These bracing winter months can often feel never ending, so here are four tips from me on how to feel subtly, yet dramatically different during this time You'll not only feel brighter and lighter, you'll also be topping up your vitamin D levels, which will help to boost your immunity.
Take a stroll in a nearby park before breakfast, or after dinner. Call a friend or grab your partner or kids and wherever it feels safe to you, explore a park, or some woods at dusk, or dawn. Dress for the Arctic and head out, even in the wind, or the rain. Engage your senses fully, listen more intently to the sounds around you, take the time to notice perhaps how the wind, or the rain, or the night air touches your skin, on your face and your hands. Touch the trees and hedges as you pass by. Hold your arms out wide and feel excited to be out, to feel invigorated, to be alive.
Wild swimming groups have become almost commonplace now as more people embrace the cold water. Start by observing others, and my own experience suggests, you really could really change your life if you begin immersing your increasingly wrapped up, restricted, warmth-seeking body into the cold water this winter. Go one weekend and dip a toe in. Then, next time your legs, or your hands. Join a group and learn from those who are more experienced than you. Start preparing your body by taking some cold showers. See how you adapt and feel each time. The benefits are so much more than just a boost to your immune system, but also a lowering of your anxiety levels and a feeling of euphoria that can sometimes last all day. Immersing your body in cold water soothes the soul, taking energy away from your busy mind and sending it purposefully into your body, grounding you in a way little else can. And if it helps to know, you only need to be in the water at this time of year for two minutes for it to have a beneficial effect
Try Breathwork one evening. It requires little preparation, no one to rely on, can be done in the dark, or in the light. The weather may be relentless outside, but on the inside, you could find yourself feeling on top of the world. As with the cold water bathing, go small so you build up a practice slowly and don’t get put off along the way. Start with Wonderbreath 15 minute online guides here or, to begin seeing real benefit, why not sign up to the Online Breath Studio, or book a 1-1 session. with Wonderbreath.
Why not try creating your own little fire ceremony to let go of what’s no longer serving you — leaving emotions such as grief, anger, victimhood, loss behind you. I appreciate this won’t be for everyone, as ideally, you’ll need a little firepit for this ritual. You can do this one your own or invite some friends. Fire ceremonies are a satisfying, powerful way of doing this — a way to find deeper meaning in this non-stop world of ours. The act of gathering around the fire together is humanity’s oldest wisdom tradition, yet one we have lost almost entirely in the modern world. When making the fire thank whoever you feel like thanking as you place each piece of wood. As the flames rise, mentally download your fears and worries of not being enough, onto physical representations of the four elements, in the form of leaves, resin, and bark. Letting go of your troubles as you watch the fire take them, burn them and release them back into the Earth. Rituals such as these, leave deep, lasting memories and even deeper connections with the natural world. They become embedded, in our body and in our soul.