Christmas now feels like the distant past – but the first new buds and green shoots of spring bring a renewed sense of optimism. Now is a great time to build an easy new ritual into your life to improve your wellbeing. We asked our experts for their recommendations:
Sue Camp, Gazelli functional medicine expert
One of the best books I’ve read on sleep is Why We Sleep by neuroscientist Matthew Walker. He strongly cautions against the bravado of ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ as his research has shown that the shorter your sleep, the shorter your lifespan. He points out that human beings are the only species to deliberately deprive themselves of sleep without legitimate gain.
Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day. There isn’t a single organ or brain process that isn’t optimally enhanced by it. Sleep contains a multitude of health-ensuring benefits and all we need to do is pick up a repeat prescription every 24 hours. So consider it a treatment, not an indulgence.
Lera Zujeva, founder of T-Lovers
One of the healthy habits we can develop in winter – and at any other time of year too – is to stop and savour. Wherever you are and whenever you can, remind yourself to stop in this moment and take it all in – as if you are recording it with an imaginary camera. And don’t just register it with your mind and then jump to the next thing – stay with the feeling, savour it and have the full bodily experience of what is going on. It is said that gratitude, serving others and savouring can create new neuropathways in our brain that help us to see things in a positive light. Savouring something can start to create those pathways after only 20 to 30 seconds of doing it. So if you are drinking tea, savour it and experience it with your whole being. If you are walking outside, savour the feeling of the winter breeze on your face. You can use the technique of savouring with anything.
Amanda Stuermer, World Muse founder and director
I would suggest incorporating some Breath of Fire into your daily routine this winter. First of all, it’s cold outside, so generating some internal heat is a wonderful way to support yourself on a physical level. Second, winter is generally a time when people set intentions or goals, so connecting to that fire in your belly can provide much needed motivational support on a mental/emotional level. Here’s a simple Breath of Fire Practice that can easily fit into your morning routine (note BOF is not suitable for persons who are pregnant). Click here to find out how.
Jasmin Harsono, Gazelli reiki master
I call this exercise ‘Breathe Love’. Simply incorporate five mindful minutes each day to ‘just breathe’ love into your mind, body and soul. It sounds silly to say, but the breath is so healing and as long as we are alive we have the ability to tune into our breath to help reset and restore our bodily functions and systems that can cause tension and dis-ease when blocked.
Fully connecting to the breath helps us to feel grounded, supported and connected to our truth, power, wisdom and potential! All you have to do is set a timer for five minutes and take deep slow inhales through the nose, exhaling slowly with ease through the mouth. This offers you a mindful moment just to be.
Rachida Benamar, career change expert and founder of Rama Publishing
One very simple and cost-free habit everyone should include in their daily routine is a mindful walk. Leave your phone at home and bring a small notebook and pen because you never know what great idea you may have when you let your mind relax. I cannot stress the benefits of a mindful walk enough; it will significantly reduce your stress levels especially if you have a hyperactive brain.
If you’d like some practical help and inspiration for boosting your wellbeing this winter take a look at the events and workshops we have coming up in our South Kensington wellbeing space here.