The Slowest Month of the Year…
Boy, winter isn’t quite as sparkly and fun this side of Christmas, is it? We’re a handful of days into January, and it already feels like it’s been centuries! Or is that just me? Still, I find this time of year the toughest. The dark days are harder to deal with, especially when I don’t have the festive distraction. So now it’s time for a little TLC. Perfect timing too, as I’ve been feeling a little run down the last few weeks. Taking care of myself is top priority this month! Back in December, I went to an event with Ricola about Winter Wellness and I’ve been utilizing a few of the things I learned!
The evening started out with Rebecca Dennis of Breathing Tree leading everyone in a session on breathing. She showed us a few simple exercises we could do when we were feeling stressed or anxious. The exercises help regulate our breath and manage our moods. Who knew something we do naturally could be so therapeutic!
Then, we feasted on some simple but tasty hors d’oeuvres! Everything had pretty much two to three ingredients; simple enough that I could recreate them at home if I felt so inclined! My favorites? The nectarine, cream cheese and balsalmic crostini tasted lovely! The endive with dried cranberries, feta cheese and pecans was also a treat!
Finally, we spent a bit of time getting our hands dirty (literally) by creating terrariums with the Botanical Boys. It was a lot of fun and everyone kept remarking how calm they felt digging through the dirt! There is something so soothing about getting back to nature. Mr. Actually and I do it a lot in the summer with our country walks! It’s much more difficult in the winter though, as we’re all in hibernation mode!
The event was a few weeks ago now, but there are a few things that really stuck with me. My winter wellness factor has shot through the roof, that’s for sure!
Living the plant life…
I’m not a pro at always keeping my plants alive, and I won’t pretend to be. Still, I do love having them around the flat! After all, having and caring for house plants not only helps you concentrate but also boosts your mood! Perfect in the winter, when life is just a little grey and dreary! I’ve loved caring for my terrarium, though it’s pretty self sufficient. I’ve been looking into getting a few more house plants as well, because it really changes the vibe of the house!
Breathing is a real problem for me. I don’t have a great lung capacity, so I’m always short of breath. Since we did the breathing exercises with Rebecca though, I’ve been trying to be more conscious about my breath. Lie the other night when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with some things and I couldn’t sleep… I tried out one of the exercises we did and honestly, I did feel more calm. Plus it’s so easy to do:
Breathe in for 4. Hold for 4. Breathe out for 4. Hold for 4. Repeat.
My appetite changes with the seasons. In the summer, I’m all about fresh fruits and lighter fare, but when the weather gets cold I want hearty meals. Jacket potatoes, macaroni and cheese… things that are on the soul warming side, ya know?
One thing I’ve made a few times is this delightful carrot tart recipe from Ricola! I’m not the biggest fan of carrots, but I’ll happily eat this on a regular basis! Not only is it tasty, but it’s fairly simple. Fresh herbs, fresh veg, and easy to make!I feel like I could switch out the carrots and have it be other hearty vegetables, depending on my mood. Any recipe that is versatile is a win!
In the week before Christmas, I think we had a takeaway every night. Finding th energy to cook a whole meal can be so hard in the winter! And this is coming from someone who genuinely loves to cook as well! Hearty daals and curries are always on the menu, but this recipe has definitely inspired me to try to cook more seasonally. Why not? I’ve spent a decent amount of time so far this month looking for recipes, based on what’s in season! It’s inspired me to think outside the box a little bit as well!
I’ve got my winter wellness routine down to a T this year, thanks to Ricola! Autumn and winter are tough months, but hopefully I can cope a little better now. Deep breaths. Get in touch with nature. Cook good and hearty meals. One of the reasons I love hygge so much is because it’s about embracing those little cozy moments. In the winter, more than any other season, I’m very prone to letting the dreariness overwhelm me. This time round though, I feel prepared for it! I’ll just be sitting here, caring for my houseplants and cooking good food! Why not give it a go?