You might be wondering why in the world I’m writing an article on how to stay well in winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when we’re full steam ahead for another hot summer in Sydney. Well, I remember what it was like to be incredibly ill in the North-East of England and later in Scotland, and how difficult it was to look after myself during those bitterly cold months. (As Billy Connolly says, “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”!)
Here are a few pointers on how to stay well in winter that worked for me (after a lot of trial and error!):
How to Stay Well in Winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
1) Layering is your Friend
So, you’ve got 3 jumpers, a scarf and bed socks on, and you’re just about to grab yourself a blanket from the cupboard. Go for it.
I used to feel incredibly paranoid about how I’d look, but to be honest, I was only at home with my parents and my brother- who was I expecting to walk in? George Clooney? It’s safe to let your guard down. To be honest, I rather feel warm and toasty.
Affirmation: I love and respect myself completely as I am.
2) Jump on the Herbal Tea bandwagon
With the variety of herbal teas out there, there really is something for everyone. Some of the decaffeinated black teas are incredible as well (I’m a bit of chai fanatic!)
It’s really important to stay hydrated, even in the winter. It’s difficult when all you want to do is crawl under the duvet, but herbal teas and tisanes will help you to stay well. I even make my own homemade drink (similar to the one in the photos below) with hot water, fresh ginger and a little bit a fresh turmeric, some raw honey and a dash of apple cider vinegar. It sounds a bit much, but it’s perfect for warming your body up and staying grounded.
Click here to read about some herbals teas which might give you a bit of an energy boost.
3) Eat as Healthily as you can
While I was sick, I tended to eat meals or snacks that were incredibly easy to prepare and not always good for me (as some of you might have read here! Embarrassing!) Try to eat as many nourishing, hearty and warming foods as you can, such as soups and stews. This green soup is my go-to for when I need a health boost!).
4) Try to Head Outside once in a while
Even though it’s the last thing we feel like doing, trying to get some fresh air and blow the cobwebs away can be really good for us. It might be freezing, but it’s a great opportunity to rejuvenate our lungs and just feel a little bit lighter.
Although we’re not always able to when we’re sick, there are ways of bring the outside indoors. Click here to read more on ways we can do this when we’re not feeling up to it.
5) Surround Yourself with Loving People
I remember feeling a little fed-up during the winter. Even though I couldn’t really be anywhere else but in my bed, I found that consciously making connections with people was incredibly helpful and made me feel better. Winter can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people, especially in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere with the short hours of daylight, so reaching out to others will help them as well as you.
6) Take this Opportunity to Practise Extreme Self-Care
You might know of the work of Cheryl Richardson and the many books and projects she has created with Louise Hay. I absolutely love the phrase that she created, ‘Extreme Self-Care’, to encourage us to really honour our own needs and learn to not negate our self-worth. Practising Extreme Self-Care is an ongoing journey for me, and while I still sometimes struggle with feeling that I don’t deserve to look after or honour myself in this way, I truly believe that the ‘hibernation’ which winter sometimes encourages in us is a great opportunity to establish a life-long practice.
“To practice Extreme Self-Care, you must learn to love yourself unconditionally, accept your imperfections, and embrace your vulnerabilities.” – Cheryl Richardson
Affirmation: I respect and love myself completely. I am worthy of self-care and love.
7) Spring and Summer always follow Winter
If you’re finding that winter and the Festive season are all getting a bit much, just know that it won’t last forever and that the seasons are a lifelong lesson in feeling comfortable with change.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland
I hope you found these tips on how to stay well in winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome useful, my loves. Let me know in the comments below, how do you keep well in winter?
Lots of love, Katie xx