winter sports like skiing, ice skating or sledding. If you’re like me and the thought of being out in more cold sounds like torture, then focus on indoor activities, like going to a cosy jazz bar, or the theatre, or maybe heading to the gym or spa to use the sauna (extra points for imagining you’re in Iceland for atmosphere). If you have children, get them involved and plan fun indoor activities, like a fondue night, hot chocolate night or bake cookies. Planning big or little activities that are cosy and / or “wintry” adds a bit of excitement to the dull weather outside.
Make Your Home Cosy
Since winter generally means spending more time indoors, it’s a perfect time to embrace cosiness and make your space warm and inviting. Drape a warm blanket over your favourite chair, so you can be extra cosy while reading a book or watching Netflix. Light a candle with a scent that makes you feel relaxed. If you’re lucky enough to have a fire place, clean it out and enjoy the warmth and the gorgeous smell of a fresh fire. A cosy atmosphere is perfect for self-reflection, so settle into your comfy chair and meditate, journal, or simply watch your favourite tv show.
Winter is the perfect time for comfort food. Last year I bought a cheap raclette machine on Amazon, and spent some memorable winter evenings pouring melted cheese over potatoes and the vegetables we grilled. Comfort food can be healthy. Soups are tasty and the perfect way to get in your 5-a-day. One of my favourites is a Chicken, Lentil and Vegetable soup – healthy, filling and very delicious.
Even though the weather may make you feel like you can’t get out of bed, it’s important to get some daylight and fresh air each day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it’s important to get out of the house and into some air. The added bonus is that you get moving too. If you live close to a park, even better, you can appreciate a bit of winter nature, which might be less green, but is no less beautiful.
Make Plans with Loved Ones
We’re all about self-love, but an important part of that is spending time with people that make you happy. Invite a friend over, head over to a friend with pop-corn for a movie marathon. Invite a friend to see an exhibition at a local museum or gallery. Getting out is a lot easier when it’s to meet someone you care for.