Winter is a time for turning inwards: days spent roaming outdoors are swapped for nestling into cosy corners; the tinkling of ice cubes makes way for the sound of kettles boiling and endless cups of tea; sunlit days are replaced with candlelit evenings. This transition provides a sense of comfort for many, signalling a time to unwind and realign as we spend more time in our own company or the company of loved ones.
Particularly this year, as many of us have been living in unusually distanced and often isolated circumstances, it can be difficult to maintain a routine or to structure our time, and that can take a toll on both our physical and mental health. In times of uncertainty, a routine provides a sense of control. 'Small pockets of routine work as a binding force - the healing adhesive that holds us together, and keeps us glued tight to things and people that matter the most,' says Bamford wellness specialist, Akshai Narain. 'If we set for ourselves a few sacred rituals that we do at fixed times – daily or a few times a week – we are prioritising what is important to maintain good physical, mental and emotional balance and well-being.'
Read on for simple ways to refresh your routine with wellness in mind as we head into winter.
Especially during colder and darker winter days, maintaining a positive outlook is essential to keep motivated to stick to any routine. Finding moments of calm in your day to recentre is an effective way to recalibrate the mind and refocus on the task at hand. In our upcoming Virtual Winter Wellness Retreat, resident wellness practitioner Akshai will be hosting an informative workshop on how to find pockets of peace in your day. The 5-minute exercises he will teach in the workshop can be used every day to bring peace and clarity back to the present moment.
'Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.' – Etty Hillesum
Make time to move
Spending more time at home combined with shorter daylight hours tends to result in less physical movement, which can in turn lead to physical aches or, if not properly attended to, longer-term ailments and injuries. Incorporating a daily stretch into your routine will loosen muscles and regulate blood flow so you will be able to take on whatever the winter weather throws at you.
Our online class schedule offers a variety of movement styles to do from home that will limber up the body and gently invigorate you, helping you to move gracefully through your day. Explore our range of sustainable yoga wear and accessories to transform your living room into an at-home yoga studio, and tune in online for daily classes with our specialist practitioners streaming live.
We’d be mistaken to think that our sleep routine consists only in what time we go to bed; actually, how we move through our day can significantly impact how we will sleep later that night, and conversely how well we sleep will determine our energy levels during the day.
Have you ever noticed that your eyes look clearer or your skin looks brighter after a good night’s sleep, or a gentle Yoga practise? This is a result of the Parasympathetic Nervous System – the system responsible for ‘rest and repair’ - functioning properly in our body, and the optimal conditions for this are when we sleep. In addition to setting yourself a bedtime (and sticking to it), try practising a gentle yoga class a few hours before bed to stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System and signal to the mind and body that it is time to start slowing down.
If you’d prefer a more passive relaxation routine, a scented bath will equally prepare you for rest. Our B Silent range has been developed with sleep health in mind, and makes for a wonderful gift to treat yourself to elevate your own night-time routine, or to gift to a friend or family member who you think could do with the extra help to unwind. Our new B Silent Christmas Gift combines the B Silent Body Oil and Pillow Mist in a beautifully decorated, recyclable gift box that can be kept and re-used.
Small pockets of routine work as a binding force - the healing adhesive that holds us together.
Food is fuel
Eating healthily is certainly easier said than done through winter. ‘Our bodies crave warm, starchy foods as we try and layer up our fat reserves to cope with the colder months,’ says resident nutritionist at Bamford, Rhaya Jordan, ‘and eating these less healthy foods can easily become a fixed part of our routine. This is a natural response to the changing weather, but a more effective approach is to try to think of food as fuel all year round, and the transition into winter won’t feel as daunting.’
Join Rhaya as she shares her Winter Wellness Recipes in our Virtual Winter Wellness Retreat. You will receive the full ingredient list and method for the delicious meals that Rhaya demonstrates in the video session, to try for yourself at home and enjoy with the family.
You will also find comforting seasonal recipes in Nurture, a book written by our founder Carole Bamford. With recipes that will nourish body and mind, this beautiful book opens the gates to Daylesford Farm and Bamford, telling the story of how it all began.
Virtual Winter Wellness Retreat, Saturday 28th November
Our Virtual Winter Wellness Retreat has been curated to offer a holistic itinerary that touches on various aspects of winter well-being, and empowers individuals with the knowledge to move through their day more mindfully - from how we move and what we eat, to how we think and sleep.