The Five Steps to Thriving in Winter
By Mandy Francisty
When Courtenay asked me to write an article about this topic I found it quite timely, as this is my first 'real' Winter that I have experienced in 8 years!!
I made the move from sunny Perth to Christchurch just 9 weeks ago now. The first week that I arrived it was the coldest week on record in April and it rained soooo much.
It was a serious shock to my system and I am not going to lie, I STRUGGLED!!!
I look back at that week in comparison to the few weeks that have been the same since then and I reflect...
And I have been THRIVING through those types of Winter weeks now, rather than SURVIVING!
So what have I been doing differently? What has changed?
Number 1 - My Mindset
The first week I got here I found myself 'resisting' the winter and cold.
I was fighting the change in weather and literally the change in vibes. As a response to the resistance, I was also resisting doing all the self-care practises that I usually did each day up until then.
In my mind I thought as the weather was 'shitty' I couldn’t do any of the things that I usually did. Also in moving to a new country I was well out of routine and my self-care had slipped as a result. Upon reflection now it wasn’t the weather that was getting me down and in a rut...
It was my LACK OF SELF CARE!!
About 7 weeks ago I decided to CHANGE MY MINDSET when it comes to winter. Instead of resisting it, I choose to accept it and EMBRACE IT! I embrace all that Winter has to offer.
A beautiful time to slow down, sleep in, snuggle up, to focus on the creative aspects of my life and work, for more self-care like reading, journaling and baths, and I have made a promise to myself to embrace the outdoors in winter as nature is a massive part of my self care.
As soon as I learnt to EMBRACE winter my whole experience of life here and of my first winter has changed. I now wake up and embrace the day and what it has to offer - regardless of the weather!
Number 2 - Self Care
I touched on this above, but SELF CARE is so important throughout the entire year! Summer, autumn, winter and spring.
Self care practices set you up for your day and also 'fill up your cup' so that you can lead a happy, fulfilled life - regardless of the seasons.
So I strongly encourage you, if you do not already, to put some daily self care practices into place.
For example, I start my day, no matter what, with a hot drink and journaling. This is what I do before I start anything else in my day. I find it sets me up and puts me in a great headspace - I feel amazing as I have started the day doing something for me!
So, take a think about 'what lights me up?' and 'what fills up my cup?', and do something off those lists EACH day, regardless of the weather.
By doing this you bring some sunshine into your life!
Number 3 - Sunshine
Speaking of sunshine, get outside each day.
I go outside for a non-negotiable 15 minutes a day, regardless of the weather, to get some fresh air and if the sun is shining some much needed Vitamin D.
A lack of Vitamin D can cause seasonal depression - if you feel like you are suffering from this try and get as much sun as you can during the winter months and even supplement with a good quality Vitamin D supplement.
Nature is super healing and will most certainly raise our spirits!
Number 4 - Move Your Body
In winter it can be tempting to stay in bed all tucked up in the warmth. This is nice to do at times, allowing yourself to slow down, however, moving your body is also a great way to release endorphins (the feel good hormone) which we can easily lack in winter.
Always remember how amazing you feel post-exercise. In fact a great technique is to visualise yourself 15 minutes after successful completion of moving your body... feel what you will feel, see what you will see and hear what you will hear. This technique is proven to motivate you to get your butt out of bed and to get moving!
Even use these winter months to try new forms of exercise such as Yoga (if you are in Christchurch I would love to see you at one of my classes - head to www.mandyfrancisty.com), Pilates, Group Fitness etc., that will spice up your life during the winter months. You can always also meet your friend for a coffee and a stroll outdoors.
Your movement doesn't have to be strenuous, what matters is that you simply move!!
Number 5 - Eat to Nourish Your Soul
In the winter we can be drawn to comfort foods such as bread on bread on bread (haha!), but our gut is our “second brain” and what we eat (our nutrition) is strongly linked to how we feel (our emotions).
So when we eat bread on bread on bread… most likely we will start to feel like a loaf of bread - sluggish, depressed and just flat! If we eat a colourful bowl or nourishing whole foods then that is how we will feel - light, in good spirits and vibing high!
A great tip is to makes some of your favourite treats using modified, nourishing, soul-loving ingredients. For example, instead of making a sugar-laden brownie, research some recipes for a beetroot brownie. Not only is it fun experimenting with cooking but you are doing yourself physically and mentally a massive favour.
By following these 5 steps you are sure to THRIVE and not just SURVIVE through these winter months.
We cannot control or change the weather, but what we can control is how we respond, what we do and how we feel during the months.
Your life and happiness is in your control, so take control now and THRIVE THIS WINTER!!
BY MANDY FRANCISTY
Mandy Francisty combines spirit and science to facilitate your growth and transformation. She will guide you "home" back to your true self and guide you to find your light.
Living and experiencing the positive life changing effects of yoga, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and mindset coaching herself inspired her to become qualified in these areas so that she can positively have an impact on the rest of the world!