Louise Thompson: Altruism for winter wellbeing
Wellbeing undoubtedly takes more focus and attention in the winter — in summer it is much more likely to take care of itself. Lighter mornings make it easier to jump out of bed and exercise. It’s hotter, so we are naturally drawn to eat lighter foods. We have more holidays, so play, rest, relaxation and fun are an integral part of the flow of the week. It’s seems far easier to be healthy in the summer.
Coming up with a winter wellbeing plan is a smart choice. Acknowledging it will take a little more thought, planning and willpower than in the summer, but choosing it anyway means you will coast through the winter with much more ease and reach Christmas minus the panic about being beach-body ready in 10 days.
So, this is the start of a little mini-series on tips to keep your wellbeing front of mind this winter. We are going to start with a bit of a feel-good pay-it-forward action: looking outside ourselves and seeing where we can lend a hand. Altruism is a huge mood-booster: our own happiness levels have been shown to increase and are sustained far longer by an altruistic act than most of the quick-hit feelgood things we might do for ourselves.
Have a look around. The winter is especially hard on the more vulnerable in our communities, especially the elderly. It can be an especially isolating time of year; there are fewer visitors, fewer trips, less chat and social interaction. It’s a time of year when more practical assistance can be required. If it’s especially cold or icy maybe a hand with the shopping or picking up a prescription? Is their heating and insulation working as it should? Assistance through checking and reassurance can mean the world. An invitation to share a crockpot and chat can give someone at their lowest just the boost they need.
Taking time out to check on an elderly neighbour could mean just 10 minutes out of your day but be the high spot in their long, cold week. I know we are all so busy, busy busy, and want to get on with our own winter wellbeing, but if we make a quick check on those around us our priority, it’s not just our own wellbeing we will be enhancing. Go and do some good today.
Life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Find more at louisethompson.com