(Fr)easing Yourself In

Goodbye sun-kissed skin, hello winter wetsuits.

It’s February and as we make our way through winter, days spent at the beach in the sun seem like forever away and the jump out of bed becomes more of a sluggish flop than an excited leap. In this article we will discuss how to combat the sullen morning feels winter brings, to get the best out of these colder months.

In the ocean, it’s just you and the water. Maybe the medium of a board, or bikini. Whatever your choice of clothing, the ocean has the power to remove the stresses of day-to-day living. Running through the hot sand, board under arm and diving head first into the first wave of the day is a feeling we all wish would last. Unfortunately, seasons change and as much as we would all like the sun to stay, she begins to rise later and set earlier – like us all. So how can we still get our vitamin sea during winter months?

Words by Anushka Bovill

Here’s our 5 top tips to (fr)easing yourself into winter…

1. Sleepy Head
First of all, we need to give ourselves time. As the sun changes her cycle, so does our own sleep cycle. Known as circadian rhythm, our cycle adjusts to the presence of the sun so we can get the most out of our season. The colder months increase the amount of time spent in a deep sleep when compared to warmer months. Due to the lack of sun in the mornings, coming out of such a deep trance is harder. So getting out for a dawnie is going to take a little more effort than usual. Make sure, as soon as that alarm is going off, you’re moving your feet from the bed to the floor. Grounding your body helps to wake her up and refrains us from drifting back to sleep.

2. Morning Mindfulness.
Dazed and confused? Us too. It can be super helpful to set yourself a sturdy morning routine so you can fall back on having something to do when you feel groggy. We suggest you start with a little morning flow. Your muscles tighten up more in the winter months during sleep, more than any other month so try to gently stretch them out. As a bonus, at the end of your flow, sit with your thoughts for 5/10 minutes. Be present in the moment and appreciate how your body feels, where she’s taken you and where she’s going next. Set your intentions for the day and maybe even throw in some positive affirmations to really boost your morning mood. Be patient with your body, as much patience is required on the board as off the board.

3. Breakfast of Champions (albeit slightly cold ones)
Winter time is synonymous with warm, rich foods and plenty of warm drinks. Hot chocolate on the beach? We’ll take three. Due to the cold, our bodies naturally try and heat up to keep internal temperatures at a constant. This means we burn a lot more calories day-to-day just trying to keep warm. It’s important to fuel our bodies with lots of complex carbs that release energy throughout the day and keep us satiated for longer! Ever been hungry mid set? Yeah, never again.

We suggest an oat bowl. Maybe even add a hit of protein to keep your muscles strong!

Chia seeds
Choice of fruit
Oat milk
Nut butter
Optional: Vegan protein powder!

4. Take it Slow, but don’t underestimate yourself
In the winter we want to pump the breaks on and for good reason. There’s far more to think about before, during and after being in the water. How quickly can you peel off your wetsuit and get your comfy clothes back on? If there’s a world record attempt we’ll be sure to challenge.
So we tend to lower our expectations of what we can achieve from our day. But the winter offers unique experiences to challenge ourselves. In Psychology, we call this cognitive reframing – changing the outlook we have on a situation to make the experience a positive one. Set realistic goals for yourself to achieve when considering last winter. What do you want to get out of surfing this time round? How is your lifestyle different this year? Thankfully, humans aren’t stationary so chances are you are able to make some comparisons from previous experiences.

5. Finding your Flow
Appropriately following on from our last point, the ideal balance between challenge and achievement lies in flow. Flow theory is a psychological theory that suggests setting appropriate challenges, being focused and getting immediate feedback from an activity results in being hyper-focused state and significantly increases endorphin release. Musicians often report flow when creating music as their creative output matches their internal state. Look at it as the purest form of self expression, releasing all tensions and just f l o w i n g through the day.

Finally remember one size does not fit all. Your body has a natural rhythm that has been in place for centuries, for optimal function in any season. Modern living can cause an imbalance between input and output, with far more to take on in daily living than any other time before. Listen to your body sometimes extra care is needed and most importantly don’t stray too far from your inner wild woman, she knows the way.