How to Banish the Winter Fuzz - 9 Simple Ways to Feel Super by Spring
Raise your hand if you’ve ever fallen victim to those dreaded winter blues. You know what I mean - that sluggish, fuzzy slump that seems to sap all your energy, leaving you pretty much resembling a bear in hibernation. These short winter days and chilly nights often leave us counting down the minutes till spring.
Well, there’s good news! Winter doesn’t have to have you dreading facing each new day. By adding just a few of these strategies to your daily or weekly routine, these last two months of winter will be a lot more bearable (bear - see what we did there?!), and you'll be feeling super once the warmer weather appears.
Ready to jump in?
Nine Strategies to Help Banish the (Evil) Winter Fuzz.
(We’ve given you one for every remaining week of winter, so you have no excuse for not looking after yourself!).
1. Good things come to those who sweat.
We know, we know...if you're anything like us, exercise will be the very last thing you actually feel like doing this winter (we're still hoping our jog from the couch to the bed, and our subsequent dive under the doona, counts as our daily cardio). But exercise is actually a fantastic way to start fighting off that melancholy mood that so many of us seem to struggle with over the cooler months. In fact, studies have shown that as little as 15 minutes of exercise can help to improve mood. And the great news is, it doesn't even have to be the kind of exercise that leaves you huffing and puffing and red in the face. Even gentle exercise will do the trick, and just remember, anything is better than nothing! Try to incorporate some small blocks of physical activity into your day - we're loving a gentle walk with friends during the day when it's not too cold, and trusty online workouts in the evenings, when the cold and dark make us want to hibernate indoors. Our current faves are Blogilates and DAREBEE for fun workouts that get the job done fast.
2. Sunshine is the best medicine.
To most of the world, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Australia is sunshine and beaches. But did you know that a lot of Australians don't actually get enough sunlight? Of course, we all know the importance of proper sun protection, especially during the summer months, but a lack of exposure to sunlight, and the low levels of vitamin D that normally follow this, are actually not good for us either. Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common in Australia, with up to 30% of us affected to some degree. A low level of vitamin D can contribute to feeling tired and mild aches and pains. Since our bodies aren't usually able to get enough vitamin D from our diet, most of us need to rely on sun exposure to get enough. During winter, around 10-30 minutes of sunlight on most days is usually enough to help boost our vitamin D levels. But if you're concerned, or if you don't get much sun for any reason, chat to your doctor about getting your vitamin D levels checked on your next blood test.
3. Keep calm and (fake) tan.
Sometimes the best way to banish the winter blues is to bring a bit of summer to your day. And what better way to do this than with a fab fake tan! Not only will this remind you of the gorgeous summer days that will be here before we know it (holding our collective breaths!), but we all know that a tan is the best accessory to wear with any outfit. Our favourite tan this winter is Skinny Tan - a long-lasting and streak free tan that is made with naturally derived tanning active ingredients. Because the main active ingredient in Skinny Tan is natural, it doesn't have much of the bad smell we usually associate with fake tans, and is less drying and damaging on the skin. To help spread a little summer love into these cold and gloomy days, we will be giving away a full sized tube of Skinny Tan 7 Day Tanner (150 mL) with every designer outfit hire made through our site, while stocks last. We only have a limited quantity, so get in quick, and enter the code SKINNYTAN in your order notes!
4. Palm trees and ocean breeze.
The very next best thing to actually being on a holiday is planning a holiday. In fact, it's been proven that a huge part of the relaxation and mood-boosting psychological effects of a holiday actually come from planning and looking forward to your break. This boost in mood can last up to eight weeks - almost enough time to get us through winter! So while you're waiting for your tan to dry, why not hit up your favourite holiday booking site, or scroll through Instagram for some holiday inspo? Don't just focus on big overseas trips - a few days away in a new spot around our gorgeous country, or even a stay-cation in your very own city, might just do the trick!
5. The secret ingredient is always love.
Cooking and winter go together like, well, Nutella and a spoon. (Or is that just us?) One of the nicest things to come home to at the end of a cold winter's day is a comforting meal that seems to warm you from the inside out. Why not spread the love by throwing a casual cooking 'date night' with your best gal pals? Pick out a few favourite recipes, and go shopping together for ingredients, before hitting up whoever's place has the biggest kitchen and cooking up a storm. Try to incorporate warming foods and spices, such as chilli and ginger, as well as loads of healthy vegetables to help keep your immune system strong through these germ-filled weeks ahead. Word of warning - this will get messy, but as they say, a messy kitchen is the sign of a good cook! And remember, dessert is compulsory!
6. Water is life.
Drinking enough water in the hotter weather comes almost too easily, but it's just as important, if not more so, to stay hydrated over winter as well. The cold air and harsh winds dehydrate our skin, and colds and flus leave us feeling clogged up and run down. Drinking enough water can help to combat these drying effects of the winter chill, and can help us recover faster when we're unwell, by helping to clear out mucus and feel more alert. Rather than turning to your chilled water these days, try your favourite tea to keep you warm while staying hydrated. As well as sipping on tea during the day, a warm mug of our favourite chamomile in the evenings helps us nod off much more quickly once we jump into bed.
7. A well spent day brings a happy sleep.
Winter is the season of restoration and rebuilding - in nature, and for us too. Most people feel more tired in winter due to the shorter days and less daylight hours. Stop fighting your body. Allow yourself to slow down during this winter period. Simplify your routines and don't run yourself into the ground. Now's the perfect time to get to bed an hour or so earlier where you can, so that your body can get the rest it needs before we run at full speed into the months of fun and celebrations at the end of the year. So rug up in your fluffy bed-socks and your fave comfy PJs and get some shut eye. Try to avoid electronic screens, including your phone, at least an hour before bed, so you can give your body and brain a chance to wind down before turning in.
8. Wash away your troubles with some bubbles.
An absolute favourite thing to do when getting home on a cold winter's night is to run a hot bath filled with the best bath products, and soak until you're somewhat defrosted. The warmth of the water, combined with the fragrances of your favourite bath product, seems to relax you unlike nothing else, and is a great way to unwind after a particularly tense day. We love the combination of Epsom salts, and a bit of lavender and coconut oils swirled into the warm bath water. The magnesium from the Epsom salts is great to relieve both muscle and mental tension and increase blood circulation, and the lavender oil is a classic relaxation boost. Combined with your favourite book or tunes, we can't think of a better way to spend a winter's night.
9. With a little help from my friends.
The health and mental benefits of socialising are amazing. The simple act of chatting with a friend or family member can rapidly boost your mood, and turn a gloomy day right around. Set aside a few hours to spend some quality time with someone you care about, even if it's just sitting at home chatting. Surround yourself with people you care about, and make an effort to share this love with those around you. Smiling at or saying hi to those people you come across as part of your normal daily routine can also make your day (and theirs) just that little bit brighter.
Self-care is important every day, but most of all during this cold and dreary season. Make an effort to look after yourself by trying some or all of the above strategies, and come springtime, you'll be ready to bust out of the winter slump and take on the world.
What are your favourite strategies to help fight the winter fuzz? Let us know in the comments below!