By Emma Raho – Staff Writer
It’s dull, rainy, and just a bit shit in Auckland at the moment. Occasionally we see the sun but it’s generally just to give us the finger before buggering off behind a storm cloud again. The cold weather can often lead to less motivation to do anything really let alone something that involves going out in the cold. Despite everything in us screaming to just spend the winter in front of the fire or directly under a heat pump without budging, this isn’t good for us mentally or physically. So what’s the solution when even the thought of putting gym clothes on makes us want to catapult ourselves into Mordor?
Luckily there are a few things we can do to look after ourselves until the outside world thaws out.
Nourish your Body – In the winter it’s so tempting to just load up with carbs. After all, the human body has an instinct to fatten up when it senses the weather cooling down. However, as we’re not living in 16th century Siberia this is no longer necessary. It’s totally possible to comfort eat during the winter by cooking up some thick soups, cassaroles, and veggie heavy roasts. Remember to keep your fluids up, although you won’t get as thirsty you still need to drink plenty of water. If you’re looking for some real food inspo we love the recipes on Fresh.
Banish Colds and Flu – One of the worst things about winter is getting sick. Being cold doesn’t make you ill, it’s the fact your body has to work so much harder in the winter to keep itself warm. This means it doesn’t have quite so much energy to keep your immune system on top of its game. Couple this with people mainly being in closed up spaces with no decent air flow and you’ve got yourself a big old germ soup. Here are some tips to keep you from spluttering and sniffling your way through the next few months.
- Wash your hands and wipe down surfaces regularly to kill bacteria and flu germs
- Up your vitamin C intake and decrease your caffeine intake
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise. Ugh! yeah I know, I know, but sweating it out does wonders.
Socialize,- We see our friends a lot in the summer for beach trips, roadies, BBQs, and camping trips. We become a small clan that are always doing something together. Sadly, at the first hint of a chill in the air we just want to scurry home and dive under the duvet. Time with good friends is amazing and as much as we hate to admit it we need those human connections year round. So make the call, wrap yourself up in your most comfortable clothes and head round to a friend’s place with a bottle of wine. Spending time actively interacting with friends releases all the lovely happy hormones in your brain, leaving you feeling pretty wonderful.
Move Your Limbs – We do a lot less passive exercise in winter. We don’t take as many walks along the beach, play as many social sports or hoon around playing spotlight at family get togethers until midnight. The couch is our friend and were pretty happy to sit there quietly chowing back garlic bread. Now I’m not implying you must absolutely go to the gym, just a little bit of shaking your tail feather will be enough to get your blood pumping and remind your heart you’re still alive. A brisk walk in the wild and windy weather, dancing around the kitchen to your favourite song right now, or even just a bit of yoga on the lounge floor will energize you enough to stop you disintegrating into your arm chair.
Look After Your Skin – We’re pretty good at protecting our skin from the sun, but what about the cold? In the winter our skin can dry out, over produce oil and become trapped and irritated. We need to give it as much TLC in the winter as we do in the summer. Making regular facial appointments at a medi spa can be the best favour you do yourself. Your therapist can develop a personalised skin care treatment plan you can carry on with at home using products that actually work. We love Good Looking Beauty Medispa on Auckland’s North Shore, however if you’re out of the area , look one up close to you.
Treat Yo’ self – Instead of eating a whole tiramisu in the car (not that I was doing exactly that on Friday afternoon, of course not!) book something for yourself that will not only feel amazing in the moment but have long term health benefits. A session of reflexology will promote deep relaxation and promote overall physical and mental wellbeing. We love Kyoko’s Reflexology in Auckland. If you’re flat tack at work and home the perfect solution for you is a workplace chair massage. Therapists come to your work with a small massage chair and give you a back, neck, arm and hand massage that helps increase your focus and productivity and reduce stress. We love Bodyworkz Corporate Massage who operate in cities all over New Zealand.
See Your GP – Sometimes the changing of the seasons can exacerbate conditions such as anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder. Please don’t suffer in silence. Your doctor can refer you to the correct specialist and adjust medication where they can. If your doctor isn’t helpful, find a new one who is. It’s ok to not be ok.