The Science of Wintering

A shot of a model reading a book on a bed.

In a world that celebrates constant productivity and busyness, the concept of ‘wintering’ challenges the idea that every moment of our lives must be filled with activity and achievement.  Wintering isn’t just about cosy socks scented candles, and knitting while tucked under a quilt. (Though these are some of our very favourite things and we would highly recommend indulging!)  But wintering is mostly about recognising darker and colder times in our lives – be this the wintry months or just times when we feel low – as essential periods of rest and regeneration. Wintering is about giving ourselves time and space to grow and heal, ready for spring. 

The Science to Wintering...

Adjusting Routine

It’s normal to switch up our routines in the winter. Rather than seeing it as a bleak and unproductive time, we can reframe winter as a period of renewal and regrowth.  It’s a time to hunker down and recharge our batteries, in preparation for the more energetic summer months.   

Winter Slumber

Winter’s arrival brings not only a change in temperature but also a shift in our sleep needs.  Hibernation or dormancy is fairly common in the animal world and although we human beings don’t need to go quite that far (even though some days we might feel like doing just that) more sleep does appear to be necessary.  Research shows that REM sleep, directly linked to the circadian clock, tends to be 30 minutes longer in winter than in summer.  Rather than battling fatigue and reduced energy levels, blaming Christmas excesses, it’s crucial to listen to our bodies and adjust our sleep cycles accordingly.  Winter gives us permission to hit that snooze button and snuggle back down under the covers. Try our brushed cotton bedding which is perfect for extra warmth and snoozing soundly. 

Eating With The Seasons

Just as nature adapts to the changing weather, so should our diets. As much as we love a good salad, it’s the last thing we feel like eating on a chilly January day.  In winter it makes more sense to cook up nourishing, warming foods like soups and stews, including winter produce such as potatoes, root vegetables, dark leafy greens and stewed apples, adding in some warming spices and energy-plenty pulses.  These foods provide the comfort and sustenance needed during colder months, as opposed to the raw, cold foods that may be more suitable for warmer seasons. Our cousin Mark’s tasty vegan homemade baked beans & miso field mushroom breakfast will certainly keep you warm and comforted during this time.

Cosy Productivity

The winter season invites us to spend more time indoors, giving us the perfect opportunity to tick those ‘inside jobs’ off the to-do list.  What better time to reorganise your linen cupboard, or declutter the kids’ toy baskets?  Or if that’s not your idea of fun, how about picking up that long-forgotten sewing project or rolling up your sleeves and replenishing the biscuit tin with your favourite cookie recipe?  Start on that stack of ‘must reads’ gathering dust on your bedside table (or is that just us?) or take this time to do some planning and research (some of the best trips are put together during this downtime).  Embrace the cosiness of indoor activities and make winter a time of quiet productivity and accomplishment within the comfort of your home. 

Self-Care and Compassion

Wintering is not just about physical well-being; it’s also about nurturing our mental health.  Accept that it’s okay to feel low and do nothing.  Building in active downtime allows for guilt-free moments of self-care and compassion.  Turn down party invitations, say ‘no’ to extra workload or that gruelling family get-together you’re being pressured to attend.  Turn off the alarm clock, book in for a massage and say ‘yes’ to a gentle walk with a good friend.  Our guide to the perfect pamper night in can help you prioritise your mental health and take the time needed to recharge emotionally and spiritually. 

Our Sorbet Pink Organic cotton cashmere socks laid on a bed

Getting Physical

Contrary to the instinct to stay bundled up indoors, some exercise outside can be invigorating during the winter months.  Consider activities like cold-water swimming, or merely taking a brisk walk in the crisp air.  Moving your body is the best way to keep warm and get the blood flowing, stimulating both your physical and mental well-being. 

Wintering is a powerful concept that encourages us to slow down, reflect and embrace the opportunities provided by the colder seasons in our lives.  By adjusting our routines, sleeping longer, eating with the seasons, enjoying more time inside, practising better self-care, as well as keeping active outside, we can navigate our ‘winters’ with a sense of purpose and readiness for the renewal and regrowth the spring inevitably brings.  There’s comfort in knowing we’ve ‘wintered’ before and can do it again.  Embrace the science of wintering and let this season be a time of healing, reflection and preparation for the brighter days ahead.