Just as nature slows down and goes into hibernation, humans also have a natural inclination to turn inward and conserve energy during this time.
Winter is the ideal time to rest and recharge to prioritize rest and replenish energy levels and focus more on introspection. This can be challenging in the modern world – however taking time to promote overall wellbeing is more important than ever
The colder months can often bring challenges to mental and physical health, which can impact productivity and morale within the workplace.
With flu cases spiking this year it is the perfect time to support our immunity and explore 6 effective strategies to help us thrive during the winter season.
1. Embrace Hygge
Originating from Denmark, hygge is a concept that embodies the art of coziness and contentment.
It encourages us to indulge in simple pleasures that bring comfort and joy.
Embracing hygge allows us to appreciate the beauty of winter and find solace in its peacefulness.
2. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Harvard researchers say that it is difficult to find any other condition that has a greater impact on productivity than sleep deprivation.
It can be tempting to stay in bed on cold winter mornings, however making the effort to establish a regular routine can make a big difference.
Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is a good way to train the body to get enough sleep.
A regular sleeping routine can help to ensure that your body reaches deeper levels of sleep that are essential for recovery and wellbeing.
3. Vitamin D
Did you know that almost one third of Australians are lacking Vitamin D?
In this busy world it can be hard to find the opportunity to listen to our bodies and when we are working indoors can miss daylight almost completely for a few months.
A study by Sydney University found that due to the nature of office work; people who work indoors are in the high risk category.
Research has shown that employees exposed to natural light slept 46 minutes longer —and more soundly in general—than their peers who work in windowless offices!
Try to get as much natural light as possible integrate sunshine into your day: Take a lunch break, go for a walk, plan to get up early.
4. Yoga for the winter months
We can change our yoga practice to suit the season. Here are yoga practices to boost your immunity, warm the body, help rest the nervous system and get a good night’s sleep.
Yoga practices to help you rest the nervous system and get a good night’s rest:
- Introduce a quiet more restorative yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension can have a very positive impact on getting a restful night.
- Breathe with long, full, deep inhalations and exhalations to calm the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Remain for longer periods in restorative poses – 5-10 minutes in each pose.
- Allow the out breath to be longer than the inhalation and hold the pose for longer than usual.
- If you struggle to sleep introduce gentle yoga forward bends & inversions.
- Eg. Legs up the wall pose (as pictured)
- Slow warming yoga practices warm the body and lubricate the joints.
- Gentle backbends help elevate our mood and energy.
- Forward folds and meditation assist with clarity and inward reflection of the mind.
- There are many excellcent poses to assist with immunity and ward off winter flu.
5. Enjoy a hot drink with all 5 senses
A hot drink not only warms you up, it also presents the perfect opportunity to be present, to savour the a moment of mindfulness and step away from distractions.
‘Peace, happiness and joy is possible during the time I drink my tea.‘
Thich Nhat Hanh
Sit down with a warm drink and engage all 5 senses:
- Listen to the sounds as you pour or stir the the drink
- The smells from the aroma
- Feel the warmth and texture of the drink in your mouth
- Look at the colour of the liquid and the shapes from any steam
- Savour the flavors
Immune Boosting Syrup:
- Easy to prepare and wonderful for soothing sore throats and boosting your immune system!
- Warming for the body and soul and full of antioxidants & minerals.
- Consume 2 to 3 tsp daily when you feel run down or get a sore throat with some additional lemon juice. Store the mixture in a cool dark spot for up to 2 months.
Slice the ginger into 0.5 cm pieces (no need to peel it first).
Crush the garlic cloves. Place ginger slices, crushed garlic cloves, and thyme into the empty jar.
Cover with honey, secure the lid and place in a cool, dark spot for at least a week.
6. Nutrition for Immunity
This winter, prime your immune system before the flu gets you.
Changes in weather and temperature are great opportunities to renew your menu plan.
- Ensure you got sufficient Zinc,Vitamin D and C to support your immune system and reduce the severity and duration of colds. Think about sardines, vegetables, and legumes.
- Add some natural antibacterial and antiviral to your plate. Think garlic, onions, ginger or cinnamon.
- 70% of your immunity is in your gut. Probiotics help reinforce your defence system against viruses and bacteria.
Foods to Avoid:
- Inflammatory food such as dairy, sugar, white breads, cakes and soft drinks can depress your immune system. Limit their intake.
Overall, winter wellbeing is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and thriving workforce. As the colder months approach, it’s important for organizations to recognize and address the unique challenges that winter brings.
As we embrace the winter season, let’s remember to prioritize self-care, foster strong relationships, and provide the necessary support for employees to thrive, slow down, reflect, recharge and streghten social connections.
By doing so, we not only enhance morale and productivity but also demonstrate our commitment to the wellbeing and success of valued employees so they are equipped to navigate the winter season with resilience and positivity.
Investing in winter wellbeing initiatives can yield numerous benefits for both employees and the organization as a whole. From encouraging self-care practices to organizing team-building activities, HR teams can play a vital role in creating a nurturing work environment that prioritizes the holistic wellbeing of their workforce.