Self-care secrets – fighting for winter wellness, female style!
Kirklees women share their self-care ‘people’s prescriptions’ for feeling and staying well this winter.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often forget to prioritise the most important person in our lives: ourselves. But now’s the time to get those self-care winter prescriptions* at the ready as we share our top winter wellness and self-care secrets. Are you taking notes?
Sophie from SS Dance & Wellbeing is here to share her ‘people’s prescriptions’ for self-care tips on how to beat low motivation when it comes to staying active and keeping your body moving this winter with not just one but THREE self-care dance secrets:
Life is busy and the reality is that it will only get busier. We are not magically going to wake up one day and say “Yes finally life is easy – I have nothing to do…” Nope, maybe in our dreams but never in reality. This is why as a dancer and wellbeing officer I like to be real; there are no shortcuts to good health. We must take charge by prioritising taking care of ourselves. Here’s how to add a little bit of dance into your lives, whether you do it at home or in a community setting. It’s a great way to get rid of those winter blues and it’s beneficial for your body inside and out.
Prescription for: The In-house Dancer
Diagnosis: Thinks that they have two left feet!
Symptoms: You shy away indoors, especially when it’s cold. The thought of stepping out into your first dance class brings fear and anxiety and just feels too intimidating. I hear this all the time; everyone feels more comfortable just dancing around without a care in the world within their own four walls.
Self-care Secret: Do you know what? Nobody cares if you have two left feet. One thing that I have learned from being a dancer and teaching in the community is that dance groups are very supportive, and everyone is there to have fun. Most people feel the same as you do but once you let go of that initial feeling of intimidation and begin to enjoy just moving together in a safe space with like-minded people you feel empowered. So, get yourself booked on to that class!! Once you hear the music, your feet start tapping away and you realise that you’re smiling because you love the song – In that moment you are dancing your troubles away.
Dosage: One class per week initially to get you out of the house.
Prescription for: The Scared Dancer
Diagnosis: I have social anxiety!
Symptoms: You are not comfortable being around people in spaces where you feel like you are on show. You want to dance, you enjoy dancing but do not feel as though you are good enough to do this in front of others as you feel as though you may be judged.
Self-care Secret: I feel you… I still feel this sometimes now as a 40-year-old dancer when I go to take classes in London. I would suggest taking your time and work yourself up to actually stepping into a class slowly. This could be by firstly doing a class online. If you know the instructor of the class you would like to take there will always be some of their content online. Familiarise yourself with the teacher and how they teach as you can get a sense of their vibe. Dance can help you to find your voice and help you to overcome your social anxiety. Dance is in the moment which causes you to be mindful. Listen to how your body reacts, the boost of endorphins will create a feeling of happiness and enjoyment and in time this will calm your anxiety.
Dosage: 2-3 times per week. Find a YouTube channel, Facebook or Instagram page to follow – SS Dance & Wellbeing have lots of content available to view for free and face-to-face classes to attend in person when you are ready.
Prescription: The Summer Mover
Diagnosis: I don’t exercise during winter.
Symptoms: You are that highly motivated person who loves to be out and about being active during the summer. Going for walks, a run in the park or Fitness Dance Fusion on a summery Monday evening. You enjoy being out in the sunshine and prefer it when it’s light on an evening. But as soon as it comes to the winter chills, you hibernate, and your motivation becomes low!
Self-care Secret: As Mother Nature hits us with a blast of winter it’s important to realise there maybe a decline in your mood – This is normal. The key is to try not to let it change your routine. Small doses of being active in this season are a great way to inspire that positive mood to surface. If there’s a song that you like that reminds you of the summer vibes put that on as you drive or listen to it via your earphones as you walk to your class, the gym or are out on a run. Try to get yourself in the zone before you get there. Music and dance are uplifting, so listen more and take part more. Don’t let the cold winter blues get you down – Think about the benefits of being active, you will feel happier and healthier and if it’s one of SS Dance & Wellbeing classes that you attend – you will always leave with a smile on your face.
Dosage: 30 minutes of physical activity per day, five times a week.
A big thank you to SS Dance wellbeing from everyone at Healthwatch for sharing these with us. Take a look at their FREE 15 minute ‘Fitness DANCE Fusion – Dance till you feel better’ workout below:
The Healthwatch women share their self-care secrets:
Prescription for: Busy Mum’s
Diagnosis: The back-to-school bug!
Symptoms: As soon as my littles went back to school everyone in the house got poorly with flu-like symptoms and not just all at the same time (as that would potentially be more manageable) no, it’s on a lovely rotation of the youngest, eldest, mum, dad and round we go again with each strain slightly more snotty, sweaty or smelly than the first.
Self-care secret: Vitamins have taken the edge off for us. I use Vitamins containing Elderberry for the kids and women’s health vitamins for myself.
NHS information on Vitamins can be found here
Prescription for: Tired Nana
Diagnosis: Volunteering, working and looking after grandchildren
Symptoms: Needs a little me time, ready for a cuddle.
Self-care secret: Lovely hot bubble bath, cosy night in, catch up with friends, hugs from loved ones
Prescription for: Staying active when it’s cold and dark outside
Diagnosis: I’d rather stay in my pj’s-itis
Symptoms: People with this condition can be seen wrapped in blankets, heating on, avoiding going out, comfort eating, resulting in lack of energy. Essentially hibernating!
Self-care secret: Find an activity group to go to and a motivational friend or two. Having someone to make arrangements with means you’re far more likely to stick to your plans. Lay out your exercise clothes and trainers in advance so that everything is ready. Put your trainers on and walk out of the door – that’s the hard bit done! If you can’t get out, check out activity videos on YouTube; there are so many walking workouts, armchair exercise videos, something for everyone.
Dosage: 2 or 3 times per week.
We’d love to hear from more women in Kirklees and Calderdale. Could you help lift others up by sharing your winter wellness and self-care secrets in the comments below? And why not check out Dr Lowri’s top winter wellness tips from the NHS.
Let your voice be heard
Between now and 30 November Healthwatch are taking an essential step to ensure that all women in our community are represented in how the health and social care system supports your health, wellbeing and ability to self-care.
We’d like to invite women, girls and those who identify as female over the age of 16 to come and talk to us about:
- Health Management: How are you currently managing your health and wellbeing?
- Confidence Levels: How confident do you feel in your ability to self-care effectively?
- Ideas for Support: What do you think is needed to help women look after their health and wellbeing?
Taking part is easy
It’s quick and easy to share your experiences
- Just click on the following link and let your thoughts be heard.
- Prefer to chat on the phone? Call our friendly team on Kirklees 01924 450 379 or Calderdale 01422 412 141
- Or send your views via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, your voices matter and you can find out how our engagement projects make a difference on in our project pages. Your feedback will be kept anonymous and gives health and social care service managers the information they need to make changes everyone in our community will benefit from.
*Please be aware nothing in this article should be considered as medical information or advice, always consult a Dr before taking any medication or vitamins.
Let’s hear it women, is part of our ongoing ‘Never Heard’ work to give a voice to people who need it most.