Winter is coming and if you’re in the midwest (specifically Chicago) it’s already here! We’ve had a streak of warm(er) weather and it’s been so nice to walk around the neighborhood soaking in all the Fall colors but when the days get darker and colder, I start to wonder where my positive personality is. Wellness is a huge part of my everyday routine but also what I fall back on when life gets tough. If you’re like me, I find that a good wellness routine is easy in the Spring and Summer but so much harder in late Fall and Winter.
I wanted to share some of the ways I get out of my wellness funk and prepare for winter so that I can continue to feel my best. Read on for my tips!
4 Ways to Winterize Your Wellness Routine:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
Staying consistent with your sleep schedule helps your mood and keeps your energy levels up. I do this by tracking my sleep with my Oura ring and/or my Apple watch. I also set a timer on my phone that lets me know when it’s time to wind down and get my body ready for rest. When it comes to food and drink…I make sure to get my caffeine intake in before 3 pm and I eat an early dinner (around 5:30 pm) so I can let my digestion settle before bed. You have to be committed to your sleep practice and not let anything get in the way. Early on I established that getting a quality 7-8 hours of sleep a night was a non-negotiable and that has really helped!
2. Keep healthy snacks easily accessible.
When you’re feeling sad or lonely or overwhelmed it’s easy to reach for whatever is comforting and convenient. Pay attention to what emotions and situations have you craving certain types of trigger foods. This time of year when the weather is cold and the days get darker…it’s easy to fall into that “relying on comfort foods” mode to cheer you up. Below are some of my favorite snacks that I try to always keep nearby:
Snacks I always keep on hand:
- Simple Mills crackers
- Lara Bars
- Olive packs from Thrive Market
- Celery sticks and Field and Farmer buffalo dip
- Homemade roasted nuts
- Biena chickpea snacks
- Apples with almond butter
- Lunchmeat rolled up with Kite Hill vegan cream cheese
- Cut up fruit mix (I spend the extra money and get the organic pre-cut mixed fruit from Whole Foods. It makes life way easier and I am more likely to eat it if it’s already done for me).
3. Move your body more and bring your routine indoors.
I know that for me when the days get shorter and colder it gets harder for me to get out of bed. Be honest with yourself when it comes to what time you’re going to wake up for a workout routine. On the days that I go into the office, I focus on something lighter and shorter (about 15-20 minutes) that allows me to sleep in as long as I can. On the days that I work from home, I schedule an afternoon walk for fresh air (sometimes I’ll wait for the sun to poke through the clouds so I can get my vitamin D) and a 20-minute workout after. If you need some motivation you can always schedule a Zoom workout with a friend 1 day a week too!
4. Adapt to the seasonal changes and find a winter ritual.
Every time I need a pick-me-up or I’m feeling a little un-grounded I turn to rituals. Once it starts getting colder out my husband and I plop down in front of the tv after dinner but recently I added a ritual of lighting a candle and the fire, making popcorn or berries with coconut whip, and snuggling up under my favorite blanket. It makes me look forward to the time between dinner and bed. It took some time for me to adjust to not taking our evening walks but when I added a ritual in place of it, I forgot I was even removing it for a few months.
What are your tips for shifting your wellness routine during winter? Let me know below or let’s chat about which routine you want to add to your schedule!