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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

5 winter self-care rituals for December

Updated: May 8

Self-care is important at all times of year, but during winter it becomes even more crucial for us to slow down and listen to our body and mind. Across many cultures winter signifies a restorative period of rest, relaxation and hibernation.

Through incorporating some simple daily rituals we can combat many of the downsides of winter – such as low mood, dipping energy, lack of motivation and general listlessness aches pains.

Here I’m sharing some of my favourites – simply take what you need, and embrace the healing qualities of winter.

Embrace hygge

‘Hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh) is the Scandinavian concept of cosiness and comfort – designed to create a feeling of wellbeing and contentment during wintertime. Embracing hygge is easy and simple and involves lots of lovely mini-rituals to help you feel bright and calm, like lighting candles, sitting by a fire, wearing comfy clothes (hello fleece pyjamas!) and taking long winter walks. We can all benefit from a little hygge in our lives – simply take what resonates with you and incorporate on a daily basis throughout winter.

Treat yourself to a regular massage

Massage is beneficial at all times of year, of course – but during winter it really comes into its own. Enveloping the body in nourishing oils, often accompanied by therapeutic essential oils, relaxes and soothes the senses. From a physiological point of view, massage increases circulation and maintains muscle tone. Winter is also notoriously triggering for dry skin and conditions like eczema – regular massage can help with this through intensely hydrating affected areas. It can be incredibly beneficial for those with chronic illness or conditions such as Reynaud’s or Chilblains.

Indulge in aromatherapy

We all have scents that remind us of winter-time – spicy ginger, earthy clove and sweet cinnamon, to name just a few. These scents complement winter perfectly because they are warming and comforting – you can combine them together and add other scents to suit your needs like frankincense, patchouli and rose. You might like to add them to a diffuser, or make your own body oil to apply or roll on whenever you need a lift.

Eat to nourish and comfort

Winter is often a time of overindulgence on rich, fatty, sugary foods and alcoholic beverages. But there’s something instinctive about our craving for comfort foods during these months – our bodies naturally want nutrient, calorie-dense meals to help us thrive in colder weather conditions.

Tap into this whilst giving your body all the nutrients and goodness it needs by making over old favourites – pies, soups and stews. Make cauliflower cheese and roasted vegetables, chillis, warming curries and pasta dishes with wholewheat pasta and brown rice, remembering to add plenty of seasonal fresh vegetables. For a fruity twist, try delicious crumbles topped with oats and seeds and stewed pears.

Soak it all in

Baths are an easy and simple way to incorporate winter self-care ritual into your daily lifestyle. Not only does the heat help to improve circulation and soothe aching muscles, floating in water can be deeply relaxing. You can also introduce extra treats and to soften the skin and feel extra-pampered - adding a face mask or hair oil to suit how you feel on any particular day.

To soak in the benefits of a winter bath ritual, run hot water and add natural salts to draw out toxins, accompanied by essential oils to soothe the senses. Add candles and incense (safely, of course!) to enhance the relaxing ambience further.

For deeply relaxing reiki, massage and aromatherapy to help you unwind and refresh this winter, take a look at our holistic treatments menu.

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