Winter can feel depressing, cold and long, so it’s the perfect time to slow down and practice self care.
Priya Kiri recommends the following simple, refreshing ideas to nurture your overall wellbeing.
Start a gratitude calendar
Being aware of what you have and being grateful for it can automatically shift your mind-set into a state of abundance. A gratitude calendar can serve as a great reminder to stay present. It allows you to appreciate people, opportunities and kindness to yourself and those around you. It can be arranged as a fun activity with your family as a wall calendar, placed in the kitchen including birthdays and special occasions, a series of notes for each day of the year or theme for each month e.g. practicing compassion. Quotes can also be used that can invoke inspiration or thoughts which create spaciousness and fresh perspectives in your mind.
Run a warm bath
Indulging in a bath before bedtime reduces stress levels and enhances your quality of sleep. The best thing about having a bath before you sleep is that you have made time to connect with yourself. Self care at its finest! A warm bath can be accompanied with essential oils to infuse rich aromas into your skin and surroundings. Soaking in Epsom salt can have a wonderful healing effect; which eliminate toxins, restores energy and soothes the body, mind and spirit. An evening soak gives you the time to step out of the ‘rushed zone’, self-evaluate and you can even focus on deep breathing to make it an entirely meditative ritual.
One of the easiest ways of bringing your family together is through food. Allowing children to be involved in the process of cooking stimulates their brain, and encourages learning. It is a form of expression that can be considered to build confidence, creativity and excitement. Whether chopping vegetables, stirring a sauce or decorating a cupcake – all can be meditative experiences. This is because you become focused on the detail, texture and taste. Cooking helps to ease stress sparking ideas of what to make, which can help with overall meal preparation for all occasions.
Take a mindful walk
Stepping into your breath and the present moment, allows you to connect with the experience of whatever is going on behind the scenes in your mind and surroundings. A good time to practice this is in the early morning and early evening with natural daylight. It provides a break from moving at high intensity and clears mental fog. Mindful walking allows you to shift out of your conditioned mind focusing on the air flowing in and out of the lungs, whilst appreciating the natural surroundings of trees, lakes, mountains and birds singing; heightening all your senses. There is no need to reach a destination, simply being and returning to the breath can enhance focus and concentration in all other activities. Plus, it’s free to walk! Who says self care had to be expensive after all?
Do some arts and crafts
Rainy day activities with your children or for yourself can be equally as fun. Mindful colouring lowers anxiety, expels negative thoughts and generates a deeper sense of focus. It not only improves your mood and exercises your brain, but is also educational for your children. Using different scenery or themes for painting or colouring can make learning enjoyable. Colour can represent emotions, and it is a form of expression that allows you to release. A wonderful craft exercise that involves the whole family is creating a photo album scrapbook. Printing the best photos from the previous year and highlighting each with a caption that represents the memory best, gives smiles all round, and reminds everyone of what you have available to you – promoting overall gratitude.
For more from Priya, find her on social media @priya.kiri