28 Jan 2020 14 comments

Wellness Throughout Winter.

Staying alive, staying alive…

When it comes to January (and winter in general!), I’m all for giving myself a bit of a break. I don’t make too many plans, bar the occasional brunch and walk around the park with friends, and I spend most evenings and weekends being cosy, reading books and having long hot baths! Being good to yourself is the key to a happy life I think.

This month Jordan and I decided to do Dry January (which we’ve never done before!) AND give up junk food, which is definitely a sign we overindulged at Christmas! It’s actually been easier than I thought, I haven’t had too many cravings and I’ve been feeling a lot better for it. Although I cannot wait for a crisp glass of NZ Sauv and a warm chocolate chip cookie – the two things I’ve been missing the most!

I think at this time of year it’s really tricky to get the balance right – you want to nail the basics and look after yourself but also not go overboard with the treats and end up feeling like a toad.
I wanted to share some tips for a bit of wellness throughout winter, and I’d love to hear any of your advice for changing your habits a little!

Waking Up Feeling Refreshed

I usually start my day at around 6.40am, we have a Lumie lamp* (it was gifted but as part of a skincare launch – this is the second one I’ve been gifted, I gave the first one to my friend because I didn’t think I’d use it!) that wakes us up every morning and I love the way it eases me out of my sleep. I can honestly say I’ve slept a million times better since getting this – both because of the way it gradually wakes you up (ie. no iPhone alarm jolting me from my sleep!) and also because the time is illuminated so I’m finally out of the vicious cycle of waking up, checking the time on my phone and then getting distracted by notifications and not being able to get back to sleep!

I’m also a big fan of magnesium for aiding my sleep, I always know when I’m low on magnesium (and B12!) because I can’t wake up in the morning. I adore the REN Anti-Fatigue range, I’ll use the scrub in the bath in the evening and follow it up with the body lotion – both work miracles for ensuring a delicious slumber.
I also spritz on the BetterYou magnesium spray, it tingles like hell when you’re low on it but you do get the best sleep ever.

On Early Starts

I’m a morning person but I still struggle to get up in the mornings when it’s dark and cold! I leave the house at around 7.30am most days to walk to the gym, and let me tell you – it is HELL.
I have a little mantra for this though, I always say that getting up in the morning is always going to be hard, whether it’s at 6.30am or 7.30am or even 9am! Getting out from under your cosy duvet fort when you can see your breath and it feels like the middle of the night is never going to be easy, but you may as well wake up a bit earlier and chuck a load of laundry in, wash your hair or make a healthy lunch! Once you’re up, you’re up – I can absolutely guarantee you’ll feel better for getting out of bed a bit earlier and doing a couple of jobs before you fully start your day! Try setting your alarm half an hour earlier and see how you feel!

Getting In To Good Habits

It’s so easy to fall in to bad habits, especially when it comes to your wellness! I find taking the time to recognise my ways helps me to understand how to get out of unhealthy thinking.
I use the Habits App to set myself goals and stick to them, I really think this helps me to stay on track. I have quite a few habits listed and I plan to change them up every month. For January I aimed for no alcohol, no sugar, 10k steps a day, go to the gym, wear my fitbit and eat dinner at home. The idea isn’t really to do them all every day, but more to at least get a few ticked off daily so I can see the bigger picture and overall try to live a bit better.
I think next month I’ll swap out no alcohol and instead do low-carb, and maybe aim to do 80k steps a week rather than 10k a day. I might also try to eat well Sunday to Thursday and have a bit of a treat on Friday nights and Saturdays, because I wouldn’t mind a bit of sugar every now and again!

How To Eat Well & Feel Good

I’ve been eating home-cooked, goodness-packed meals every day this month and I’m loving it, there’s just something so fulfilling about a delicious, healthy dinner after a long day!
We’ve been on a takeaway ban (along with booze and treats!) this month and I think we’ll carry it through to February too; not only do we feel better for it, we’ve saved a ton too.
I read somewhere that most people have a cycle of about 6-8 dinners they make on rotation, so if you ensure these meals are healthy, you’re well on your way to changing your eating habits.

We love the Roasting Tin cookbooks, I use the Quick Roasting Tin the most for obvious reasons (I’m lazy) but all three are great. We usually write up a list of 7 dinners for the week and then do a food shop accordingly – that way we’re less likely to pick up a ton of sugary treats too.
I like this flexible meal planning because it means you have the ingredients to make a few different dinners, so you can decide on the day what you’re going to make that evening.

For breakfast, I make myself a smoothie every day. I throw in half a frozen banana, a teaspoon of almond butter, a serving of protein powder and some oat milk and wizz it up. I love smoothies because you can throw in supplements and other ingredients to pad them out, meaning you get extra goodness without even trying.
I love this Innermost Fit Protein*, it’s not padded out with nasties so you can be sure you’re actually doing your body some good. Add a bit of fruit, some oat milk and ice and you’re good to go!
There’s so many supplements and goodness I add to my smoothies, here’s a more detailed post on that.

The Pamper Products

Never underestimate the power of a good pamper! I’m really getting in to my wellness brands at the moment – where once I would buy a brand for the scent or packaging alone, now I love products that work to improve my mood and overall wellness too.
I love the Goop Bath Salts (Detox has been my favourite so far, but I want to try Martini next!) and the Susanne Kaufman Oil Bath For The Senses is another much loved product of mine.

I recently got my hands on the Oskia Renaissance Body Scrub* and oh my god, what a treat! I adore the Renaissance range and the scrub is just next level – it smells amazing and really, truly exfoliates the skin. I love how radiant and smooth it leaves me feeling!

As I don’t use moisturiser on my face (more details on that here), I look to hydrating masks to give my skin that lovely plump look. I adore the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask for keeping my complexion looking smooth and radiant, and also the brilliant Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Masque, which is a must for sweeping on in the bath. I find the steam from the hot water helps to make the mask work extra well.

A Relaxing Routine In The Evening

Over the last few months I’ve really got in to the habit of winding down in the evenings, and I think it’s the reason I’ve been sleeping a lot better lately.
I try not to eat after about 7pm, and I tend to drink peppermint tea around this time to aid digestion and to skip the caffeine! Then when it comes to bedtime, I switch on my diffuser for a little while to really help me relax. I’ve had my diffuser for a little while now and it’s just a staple part of my routine, I pop it on first thing in the morning and for 20 minutes before bed too.
I use the Tisserand Sleep Better and Total De-Stress oils and I love how zen they make me feel!

As I do this, I take some time away from my phone (Do Not Disturb mode goes on at 10pm every night!), put the sunset setting on my Lumie lamp, spritz my bedding with the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Mist and then apply hand cream. I try to read for the last 30 minutes before sleep rather than look at my phone, but I’m only human and often I’ll find myself scrolling Instagram without even realising. A goal for next month, perhaps!

I really think these little routines help me to stay focused. I have quite an active mind so I’m always looking for the next task, so making little “experiences” out of everyday activities really helps me to stay on track. I think taking time to do things slowly is a good idea too, like setting up my bath tray with my products while the bath runs and planning my meals for the day that morning so I don’t end up eating rubbish.

I’m so interested in hearing what you guys find help you to feel better and live well, please share any tips in the comments…

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  • This post was so relaxing and refreshing to read!
    I’m definitely gonna check out that Habits app, it sounds awesome.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

  • I am really intrigued by a Lumie lamp – in the darkest parts of winter I feel awful when I have to force myself to waken up… I wish they weren’t so expensive so I could trial it <3

    G is for Gingers xx

  • This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts xx


  • The Lumie Clock sounds like something I need! Like yourself, I’m a morning person, especially on weekdays, but I struggle to crawl out of bed! x
    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  • I have never heard of the Lumie clock, but it seems like something I might need. I’m not much of a morning person, especially during the winter where it’s dark in the morning, and everything just feels so…bleh, but I think a product like this really helps! I’ve been taking a few supplements of offset the sun and what summer brings, and it’s been helping a lot! Another thing I’ve been concentrating on is exercising 3-4 times a week! It’s probably one of the biggest things that makes a difference, especially when mixed in with some meditation (from the balance app) and reading! Great post kate xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

  • Natalie Redman

    This is so important, Janauary has definitely been a tough month for me in terms of my mental wellbeing. Hope you’re good!


  • Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • Consistency & routine are always what keep me on track, and I’ve been realigning myself with that this month. It’s such a help!! You make me really want a Lumie, that sounds like such a lovely way to wake up. I’ve found that if I immediately get out of bed to go downstairs and get a drink of water, I’m much more likely to feel awake & stay out of bed :’)

    Brine & Books

  • Lulu

    I find that if I try and be as positive as I can about winter time, and try not to let the negative feelings of others get me down that I have just as great a time in winter as any other month.

  • I’m in love with my Lumie lamp, I have to wake up at 5.15am for work and I’m a night owl so it used to be physically painful, it’s a little better with the Lumie lamp waking me up more gradually x

    Faye | Fridayfaye

  • Natalie Redman

    That Bath Soak sounds nice! And I’ve been taking more baths during the winter 🙂


  • A relaxing routine in the evening definitely sounds like such a great way to unwind! <3 🙂

    XO, Elizabeth T.

  • I wanted to get a light alarm clock thing for ages because my iPhone alarm literally gives me anxiety. I also love a good bath around this time of year. I add epsom salt and coconut oil and its a game changer.


  • The Lumie lamp sounds amazing! I love the idea of waking up gradually. Gorgeous images as always x