Wintering In Weirdness, 2020

Moving swiftly through Autumn & into Winter, buzzwords that usually emanate are ‘Hygge’, ‘Hot chocolate’ & talk of New year’s plans after a family Christmas are commonplace. Navigating through 2020 & it’s unlikely that we’ll have the usual shindigs, wearing sparkly tops down to the local night clubs on Christmas eve or certainly, getting together with as many friends as we’d like. We’ll perhaps buy a few extra tins of roses & will ensure the Zoom calls are scheduled to catch up with far flung family. Oh indeed, it will be one to remember.

Navigating through this colder weather, shorter evenings & a seasonal change, our habits will need to change. We’re not likely to spend our winter on the balcony as much as we did during the summer & we’ll likely be seeking out indoor hobbies that we started in July and forgot about. That scarf you started knitting mid quarantine? Yeah, you’re going to need that.

Chatting to my sister last week, her advice of stocking up on the highest dose of vitamin D was a good one. I had this fear of lack of sun & being hit with a bout of sadness due to a deficit in this sunshine. Meanwhile, I stopped into Ikea to stock up on lamps, blankets & candles that like the Snow Patrol song goes, we can ‘light up light up as if we have the choice’ (you get the gist, right?).

Being a winter fan, I’ll have Frank Sinatra on full blast while making a beautiful stew and cuddling my sister’s adopted cat. I’ll keep the smile bright & connect with friends each day.

It’s normal to anticipate that well, we may find this winter a bit trickier than previous ones & so, we can prepare to a point so we know we’re doing all we can to mind ourselves & our beautiful minds.

Mind your diets, always. We are what we eat. I know we know this & know we need to re-highlight this especially in this climate. My ex boyfriend used to laugh as I popped cloves of garlic coated in honey when feeling run down but well, it has been shown to help with colds ( in spite of its gross taste). Filling up on vegetables, stews, herbal teas & comfort foods are as important for our bodies as well as our souls. Start thinking ahead so you stay fed people.

Be cosy in your environment. It’s absolutely fine to make your home more winter-friendly. Have some cosy blankets ready to snuggle into, brighten the place up & ensure you’ve got the heating working to the max. This seems obvious but is necessary. Something as simple as a scented candle can make a cold winter evening feel so lovely.

Know your mind & what your needs & triggers are. Yes it’s true, if your mood is lower, you may feel more easily triggered by what’s happening around you. Do you know yourself & what works for you? Be tuned into the rituals you need to partake in as you move through the winter & how those vary for the remainder of the year. Are you less likely to meditate because you need to sleep more? Are you more likely to make more excuses as you’re fond of hot whiskey?

Exercise, exercise & exercise some more. You know this, I know this & it’s so important for mental & physical well-being. It can be tempting once Summer ends, to stop exercising so much. Don’t fall into this trap. Plan your exercise routine for this winter. Don’t want to run outside? Order some gear you can use inside. Know that you’re likely to feel more stiff & bail from your exercise this winter? Awareness & preparation are key.

Occupy your mind. What do you do with your days? Know what you enjoy & if you’re not sure, go on the search. Whether you’re working or not, have multiple hobbies or are a Netflix fan, there’s something you can focus your mind on. My books are lined up, I’ll be blogging & have a subscription to yoga on a daily basis so I know I’ll be able to occupy my mind. That’s not to say it’s all figured you & don’t expect that either. What I’m saying is that having an idea of what you want to use your time for is a step in the right direction.

There isn’t a one size fits all for any routine in or out of quarantine. What I will say on the subject is that this time will feel tricky at times so giving yourself a head start of getting that figured out is part of the world of self-care.

Share your tips & thoughts in the comments below.