winter wellness

5 Ways to Find More Time for Yourself This Winter 

To mark the end of Mental Health Month and with winter fast approaching the southern hemisphere, it’s time to think about ways to take time for yourself to make it through the chilly months.

Wellness writer Laurie Larson wrote this post for Aprivé Wellness to share her top tips! Check it out:

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In honor of May being National Mental Health month, it’s a great time to reflect on how you are nourishing your soul. Mental health is important at all times of the year, so take this time to evaluate if you are truly allowing time for yourself and your well-being.

When you have a job and a family to care for, it can sometimes feel selfish to take time for yourself. However, it’s difficult to truly care for others or perform your daily tasks and work responsibilities if you aren’t properly caring for yourself.

 In fact, spending time just for you is good for your overall health and wellness. There are many benefits of engaging in activities that are dedicated to self-care and self-awareness, including releasing negativity, promoting creativity, and fostering patience to help when you’re surrounded by others at work or at home.

With that in mind, here are five ways to find more time for yourself this winter. 


1.Try a New Hobby

Picking up a new hobby as an adult can feel a little awkward and forced. However, hobbies can benefit you in several ways, including promoting flow and balance in your life. In this sense, flow is that feeling you get when you get lost in something that you feel passionate about. It is the opposite of scrolling on Facebook or staring at the television. Hobbies foster inspiration and passion that can spill over into other areas of your life, like work and family. 

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2. Book In Your Alone Time

Although it may seem like you don’t have time for yourself, if you write down what you do throughout a 24-hour day, you’ll probably be surprised at how much time is either wasted or dedicated to other things. Take an inventory of your activities down to the minute, and notice where you may be able to work some time in for yourself. If there’s a certain time of day when you notice you’re passing the time in unproductive ways, begin to fill that time of day with a hobby, do some exercises, or go for a walk. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

3. Create a Nighttime Ritual 

In order to ensure that you’re getting quality sleep every night, you have to make it a priority. Set aside an hour before bed to dedicate to yourself. Try creating a wind-down routine. Not only will this help you sleep better, but it will also be great quality time to yourself. Some activities that can help promote relaxation and getting a good night’s rest include stretching, meditating, reading a book, and taking a warm bath.

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4. Book a Staycation

One great way to ensure that you get a chunk of alone time is to schedule a vacation in your hometown. You can spend the time at home or even book a hotel room. You’ll get the benefits of a vacation getaway without spending quite as much money. If you need some deep relaxation and the hotel offers massages, take advantage of them! Soak in the hot tub at the hotel spa, then order room service. If you enjoy camping and you live near a state park or natural area, take a couple of days away to spend in nature.

5. Start Doing Morning Affirmations

All too often, we don’t allow ourselves enough time in the morning to relax and set our intentions for the day. Instead of giving yourself just enough time to shower, get dressed, and grab your coffee on the way out of the door, wake up an hour earlier to sit and enjoy your coffee and meditate on some positive affirmations. Leaving the house in the morning feeling like you don’t have enough time will see you carry that rushed feeling with you all day. Starting the day with a thought like, “I am grateful for the job I have,” or “I will only say what I want to put into the universe today,” can get you started on the right foot and dispel negative thoughts.

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Remember that taking time for yourself is not selfish. It’s the opposite! The better you are to yourself, the better you will be overall.


freelance wellness writer laurie larson

Guest Author Bio

Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based on the east coast of the USA who writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics. In her spare time she enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible.

How to Eat Healthy In Winter - 3 Easy Recipes

Simple Recipes to Supercharge Your Winter Wellness

At my retreats and workshops this winter, so many people have told me they struggle to eat healthy in winter when fruit and veggies are hard to find.

So! Here are my top 3 recipes full of super healthy foods you can make with the best seasonal veggies winter has to offer!

1. Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Soup

You don’t need heavy cream to create a great pumpkin soup! This one is super easy and jam-packed full of rich vitamins to supercharge your winter wellness.

gluten free pumpkin soup

Cooking Time: 1.5 hours (but mostly simmering. You can work on your Aprivé Wellness workbook while it's cooking!) 

You’ll Need:

  •         1/2 Pumpkin
  •         1 tbsp. Gluten-free, vegetarian stock (Vegeta is my fave)
  •         2 Sweet Potatoes
  •         1 Leek
  •         2 Potatoes
  •         6 Cloves of garlic
  •         1 Brown onion
  •         1 jar of chilli flakes
  •         Salt & pepper
  •         1 cup of raw lentils

Method:

1. Fill your kettle and boil the water. Once ready, pour the boiling water into a saucepan and add the lentils. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Wash and drain in a colander (no you don’t have to soak them overnight!)

2. Dice garlic, onion and leek into small pieces. Only use the leek up until the green leafy part.

3. Add a big soup pot to your stove and turn up the heat. Once it’s hot, add 2 tbsp. olive oil and the garlic, onion and leek. Add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chilli and stir rapidly.

4. Once the mixture has browned, turn it off and set it aside while you peel and cut the other veggies into small squares.

5. Once your pumpkin, sweet potato and potato are cut, add them to the onion mixture and stir on a high heat. 

6. Add a litre of boiling water and around a tbsp. of stock.

7. Bring the mixture to the boil and let it bubble away for around 5 mins.

8. Turn it down to simmer, and let it simmer slowly for around 1 hour (you can work on your wellness goals while it’s cooking!)

9. Once the mixture is mushy and soft, squash it with a wooden spoon to make it lumpy and thick. If you prefer a smooth soup, take your hand blender to it!

10. Add lentils and garnish with a little curl of leek and it’s ready!

2. Pumpkin Salad with Feta - Your Healthiest Lunch Yet!

Pumpkin & Feta Salad

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Tip: Get up 30 minutes earlier on Monday morning and cut up pumpkin (leave skin on) and sweet potato with garlic (skin on). Cover in 2 tbsp. olive oil and add salt and pepper. Bake until soft. Then keep the mix in the fridge, ready for your lunches for the week!

You’ll Need:

  • Half a pumpkin and 2 sweet potatoes pre-roasted with garlic & salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 slices of feta
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 squirt of mayonnaise or a creamy vinaigrette 

Method:

1. Get all the ingredients

2. Throw them into a big tupperware container

3. Put it in the fridge at work

4. When you’re ready to eat it, give it a good shake till the feta, balsamic and mayo all mix

5. Eat!

3. Silverbeet & Ricotta Side Dish - The Super Food Winter Side Dish

If you’re a fan of meat and three veg, you can sick of the standard steamed broccoli side. Try this silverbeet dish. Silverbeet is full of iron and tons of goodies only found in dark green leafy veggies, and it’s best in winter! Perfect!

Cooking Time: 5 mins

Silverbeet recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 pack of Silverbeet (around 12 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tub Ricotta cheese
  • 6 Mushrooms
  • Hot sauce
  • Sweet Chilli sauce and/or Hot Sauce

Method:

1. Cut out the stalks and stems of the silverbeet so you’re left with only green leaves.

2. Cut the silverbeet into thick ribbons

3. Squash your garlic, remove the skin and dice into small pieces

4. Place a non-stick frypan onto your hottest element and warm it until it’s too hot to touch

5. Add a tbsp. olive oil

6. Add garlic and stir quickly

7. Add silverbeet and turn down the heat

8. Once the silver beet is covered in oil, add mushrooms

9. Once mushrooms are gently brown, add Ricotta

10. Stir fry for 3 minutes. The Silverbeet will shrivel up a lot, especially when coated in ricotta. Don’t worry it’s normal!

11. Serve with a lashing of sweet chilli and hot sauce. My favourite are the home made versions from Caribe or Empanada kitchen in Queenstown

Want more winter recipes to boost your health? Try this handy breakfast one below

AND

Follow @aprivewellness for more free wellness tips & tricks!