So far winter has been pretty good … but the nights are still longer and the days darker and the colder weather still has an effect on the way we live. So we wanted to share with you a few ways to stay on track with healthy and happy winter days while we wait for Easter and spring!

Establish a monthly goal or intention – our lives are in constant flux and our needs will change throughout the year in relation to the seasons. Creating a monthly intention allows you to maintain focus and to dedicate your time and energy into smaller chunks, rather than attempting to maintain an intention over a long period of time and feeling guilty if you are not able to maintain it. Be kind and gentle to yourself as you adapt your needs to what is suitable for you at the time.

Take time for yourself each day to move and connect to your body - Our ambition is admirable, but our lives have become so busy that we often dismiss the simple pleasure of moving our bodies. However, allowing the time for you to move and connect to your body gives you a sense of strength – both externally and internally. Take at least thirty minutes out of your day, each day, to practice what awakens your body physically and nourishes your soul. When you take the time to connect to yourself, it becomes so much easier to attune into your emotional state and ensure that you are strong within yourself to continue with your intentions.

Embrace warm, nourishing food – winter is the best time to be creative with soups, stews, curries and roasts! Use seasonal vegetables and indulge in different vegetables you may have never had before. Local food markets are the best places to explore seasonal and interesting vegetables that can enliven your palate and encourage new, warming recipes.

Cultivate cosiness– winter instils a ‘hibernation’ phase within us at the best times. So embrace it! Let your space be your sanctuary where you can allow yourself the adequate rest and down time to reconnect and allow your favourite comforts to surround you.

Spend time with friends and family – After our December calendar of parties and lunches and non-stop dinners, we can tend to be recluse for a few weeks to months after. However don’t forget the simple notion of meeting a friend for a late breakfast and a visit to the museum you have been threatening to explore or having a hearty lunch followed by a walk in the crisp winter air with those you love. Adapt your social life to be more nourishing and intimate during these colder times.

Reflect – winter is a beautiful time to reflect on your passions, goals and aspirations for your life and to align them as the year progresses. Keeping a gratitude journal or a personal diary can give you the time and space to check in and to make the changes you need to be the best version of yourself.

In short, winter is a great time for connection. Connect to and become aware of how you use your time for yourself and others around you, as well as your eating, exercising and lifestyle habits. Then take time to modify as needed. Don't just wish you would make healthier choices during winter - actually set yourself up for your own health and happiness success.

By Rebecca Poyurs

Yoga Teacher and Studio Manager at Yoga West