The season of winter heralds a change in our daily routines and the thoughts of hibernating cosied up by the fire cocooned in your favourite winter rug feels kind of dreamy. Less time is spent outdoors after the working day due to reduced daylight hours and the potential to forgo some of our well-intentioned self-care rituals we have mastered over the summer months may take a slide.

Here are my 5 top tips to rest, reflect and recharge this winter.

Immune Boosting foods

Following the natural flow and cycle of the season, we gravitate towards more warming, sustaining, cooked foods that lessen the burden on our digestive system. The slow cooker really comes into its own and is a great time saver lending itself to heart-warming curries, stews, soups, hearty broths, wholegrain and veggie dishes. Boost your immune system with Vitamin C rich foods like brussel sprouts, kiwifruit and oranges and up your zinc levels with shellfish, wholegrains, seeds and nuts. Include generous amounts of spices like ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic for their antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties –the perfect foods to boost immune systems.

And if the common cold strikes this winter REST. I understand this is not always possible.

TRY THIS: Cold and Cough Remedy:

½ cup Manuka honey

½ lemon squeezed

2 garlic cloves – crushed

Slice of ginger – smashed

Dash of turmeric

Dash of black pepper

Method: Combine all of the above in a screw top jar. Allow the garlic and ginger to infuse overnight and then remove. (Optional). Take by the spoonful as required.

Hydrate Your Skin

We have heard it all before the importance of getting our daily water needs met. Winter hydration can be more difficult as the thought of consuming copious amounts of water from the tap or office water cooler feels counter-intuitive to the warmth that we crave.

Some tell-tale signs of early dehydration are:

-decreased energy or fatigue

-dizziness and headaches

-dry lips, mouth and skin

-dark coloured urine or infrequent urination


Herbal teas and warm water with lemon juice are ideal to give you a hydration boost in winter and have amazing skin loving properties to.

Try these warming winter teas: Chamomile for calming, Rooibos for a powerful antioxidant hit, Green Tea for reducing inflammation, or a minty brew to support your hormones and digestion.

Winter Skincare Tips

Our bodies tend to slow down over the winter months and this can cause our skin to become a little sluggish. We can perspire less and produce less sebum to cleanse, lubricate and moisturise our skin and our cell turnover decreases.

 Our cell turnover rate happens naturally every 30 days approximately but also starts to slow with age. Other factors such as dehydration, nutrient deficiency can cause cells not to shed and build up on the skin. Combined with lower levels of sunlight and the extremes of cold, harsh weather outdoors and the warm, drying often artificial heat indoors, this is a recipe for dry, dull, rough and flaky skin.

This is where the magic of exfoliation and extra nourishment comes in. Be aware not all exfoliates are created equal and too much of a good thing can have the reverse effect leading to inflammation, skin irritation, thinning of the skin and interfere with the skin's natural wound healing process. 

: Embrace a weekly exfoliate ritual to re-balance, remove dead skin cell build up and reveal healthy, radiant, glowing skin. Our TRUE Wisdom Exfoliate / Mask is packed full of super nutrients and a blend of gentle clays and plant botanicals. Suitable for most skin types.

Moisturise: If you have been using a lighter face oil during the summer months now’s a great time to look at changing to an EFA (essential fatty acid) rich blend for extra nourishment and protection. Applying your oil over a freshly misted face helps lock in the moisturise giving greater protection against the elements.  Try True Serene Face oil

Get Balmy : Adding a multi-tasking balm to the mix is essential to take care of any dry winter patches, cracked lips, heels, as an additional face protector or use as an all over body moisturiser. Be aware balms are super concentrated and a little goes along way. Try our TRUE Wonder Balm, it works wonder everywhere.

Special Note: If you tend towards clogged pores or have younger or acne skin this may not be suitable to use as a leave on product due to the inclusion of coconut oil which can be pore clogging in some individuals.  

Try this: DIY FACE MASK Combo:

 Avocado and Honey Mask, for softer more hydrated skin. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are ultra-moisturising, perfect for transitioning skin to cooler, dryer temperatures. Honey acts as a natural humectant, boosting skin’s hydration.

What you need:
1/2 avocado
1 T organic honey.


  • Mash avocado and add honey, mix until smooth
  • Spread a thick layer onto clean skin for 10 - 15 minutes. 
  • Take a moment to breathe deeply and relax. 
  • Remove with tepid water and say hello to instant glowing skin.

Get Your Daily Dose of Sunlight and Vitamin D

An essential reason to get outside into the sunlight (with your sunglasses off)  with the change in seasons, cooler temperatures and shorter day light hours is the potential of  what is known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that can occur at the same time each year, usually in winter. It can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels and can take a toll on all aspects of your life - from your relationships, social connection to work and your sense of self-worth.

You may feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: sad, contracted or stressed, with no or little interest in friends or activities you normally love.

Possible Causes of seasonal affective disorder

While the exact causes of seasonal affective disorder are unclear, most theories attribute the disorder to the reduction of daylight hours in winter. The shorter days and reduced exposure to sunlight that occurs in winter are thought to affect the body by disrupting:

  • Circadian rhythms. Your body's internal clock or sleep-wake cycle responds to changes between light and dark to regulate your sleep, mood, and appetite
  • Production of melatonin. When it’s dark, your brain produces the hormone melatonin to help you sleep and then sunlight during the day triggers the brain to stop melatonin production so you feel awake and alert. During the short days and long nights of winter, however, your body may produce too much melatonin, leaving you feeling drowsy and low on energy
  • Production of serotonin. The reduced sunlight of winter can lower your body’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. *

* Reference and to learn more https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad.htm

Get More Sleep

Winter is the perfect time to rest deeply and catch up on sleep. If you are one to stay up late into the night go to bed earlier. Everyone is different and needs varying amounts but in this fast paced world, I believe we ALL need more sleep and consistently.

Look at your daily schedule and plan it in, working backwards to allow an hour before bed to establish a bedtime ritual that paves the way for sweet dreams. Invite some self-care rituals to end with before bed.

Try these tips to invite peace and relaxation before lights out:

  • Breathe - Bring your attention to your breath. Breathe in through your nose to the count of 3, then exhale through your nose to the count of 4. In just a few minutes you will feel calmer and more relaxed.
  • Try a simple aromatherapy bath ritual to soak away the day and relax your mind, body and spirit. Combine a handful of Epsom salts with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Pop on a mask for some added magic.
  • Brew some bliss. Try a warm mug of milk of your choice with a pinch of cinnamon, turmeric and ginger. Take a moment to enjoy the aroma and then sit and enjoy drinking from your favourite cup with your full attention.
  • Unplug from the day and enjoy some quiet before falling into a sleepy slumber or take the time to listen to your favourite guided meditation.
  • Write it out. Let go of all your worries and plans until tomorrow by doing a brain dump onto paper.
  • Practice being thankful. List 3 things that you are feeling thankful for in this day.

Nicki Hanning is the founder and chief alchemist & dreamer of True Mindful Beauty, based in Wanaka, New Zealand. She is a holistic therapist, natural skincare formulator and mother of 2 who has lived and breathed health and wellness for the past 20 years. She is passionate about empowering women with the knowledge to make self-care a part of their everyday. 

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