I am a summer person, always have been and always will be. I was born in summer, raised on the river and live for the freedom of summer that signals six weeks of school holidays, hanging out with my friends and family, swimming, skiing, diving, long days, balmy nights and day after day of bright, albeit scorching sunshine. I enjoy summer so much that I used to dread winter, the grey, cold, rainy days and the lack of sunshine, so much so that I thought I had SAD (seasonally affected depression – which is a legitimate kind of depression caused by lack of sun exposure and Vitamin D). It’s easy not to like winter when you think of getting sick, being cold and miserable and the short days where the sun sets before you have even had dinner.
But this year, for possibly the first time in my life, I am welcoming winter into my life. Although it is not officially winter yet, we have had an unusually cold start to May down under and I have been rugged up in all my winter clothes. After some thought I came to the conclusion that winter has its very own perks. Here are just a few reasons I am looking forward to winter:
- Soup, stew and cups of tea – winter is the season for soul-warming comfort food like soups, stews and casseroles, packed full of winter veggies that nourish you. And who could not like curling up on the couch with a steaming cup of tea in your hands, keeping you all warm and toasty. What about a cacao almond milk hot chocolate? Now that sounds good, doesn’t it? Winter has some of the best food ever created to keep you warm and healthy through colder months of the year.
- Shorter days and early sunsets – I realise this contradicts the statement I made above, but with regard to sleep winter is a blessing for me. I need total darkness to sleep and so in winter this is easily achieved as it is pitch black by the time my head hits the hay. In summer it’s light until 10.30pm some days, meaning I need a sleeping mask just to doze off. Also, the earlier setting sun triggers your brain to start producing your sleep hormones, so you fall off to sleep nice and easily when you finally get to bed.
- Running in the cold – I have never been a huge runner, although I do enjoy the occasional jog. In summer I rarely run, because it is simply too hot, I get all hot and flustered before I have even run 1km. Conversely, I love running in winter and the feeling of the crisp air on my cheeks and ears as I blaze through the cold morning air. I can run further in winter without getting way too warm and it is just more enjoyable.
- Winter mornings – winter mornings can be quite frankly spectacular, especially because you are more likely to be awake as the sun is rising. Think frost on the grass, fog in the air and that crisp, fresh air that is cleansing to inhale. A picture says a thousand words, so here is a snap of the morning that I woke up to a few weeks ago:
- Winter clothes – whilst in summer I spend the vast majority of my time in some form of swim wear, the choices in winter are as varied as they are fabulous. Boots, jeans, jackets, scarves, gloves, knitwear, jumpers, fluffy pyjamas, socks, Ugg boots, trackies and hoodies. Winter means rugging up, but this can be done in some of the stylish and most timeless pieces of clothing you will ever buy. Plus, if you are cold, you just put more clothes on. In summer, there is a point at which you can’t take anything else off to cool down…
- Being sick – this might seem like an odd one, especially considering I am the kind of person that moans constantly when I am sick. There is an upside though – when you are sick you have the opportunity to replenish and nourish your body with amazingly healing foods, such as ginger, lemon, garlic, any kind of green juice, soups, plenty of water, tea with raw honey to sooth your throat. Not only this but when you are sick you can take a mini-break from intense exercise and strenuous activities and just give yourself time to rest, sleep, recover and get back to being the fighting fit version of yourself. Embrace the cold and the chance to heal!
With that being said, the sun set hours ago and I am ready to snuggle up in bed with a good book.
Keep healthy, happy,