Wellness: 5 easy ways to get back into a healthy routine for the colder season
The October midterm is almost here, and autumn is slowly creeping towards winter.
And much as I love summer, I think this season might be my very favourite one of all.
I love the colours outside, and how they change almost daily. I love the crisp mornings, and the dark evenings, where we all want nothing but to cuddle up inside with blankets, jammies and a cup of hot chocolate. I love how the festive season is approaching. I love how autumn always feels like sharpened pencils and starting with blank sheets again. Like a fresh start.
Which is why I always take the change of season as a chance to changer over some habits – or maybe start some new ones.
Coming into winter every year feels like a time when we really should be prioritising our health to keep us staying well throughout these darker and colder months. And this year, I feel like this is especially important, you know, being in the middle of a global pandemic and all.
The good news is that it doesn't take much to get healthier. Here are five easy and very doable habits to start now – that you will reap the benefits from all the way until spring is here once more:
1. Make time for some yoga
We are living in unprecedented times – and to keep our cups filled and our minds from going crazy with this all, I am trying to incorporate mindful movement into my day every day.
Yoga involves deep breathing, stilling the mind, and focusing on the postures. In other words, yoga gets you out of your mind and into your body, and the ancient practise combines mindfulness and meditation with gentle movement for a flow that’s mentally soothing and stress-reducing.
While the benefits of yoga are limitless, know that one of the main reasons we should all be doing yoga right now is that it stimulates hormones in the brain and heals the nervous system, which works to calm your mind and relax your body.
I do yoga most mornings, knowing that if I don't get my exercise done early, ideally before the kids wake up, chances are slim I will find another window during the day to get it done. So every morning, I roll out my mat and do a 20-30 minute sequence – I use the Alo Yoga app, and find it really good.
I'm dreaming of one of the beautiful yoga mats from Irish company Holder Eight at the moment. These mats have a velvet finish surface, meaning they give the ultimate grip with a soft touch. As well as this, I love how the Holder Eight mats are all made from biodegradable natural rubber, are eco-friendly, long-lasting and so, so gorgeous.
2. Super-charge your vitamin intake
Living through a pandemic, there is a lot to be said for having an immune system that is in tip-top shape. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system, but because your body can't make vitamin C on its own, it has to come from what we eat.
As vegetarians (mostly vegan) as a family, we do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables every day, but I still, especially now, supplement this with a high-quality supplement. And the good thing about vitamin C, is that you cannot overdose on it. Any excess that your body cannot absorb, will simply be flushed out with your urine.
For the past few weeks, my kids and I have been taking the Liposomal Vitamin C from Somega, a cutting-edge Irish food supplement made using liposomal technology to ensure optimum Vitamin C absorption and maximum health benefit.
Not only does it taste seriously delicious, but I also love how the products from Somega contain natural ingredients, colours and flavour. There have no artificial sweeteners or preservatives in them, are alcohol-free, unlike other liposomal Vitamin C supplements. Oh, and they are vegan-friendly and non-GMO too.
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3. Go to bed earlier
When the days get shorter and the evenings darker, it is nature's way of telling us we need to sleep more to conserve our energy.
It can be hard to do, especially as a mum who desperately crave those couple of hours of me-time once the kids go to bed, but I am really trying to prioritise sleep these days, and not push through the tired feeling at night just to catch up with Emily in Paris or The Home Edit on Netflix (much as I am seriously obsessed with both at the moment!)
When you get enough sleep at night, you wake up feeling so much better, stay energized throughout the day, and are able to make the best choices for your mind and body. And so right now, I am making my evening routine into something to look forward to, to tempt myself into bed earlier at night.
I have treated myself to some new bedlinens, which always make going to bed feel like a real treat now. And I have started using the new Max Benjamin Sleep Tight Pillow Mist on my pillows right before bed – and it has made the whole bedtime routine feel so luxurious, I now cannot wait to crawl into bed at night.
The signature blend of lavender and chamomile has naturally calming properties to help to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, aid digestion, and promote a good night’s sleep. And all you have to do is simply spray your pillow and the area around your bed to create a sanctuary of calm. Climb into bed, take some deep breaths and drift into a dreamy sleep.
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Wake up happy ✨ The best way to do this? Get enough sleep! Easier said than done, right? Well, if, like us, you’re finding it a little tricky to adjust to your new routine, your mind is racing in bed and you’re finding it a bit more difficult to fall asleep, you need to try Sleep Tight ❤️ Our 100% natural pillow mist contains a special blend of chamomile and lavender – ease stress, reduce anxiety and even aid digestion. And, because it’s natural, it can be used by the whole family ✨ (And if you’re looking for a gift for the person who has everything, the perfect nights sleep might just be the perfect gift!) #SleepTight #Sleep #PillowMist #MaxBenjamin # IrishBrand #natural
4. Eat more greens
Good news: you don’t have to completely transform your diet to be healthier. Small tweaks can go a long way – and simply by adding more greens to the food you eat on a normal basis, you are actually doing your body a huge favour.
Many of us struggle to bring variety to our diets, instead just relying on the same dishes over and over again, simply because of convenience, but for maximum health benefit, we should include a wide array of fruit and vegetables and legumes and grains into our diets every day.
For me, there is nothing like a new cookbook to get me excited about cooking again, and really inspire me to try new dishes and foods.
Right now, I am obsessed with The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone, and am finding some many new and creative ways to enjoy my veggies every day.
I love how easy this book is to use, filled with step-by-step guides, fun variations and top tips, and an approach to plant-based eating that will inspire everyone to see how delicious plant-based eating really is.
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Thank you ?? genuinely massive thanks for your support. Our new book is an INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER! ????It’s number 1 In adult books in Ireland and number 10 in hard back non fiction in the U.K.!! This book is genuinely for everyone whether you just want to eat more veg or are #vegan looking to take your cooking to the next level. It is 40% off on @amazon today if you’re looking for a deal and of course do shop local if you can and support local. Link in bio to @amazon 40% off Thanks again????
5. Find joy in the little things
Did you know your mood plays a huge part in your overall health? It's true!
Scientific evidence suggests that being happy may have major benefits for your health. For starters, being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle. It may also help combat stress, boost your immune system, protect your heart and reduce pain.
So really, what this tells us, is that we should incorporate as much joy into our lives as possible. And what we really should get better it, I think, is looking for all the little joys every day, not just wait for big things, like holidays or Christmas or whatever, to feel happy.
For instance, I buy myself fresh flowers every weekend. The whole ritual of it makes me happy. I love going to the flower shop or market, picking which blooms I am going with this week and every time I look at them on my table, it gives me a little burst of joy.
Fresh, white bedlinens and getting into them every night makes me happy too. The same with the smell of coffee in the morning drifiting out from my local coffee shop. Hugs from my children, FaceTime with my family (while I am waiting until we can travel and see them again). Sunsets. That feeling after a yoga class.
Literally, when you start looking, life is filled with little mini joys, and as well as making us overall happier, isn't it amazing that finding these joys also make us healthier?!
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a sunday well spent brings a week of content ✨and today was indeed well spent - hit up the market for veggies, cooked some vegetable lasagne to batch freeze, did an @aloyoga class and now - catching up on some e-mails on the terrace in 24 c ☀️indian summers for the win ✨oh - and this sparkling water with bits of frozen raspberry is SO yum ?#weekendvibes