Boasting Your Well-Being in Wintertime

I talked in my last blog post about Wintertime. Although, as I mentioned before this not my favourite season, but as one that can take up a good percentage of the year in the UK, it seems a good idea to find ways to cope better with what can be a challenging season for many. Longer, darker nights tend to create a need to stay indoors. Focusing on Winter wellness is important, it’s a time that our bodies and minds crave comfort and we need to look after ourselves.

I found a recent article written by interior designer, Biophilic Guru and writer Oliver Heath about this very subject. Seeing nature, even a little bit of greenery and getting direct sunlight can be positive for mental health.  (Biophilic design, roughly is a concept used in the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature and indirect nature) View for more information.

One of the key elements of the article is about considering natural light, fresh air and stimulating the feelings that nature evokes in us all. In the colder months of the year, often because of the weather conditions, we go out into nature less, than in the warmer months. Which does affect our well-being. Simple things like making sure that curtains are drawn back fully to let all the available light into a room and having clean windows can maximise what little natural light there is. If at all possible, try to open windows even for a small time to let in some air. I do find when I do this it makes a real difference to the feel of a room. Air purifiers can also be used, these would be helpful after a period of illness to make sure of the best air quality.

Sensory and Aromatic additions to a room can make a huge difference to a room in Wintertime. Perhaps using a diffuser with a scent that can remind you of nature or Summer would be uplifting at a time of year that can be a little depressing. There are no set rules about having to use a certain scent seasonally. Candlelight is a must for keeping the ambiance warm and cosy during winter. Use natural Soy candles and ventilate a room well after use. A real fire can be lovely in colder months too.

Artificial lighting is used far more in winter than in summer, so changing bulbs for those with a golden glow, can add warmth and cosiness for a fairly low cost. You can use twinkly lights to create a magical winter atmosphere in your home. Fill some jars with them, string them around your window frames or even drape over your bed. I have left my fairy lights up from Christmas and will leave them up until Spring.

Indoor plants do bring a sense of nature indoors. Green is a natural mood-booster. But in Winter even your plants need light in a different way so these may need to be put in direct light.  Having an indoor garden are can be an uplifting place to sit and conservatories are wonderful for making the most of any winter sun, if you have one. But any light corner that could be used for greenery and where you could sit and read and relax would be uplifting.

Well, I hope this you some helpful tips for living in Winter, but if all else fails, why not start looking for a summer holiday?

Making Your Home a Haven

These are unprecedented times, when everyone in the world is being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. This can create a lot of anxiety for everyone. So it’s important that you create a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere, whether you have returned to lock-down or if you’re just practising self-quarantine or shielding. These enforced stays at home make us realize the importance of been as comfortable as we can in our homes. This is the place to be totally ourselves. Homes can have the power to heal also, I feel another blog post forming!

There are different steps we can take to do this, often without a great deal of effort or additional expense. As I have mentioned before, keeping clutter down to a minimal does make for a relaxing environment. Its difficult to relax probably with piles of stuff that needs moving etc.  A mini-makeover can make a big difference to a room. Throw out or remove any old or uncomfortable cushions, if the pads are ok but the covers are old, just change those. There are lots really interesting designs available on the high street look at TK Maxx or Ikea. Charity shops, eBay and Gumtree can also offer bargains. If you like making things why not have a go at making your own covers! (Old curtains can be re-made as cushions) As we go into Winter, rich colours and tactile fabrics like fake fur, velvet or plaid can give a cosy warm feel. Throws and blankets are lovely for snuggling up with and will also cover an old sofa, so are a design feature as well as been practical.

The Danish culture of Hygge, is the happiness of staying at home combined with the satisfaction of enjoying time at home. Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. A real value is placed on well-being and family life. Perhaps this explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.

Lighting, particularly as it starts to get darker at night, can really change a room. Fairy lights are lovely and shops are starting to stock Christmas decorations many of which are far to nice to only use for a couple of weeks. Candles can add additional light but also fragrance and are a wonderful treat to both yourself and others. Scented with a fir tree scent or pine helps to embrace the Autumn and Winter time. But there are many wonderful scents available, personally I think that better quality soy candles using natural ingredients are better for you and the environment. These do last longer too, so can often work out as better value in the long run.

I always think that the best way to personalize your home space is to hang pictures or photographs on the wall. I like to have pictures of my loved ones but images of your favourite places, holiday memories or positive messages, can be uplifting too. Why not have a go yourself and paint your own canvas? You can attach wallpaper to canvases by using a heavy- duty staple gun, just make sure you pull this tight so it doesn’t bag at the side.

Adults and children’s alike will get a lot out of bringing plants into the home. If you’re new to having plants indoors, start with something easy like a large, statement piece that doesn’t need to much care like a Cactus or Succulent. Plants can have healing properties as well as looking great. I love flowers but these can be more expensive in Autumn and I like to use natural rather than artificial, so plants can be good value as with some care they will last for a long time.

As, I mentioned in my last post many people are still working from home and having a separation of work and home space is important for a balanced lifestyle. Creating a dedicated area for exercise and meditation could give you a place to retreat if you are feeling stressed. Playing music, lighting candles and an uncluttered space would help you to become calmer. We can all benefit from personal space and time.

It’s important you have a bedroom where you feel you’re safe from the outside world. Simple pre-bedtime routines like not watching TV or doing work and reading instead will help you feel relaxed in your bedroom. You may even want to consider updating your overall bedroom aesthetic at this time, and creating the bedroom you’ve always wanted. Choose a tranquil colour palette which really resonates with you or investing in new bedding so you can unwind in your bedroom.

Its vital that we all practise as much self- care as we can. Giving ourselves peace and a place to relax is so important in uncertain, chaotic times.