As 2020 draws to a welcome end, it’s going to be a season like no other. So how can we stay healthy in winter, with a pandemic still raging?
So… we meet again. We’re coming to the end of lockdown 2.0 and things have been quiet on the blog for a variety of reasons. I’ve moved, which has caused an unhealthy level of stress, work has been crazy and frankly, I’ve just wanted to veg out in front of the TV as the dark nights have drawn in.
What can I, and you dear reader, do to maintain or build up our health in these cold and somewhat gloomy winter months?
Let’s find out.
Hygge is healthy
I moved to a new home 4 days before Lockdown 2.0 was announced, and we raced to get furniture delivered and built in that time. Why? We wanted a cosy and comfortable home to spend 99% of our time in.
I had to make a return to IKEA and let me tell you… the queue was long. Like, really long. In scenes that were replicated up and down the UK, people were stocking up on homewares and I saw a lot of people buying ‘little bits and pieces’ including blankets and lamps.
Why? The same reason I was there. It’s important to have a nice, comfortable environment. Without it, you’ll hate the restrictions even more, and both mental and physical health will suffer.
So, I’m lighting my tea lights and wrapping myself up in blankets on the sofa night after night with no apologies.
Oh and Christmas decorations, particularly twinkly lights, are SUPER hygge. Get the decorations up!
Outdoor activities are vital, even if it’s cold
My boyfriend and I are getting back in the habit of weekend walks, and we’re not the only ones with the same bright idea! Local parks and paths are busy with walkers, wrapped up in scarfs and waterproof jackets.
Everyone is giving each other space as they pass and are actually being very friendly, as there’s a collective sense that we’re all in this together… again.
Not all of us have gardens (myself included) so having access to some sort of green, outdoor space is vital. The health benefits of walking and being in nature are well known, and it’s a simple activity that needs to be protected.
So, if you can, wrap yourself up and grab some fresh air. You’ll feel all the better because of it!
Indulge in comfort classics
I’ve previously written about my favourite comfort foods, and now is the perfect time to enjoy them. Don’t forget your vegetables though!
Seasonal food is full of flavours and nutrients. Here in the UK, we’ve got plenty of root vegetables that are perfect side dishes (think roasted sprouts, mashed swede and carrots, or sautéed cabbage with garlic), additions to a stew or even the main event itself.
I’ve recently signed up to Riverford, who produce organic and seasonal fruits and vegetavbles (most of their produce is British too). I get a small veg boxed delivered every week and I’m honestly loving it.
I’m a true adult now.
Take your vitamins
When I talk about vitamins in winter, I mean vitamin D in particular. It’s essential for healthy bones and our immune system, and while there’s no conclusive evidence that it can fend off a certain SARS-CoV-2 virus… I’d recommend that you take a supplement even if there wasn’t a pandemic.
Make sure to buy a vitamin D3 supplement, although most of them use this form anyway, as that’s the kind of vitamin D that our bodies create via sun exposure.
My mental health has definitely taken a hit this year because of various things, and I knew that I couldn’t suffer in silence. I reached out and have spoken to my family, friends and a therapist.
I’m lucky to have a supportive group around me, and if you’re suffering too you need to know this: you’re not alone and there are people who can help you. They can be people you know, or people you don’t.
And, if you’re feeling okay, remember to reach out and check in with friends and family. As the Duchess of Sussex recently wrote in her heart breaking article, it’s important to ask:
“Are you okay?”
A lovely comforting and relatable read. I love finding foods that are both nutritious and comforting at this time of year, like butternut squash and sweet potato soup. I agree that this is more important than ever this year.
Also, I hope that you get some well-deserved rest now and settle into your new home well.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 butternut squash and sweet potato sounds like the perfect combination!
I’ve just written a post about hygge bedroom ideas so I couldn’t agree more – although I’d definitely avoid IKEA and those queues, haha. Great tips here, especially about Vitamin D, thank you.
Lovely post. Especially liked your point about reaching out to others. It’s so important all the time but especially now. I think we all need each other for love and support!
These are some great tips – I should really make more of an effort to go outside more but every time I see someone, I always worry they might have covid which is such a stupid excuse really…I have been taking vitamins most days tho 🙂
Thank you! I can see why it’s a concern, but as you’re outside and passing by the risk should be relatively low – glad to hear you’re taking your vitamins as well 🙂
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Lovely article. There is a wonderful little book called The little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, from the Happiness Research Institute of Copenhagen. Great little book with lots of little tips about how to create Hygge while you snuggle up , hot toddy in hand and flick through under your twinkly lights. Stay safe, stay & well connected everyone.
I know a couple of people who’ve read it and they say it’s go some great tips – I’ve read another book about Swedish “lagom” which I think it’s similar 🙂
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