February and March are always tricky. You start to see the beginnings of spring; the marginally longer days, the birds tweeting, daffodils. But, at the same time it’s freezing. I thought I’d put together some of my wellness tips to *hopefully* help you to feel a bit more like yourself.
January through March is the most important time to be kind to yourself. The excitement of Christmas is over but there’s still a fair way to go before summer.
Re-framing the way I see these months has helped me a lot. I try to break the year into three month chunks and this time of year is for cosiness, kindness and wellness. I don’t plan a lot of meetings, I try to limit the amount of time I go into London and I cut myself some slack when I can’t wake up at my usual 6am.
Here are some of the ways I treat myself with a bit of tenderness during this time to make up for how cold it is outside.
My nighttime routine
You don’t need me to tell you the importance of sleep. For me, though, the lead up to sleep is just as important. I place a lot of importance on this routine, which is non-negotiable on a standard evening. It takes about 45 minutes, but dependent on my mood I can make it last an hour or more.
I start by having a bath around an hour before I go to bed. With a routine like this, I think it’s best to keep it simple and then wait and see how you feel on the night. So, for example, I won’t light candles, sometimes I read, sometimes I watch YouTube videos but I never put any pressure on what it should look like.
A couple of things I always do during bath time; take my make-up off and (a new addition) jade roller my face. If you’re planning on buying a jade roller please buy the one I’ve linked rather than the unnecessarily expensive ones that high-end brands sell.
I often read in the bath. At the moment I’m just about to finish Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth which is excellent. Otherwise I do whatever I feel like doing. No pressure.
Afterwards, I finish my skincare routine, brush my teeth, floss, get in bed, do three lessons on Duolingo (I’m learning Spanish), write in my diary and go to sleep.
I’ve genuinely been doing this everyday for about three years (unless I’m out, of course).
Early starts in the winter
A few years ago I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to get up early in the winter. In the summer I can naturally wake up at 6am but in the winter it’s a real slog.
Some people don’t have the choice (parents and commuters, for example) but if you do, I urge you to be a bit kinder to yourself. Even if you’re a parent, taking on a slower morning routine (i.e. getting dressed later) for your and your children in the winter might be something worth considering.
I don’t wake up at the same time everyday, but it ranges between 6.30 and 7am. This doesn’t feel too bad for me because I’m mostly always in bed by 10pm. If you need to wake up early but you can’t, think about how you could change up your evenings to accommodate for more sleep. You clearly need it.
I know this is quite possibly the last thing you fancy doing in the winter, but getting the gym/exercise over first thing in the morning is a good way to start your day. The endorphins and fresh air make a huge difference even when you really don’t want to go.
It’s easy to lose momentum on the resolutions you set yourself at the beginning of the year. This is a pretty common time to drop your resolutions and forget they ever existed. I’d recommend taking a look at the plans you set out at the beginning of the year and see how you’re getting on with them.
This is a really good time to get stuck into a goal. I prefer the personal ones during February, because I usually feel quite homely and nurturing during this time.
At the moment I’m getting so into my skincare routine and I’ve seen big changes to my skin. I’m also making a real dent in my book list for the year.
If you’re looking for a good habit tracker, I really like the app, Habit. It’s good for smaller goals like a skincare routine and flossing.
Food is a funny thing. When the weather is rubbish you feel like eating rubbish but when you eat rubbish you feel rubbish.
Ever since we moved house for the first time, I’ve made sure I cook all our meals from scratch. I love cooking, finding new ingredients and trying new spices so it doesn’t exactly feel like a hardship for me.
However, if you don’t enjoy cooking there are plenty of great cookbooks out there to get you into it. The Lean In 15 books by Joe Wickes are a great example and that’s how I originally got into cooking. Everybody has 15 minutes to cook a meal.
If you’re already eating well, consider taking it a step forward and growing some vegetables. Start small and see how you get on. There’s always room to improve your knowledge and skills in areas you enjoy.
Cooking and spending time in the kitchen is a really good thing to do when you can’t be outside.