I don't know about you, but I find the dark mornings, short days and dark evenings really tough during Winter! Coupled with the cold days and depleted greenery as the trees lose their leaves, it would be super tempting to hibernate inside for three months.
But I can't, because you know, well, life.
So I've put together some things I put in place to help me keep chugging along during the Winter days.
1. Maintain a good sleep routine
It's no secret that I go to bed early - a bed time past 9pm is late for me! I do ensure that I have a consistent wake up time - most mornings I'm up and out of bed by 5.30am - depending on what's on (sometimes it's earlier). My point here is, that keeping your circadian rhythm as regular as you possibly can is super important for health maintenance.
Most adults need between 7-9 hours sleep (more here) - most importantly because sleep is when the body and the brain repairs and replenishes. Think of sleep as the 'update and restart' that you run on your computer - and it needs to happen every day. You know how sluggish your computer will get if you don't do this regularly and the same is true for you.
Read the linked article for more info on just how important and glorious a good sleep routine is!
2. Keep your workout appointments
Do you keep a diary? Or a Google calendar? If not, why?
My workouts are the second entry into my weekly planner - following client appointments and group sessions. After that, I add in my business admin tasks and family commitments.
And, just as though it was a work meeting, my workout is non-negotiable. It is an important and integral part of my day. For me, they happen in the middle of the day. And that works well for me. You need to figure out what works for you - are you an early bird who can get out of bed 30 minutes earlier to move before work, or are you a night owl who would much rather leave it until the end of the day? Whichever you prefer, put it in your diary and KEEP THAT MEETING WITH YOURSELF. Honestly, try it for two weeks and see how you go! It is amazing how much more time we can find in our weeks when we actually plan that time.
3. Nutrition: keep it fresh and seasonal
Winter definitely means more soups, stews, bakes and slow-cooker meals in this house! And these meals lend themselves so well to being jam-packed with yummy, fresh vegetables.
As I keep saying about nutrition - the key to keeping it amazing over Winter is organisation. No one wants to be popping down to the shops on a freezing, raining evening for a forgotten ingredient! Plan your weekly meals in advance, ensure you've got a fridge full of amazing, fresh produce ready to go for each meal. Keep that plan visible so everyone can see what needs to be pulled out of the freezer, what needs to be prepared in advance and what needs to be done that evening.
Find a simple, seasonal, local produce guide here.
4. Get some daylight
We've been in our house for 13 Winters - a house that does not lean itself very well to natural light during Winter. During the height of Winter, we are lucky to get more than 30 minutes of direct sunlight coming into the house. So during the day, I have to make an effort to go outside in the fresh air and daylight. If I don't, by the end of the day, I notice it. I feel sluggish and quite lethargic.
There are so many reasons for getting into the daylight, especially during Winter, but most importantly it helps regulate your circadian rhythm. If you can, try to get outside as much as possible during your day. Enjoy the fresh air! Try it at least once every day for a week and see if you notice a difference by the end of the day.
I'm sure I've only scratched the surface on ideas for getting through the colder months. I'd love to hear your ideas - pop them in the comments box below.