Winter Self-Care: Why Hibernating Can Be Invigorating

Spending a bit of time bundled up on the couch? Don’t feel guilty – slow, cosy days are a healthy way to stay energised during winter.

Winter Self-Care: Why Hibernating in winter is okay - Mumtastic


Traditionally winter is the season for hibernating; bunkering down, sitting by a fire, eating hearty, nourishing food. While we may not have the snow or the dark in Australia, most of the country still experiences a distinct winter season and honouring the opportunity to slow down and reset is essential for our wellbeing.

But in this day and age self-care seems to requires foresight, discipline and planning. In many cases, it’s only when we’re forced to rest when down with the flu that we actually spend days in bed, often reluctantly.

So why is a little slow so good for our health? Generally we all lead very busy lives and thanks to social media, many of us are switched on every day. Our minds are constantly racing with to-dos and it’s all too easy to feeling overwhelmed with information. The onset of cold in winter has us feeling weary and rundown as we acclimatise to the chill; physically we crave warm food and clothes to support our dwindling supplies. Ultimately we want to refuel our bodies – with food and rest – so that come spring, we’re rearing to go again.

Be winter ready: 10 Must Have Additions to Winterise Your Wardrobe

Winter Self-Care: Why Hibernating in winter is okay - Mumtastic

So what can you do to make sure you rest, recover and rejuvenate during winter?

1. Run a bath. It may seem like an indulgence but an evening bath is a powerful way to wind down and prepare for a sound night’s sleep. Add a few drops of lavender oil to help you relax and a decent handful of epsom salts to assist with your circulation and increase your magnesium supplies.

2. Create a set bedtime. No doubt a bedtime routine is essential for your children so why don’t you prioritise it for yourself? If you’re waking through the night, it’s even more important to go to bed early and relaxed. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the hours before midnight are best for healthy sleep rhythms so aim for a 10pm bedtime and ensure that you relax beforehand: switch off your phone, sip chamomile tea, run a bath and rub a little lavender oil into your shoulders and jawline so you aren’t holding tension while you sleep.

Try this too: 5 Natural Ways to Sleep Better

Winter Self-Care: Why Hibernating in winter is okay - Mumtastic

3. Eat well. The best way to boost your stores (minerals and vitamins) is to drink bone broth. It may be the healthy food du jour but for good reason; it supports the kidneys, boosts the immune system and soothes the nervous system.

4. Stay hydrated. Make a habit of drinking a big glass of room temperature water with a bit of lemon juice as soon as you wake up. Throughout the day opt for herbal teas and coconut water; they’re great for your skin and keep your cells hydrated.

5. Practise relaxation. Try this Five Minute Bedtime Relaxation routine: When you lie down make a conscious effort to become aware of your breath. And then mentally travel around your body; starting at the crown of your head. Become aware of any tension and then contract that body part and release. Most women hold tension in their shoulders, neck, face and hands. But for good measure it might be a good idea to contract and then release your feet and buttocks too.

Once your body is soft and relaxed come back to your breath and mentally repeat ‘let’ as you inhale and ‘go’ as you exhale. You might like to focus solely on your exhalation – the breath that softens, calms and grounds you. 

This ritual will take about five minutes (not long!) and it ensures that you fall asleep relaxed as opposed to frantic and tense. Ultimately it will help you sleep better and deeper.

More ways to support yourself in winter:

Images: Jodi Wilson