Winter is the season of the year that knocks the most out of us. It’s cold and dark, there’s more bugs and viruses going around, and it can be a lot more difficult for some to venture outside due to the weather. There’s more lonliness because of this, and chronic illnesses can flair up due to the temperature. It’s so important to look after yourself during the winter by pampering yourself and finding ways to enjoy the season. January and February can be the worst months of all for people. In November and December you have the excitement of Christmas to keep you going and all those festive social events. In January, you still have the dark mornings and nights, and the freezing temperatures; but life is just supposed to resume as normal. I want to share my tips with you on how I make the winter more bearable for myself and my mental health.1. Create a Weekday Bedtime Routine
During the week, when we’re busy at work, it can be hard to find time to look after ourselves and our needs properly. Relaxation and pampering always comes last on our lists. However, it’s important for that to change if we are going to physically, mentally and emotionally cope with the drain that winter is to our personal resources.
With me, I find that going to bed on a week night or a Sunday is often something I dread, even although I adore sleep and that chance to rest. For me, bedtime signals how close the next day is and highlights the immediacy of another busy day at work. To break these negatives associated with bedtime, I found that creating a pre-sleep pamper routine in my bedtime each night helped me to look forward to turning in for the night and also aided my sleep; meaning that I was more refreshed and able to cope better with the demands of the next day.Go to bed an hour earlier than normal and take time with your skincare routine, apply relaxing aromatherapy body oils to soothe your muscles and promote sleep and settle into bed with a good book or podcast. I like to use skincare at night that contains my favourite relaxing scents of rose or lavender e.g. the Decleor Aromessence Lavender Fine Essential Oil Serum is great. In terms of body oils, Aromatherapy Associates create the most amazing blends. If you want to light a relaxing candle (just make sure you don’t fall asleep!!), I love Diptyque Baies for this, or the Isle of Skye Candle Company Sleep Sensation Candle.2. Make Sundays a Real Event in Your Diary
Saturdays are great; but Sundays can be a really daunting day because it’s that bridge between the weekend and the working week ahead. Especially when the weather is so poor in winter and it’s more difficult to get outside and find something to do.
I find that making Sundays an event by having something planned to look forward to really helps. There really is not much better than a good Sunday lunch. Not only is the good hearty food nourishment for your body; but eating and chatting with friends is also good for the soul. Being cosy inside with a quality meal and good company is good for you and will really help you get through those winter months.My most favourite Sunday lunch of late has been at Cringletie near Peebles in Scotland. Cringletie is a country estate comprising of a luxury house hotel and extensive grounds. On Sundays, in the stunning hotel dining room, their new Sunday Lunch menu is served. The food is incredible and the meat comes to your table with head chef Iain Gourley and his carving trolley. The produce is local and everything is cooked to perfection. Honey-roasted root vegetables, goose-fat potatoes and an amazing fresh gravy complement the roast meats perfectly. You can then finish off your meal with a selection of inventive desserts that play with ingredient combinations to create something unique and delicious.It feels so luxurious and important to come to Cringletie for lunch on a Sunday, and it’s the ideal way to make winter easier for yourself and your body.
3. Get a Night Away in the Middle of Nowhere
Planning some relaxing nights away a couple of nights a month, really helps to break up a month. If you can’t beat the cold, harsh weather, join it! Get in the car, arm yourself with snacks and go out into the wilderness to learn to appreciate the winter season.I adore the Whispering Pine Lodge up by Loch Lochy in the Scottish Highlands. It’s remote and so relaxing. They have a beauty spa on site and if you stay in one of their Luxury Spa Rooms, you will wake up in the morning to the most spectacular sight. This is what winter is all about!The Sleeping Beauty Spa (also found in Edinburgh) offer a range of facial and body treatments, from their Signature Rose & Jasmine Body Massage (£75) to an anti-ageing Elemis Pro-Collagen Lift & Contour Facial (£70), there is something for everyone. The staff are so friendly and it’s like a little warm and cosy oasis. The spa also has a lovely little shop stocked with lots of pampering goodies if you want to continue at home or in your room.The food at the Whispering Pine Lodge is amazing. They specialise in seafood, being so close to Scotland’s amazing resources. There is also an Asian and traditional Scottish twist to the menu to appeal to everyone’s tastes. I would definitely recommend that you try and eat as much of that fresh fish and seafood as possible though! The cosy Burn’s Bar across from their Lochside Brasserie is a cosy and welcoming place to stop for a post-dinner drink on the way back to your room.
You can see more of what I’m loving, and what I’m doing, over on my Instagram.