I don’t know about you, but as soon as October comes around my diary is completely jam-packed. Every weekend is made up of parties and social events right through November and December, and the craziness only dies down when January’s peace and quietness covers the nation like a soft, cuddly (albeit slightly boring) blanket.
While I do love the lead up to Christmas and all the fun that comes with it, I think it’s so important to think of your health and well-being during what can sometimes be a completely overwhelming time of year. It’s no wonder that we often all enter the new year feeling completely drained and ready for a few weeks of doing absolutely nothing, when there is always something you should/could be doing as the festive season approaches.
I headed out for a spa evening earlier this week with my mum for a few hours of pampering, relaxing and seriously good food, and it made me realise the importance of taking time to unwind in the winter months. Lying down in the relaxation room post-full body massage (which was bliss, FYI), I realised I hadn’t actually had a completely relaxed evening like this since I went away to Majorca back in June, and I wasn’t likely to have one right up until my Christmas break.
So, here are my favourite ways to unwind and relax in the winter…
1. Book a pamper evening
Seriously, take a leaf out of my book and schedule yourself in for a spa retreat. I absolutely love going to a spa, and booking some time in to specifically relax and unwind is a surefire way to help you get through the crazy Christmas period. It’s also a great way to catch up with friends or family in the lead up to Christmas, and will leave you feeling good and rested, rather than drained after a late night and a few too many drinks. I took my mum out for the evening to the Laguna Spa in Cardiff’ Park Plaza Hotel, and we had a fantastic few hours of relaxation and delicious food.
I was also gifted this gorgeous leopard print contour swimsuit* for the occasion by UK Swimwear, and I have to say I really loved wearing it. I love the bright print, the low back, and the ruffled effect on the front, which added a little fun to the design and helped to cover an area I’m quite conscious of. I’d definitely check out the website ahead of next year’s summer holiday season too!
My friends and I bought a spa day as a birthday present for one of the girls back in July, and we’re still yet to use this spa evening. The plan is to get it booked in for one evening ahead of our work Christmas parties, and I’ll be donning my new leopard print swimsuit once more for a good old evening of gossip by the poolside.
2. Get some zzz’s
We’re definitely all guilty of burning the candle at both ends over Christmas. I often find myself heading out for drinks or food and having late evenings, and then I’m up early for work or the gym the next day. Last year, this resulted in me having the flu over the New Year, so this year I’m making time for early nights and planning some weekends where I rest and get some decent sleep, instead of going out into the early hours.
3. Schedule in some “me time”
I think actively declining invites or saying to yourself at the start of the week that one or two evenings of said week will be spent doing things for yourself is so important. I try to have two days in the week where I go to the gym and get home to have some good food and an early night, and if that makes me a boring old lady then so be it. I sometimes need time to myself, and I always use the oppotunity to catch up on blogging or to get my teeth stuck into a good book or film, whilst cosied up in a fluffy blanket and surrounded by candles and fairy lights. I just love it.
4. Get your exercise in
Exercise is a huge stress buster for me. It helps me to sleep, it makes me feel good, and those endorphins definitely ease the worries from the day away. In the summer I feel like I exercise all of the time, with the days being so long and sunny, I’m always out and about doing something. In the winter it can be so much more difficult, but I’m determined to stick to my current work out schedule even through the Christmas holidays.
I also underestimate just how nice it is to go out for a winter stroll when the sun is shining before getting home to eat a hot meal in front of the fire. Whether it’s a spin class or a lazy cycle through the park, it all helps.
How do you enjoy unwinding?
Lots of love. xoxo
* The swimsuit worn in the photos featured was gifted by UK Swimwear.