I hope you're well and warm as you read this. As I sit here an tap away at my laptop, I'm looking out my glass doors to some lovely blue sunny skies (also with a hot water bottle and my ugg boots nonetheless as it's remarkably chilly!). I'm sure you've all noticed that this year seems to be extra chilly. We've only just entered into winter and we've already had more than a handful of very icy days (...for Sydney weather anyway!). I figure many of us have been looking for ways to get warm and stay warm, and will continue to do so over the next few months, so I wanted to share with you some of my favourite tips about insighting warmth (from the inside as well as from the outside). These are all pretty simple, easy and affordable options (that don't require central heating, air cons or even gas heaters).
It's important to keep yourself warm from head to toe, so let's start with that noggin of yours. Beanies, berets, hats and scarves are fabulous ways to protect your body from temperature changes. I recently bought a felt beret and it's felt lovely and snug so far! I'm also a big fan of the humble scarf...they're such a fabulous way to keep warm. In fact, in traditional Chinese medicine, the neck, base of skull and shoulders are important areas to keep covered to help avoid colds and flus. Keep material choices in mind - you ideally want something thicker that retains more heat the colder it gets (like wool).
At the other end of us, we have our lovely tootsies. I find that our poor feet are often forgotten about, but they're a key way that we lose warmth from our bodies. Always try to keep your feet covered in the cold weather - including no bare feet when you're hanging about at home. Pop on a nice thick pair of socks (I LOVE these ones)...or go a step further and also pop on a pair of ugg boots or slippers. If you're extra prone to cold feet, a handy tip is to put a tiny pinch cayenne pepper or chilli in your socks...it works wonders!
When we're talking about warmth how can we not talk about that big ball of flames in the sky. I do indeed love the sun and sunshine for an instant energy pick-me-up. It also provides us with vitamin D, which is crucial to immunity. In fact, I recently posted about the importance of sunshine for immunity on my Instagram which you can check out here.
The good old hottie
Ahh the humble hot water bottle, my absolute favourite when it comes to staying warm. In fact, my hot water bottle is practically an extra appendage for me during the winter months. People often think of only using hotties when they're in pain (period pain or an upset tummy for example), but they're so handy for staying warm in general. Another great option is a wheat pack. Popping one against your lower back while sitting is great for warming up your kidneys (important in traditional Chinese medicine). Also pop one in your bed about 5-10 mins before you hop in to take the chill off, then move it down to your feet once you get in to bed...so cosy and delicious!
A simple warm blanket never goes astray during the winter months. They can bring such joy too - I recently had a lovely client knit me my very own blanket, it's now the top layer on my bed and it makes me feel so humbled and happy every time I see it. Blankets are often very nostalgic - like a blanket that your grandma knitted for you, or perhaps one you knitted for yourself. Why not even buy yourself one in a colour or print that makes you feel really good from the inside out.
Sipping on warmth
So far we've talked about warming from the outside in...but warming from the inside out is also oh so important. One of the most effective ways do do this is through warming teas and drinks. Just a few of my favourites are ginger tea, Higher Living coca chilli tea, or a hot cacao (like this one).
Herbs and spices
Herns and spices are my other all time favourite way to warm up from the inside out. Ginger, for example, can help to stimulate blood flow and circulation to support warmth and is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Other great warming herbs and spices include chilli, cayenne pepper, pepper, garlic, horseradish, cumin, coriander, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Try them in anything you're cooking - add some chilli to a pasta sauce, stir cinnamon into your porridge, mix garlic and ginger into a marinade, make a curry or soup with cumin and coriander (like this sweet potato peanut curry), and enjoy fabulous fire cider or thieves vinegar (like these)...the ideas are endless.
Me at the latest Wise Women Gathering last month, teaching all about herbs the gentle way. It was such a fabulous weekend (and also very chilly). As you can see I've got some of my some of my favourite winter warmers with me - beret, scarf, my 'mongrel' socks, a tea in my thermos and some beautiful sunshine!