Here are some ideas which might help keep your energy up in the weeks and even months ahead.

Daffodils showing their frst leaves in January, Edinburgh, Scotland

1. Protect your kideneys

In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are vital organs associated feeeling energetic.  If you are suffering from the cold, wrap something extra toasty-cosy around your kidneys (they are at the back of your waist) under your clothes. A pashmina or a cashmere scarf is ideal. If you are at home and sitting still, you could put a hot water bottle back there. You will be amazed at the different it makes!

2. Boost your respiratory system

If you are succumbing to coughs and colds, strengthen your respiratory system with a simple and effective Chi Gung exercise. Stand still with your arms at chest height – as if they are around a tree with the palms facing towards your body, fingertips almost touching. Breathe in deeply and open your arms at the same time, until they are level with and to the sides of your shoulders, with the palms facing upwards. When you are ready to breathe out again, turn the palms over and gently move your arms back to the starting position. Do this at least 5 times, deepening and lengthening your breath each time if you can. The top of Arthur’s Seat is a briliant place to do it – you might even start a chi gun revolution. For courses and other information on chi gung and ta’ai chi see our facebook page.

Edinburgh’s iconic Arthur’s Seat seen from Carlton Hill, Scotland

3. Get lots of rest

Even though the nights are long, you might be struggling to sleep well. A hand massage before bed works wonders! You can use some deliciously smelling lotion and make it up as you go along, or you can use perpendicular Shiatsu pressure which can be as gentle or as firm as you like it. Including the acupressure point Shen Men (HT 7) will aid peaceful sleep: place one hand palm up and use the thumb of your other hand to lean down on the little finger side of the wrist crease (where your wrist bends). You will feel a bone and you want to lean on the fleshy part next to that bone. Press 3 times as you exhale and then repeat on the other hand. Here is a diagram 

A Shiatsu session will boost your immune system.

4. Have a Laugh

Laughing releases inhibitions, boosts the immune system and tones muscles. In Chinese medicine it is the recommendation for balancing the Fire Element, the one which evaporates the cold. Find a friend or a toddler and swap jokes, or try a Laughter Club – perfect for banishing the winter blues: Laughter Club

Did you know? Laughing is an aerobic exercise – a bit like internal jogging

Go on, have a giggle, and you will feel all those endorphins really rushing around!

5. Eat well to feel well

We all know that what we eat has an influence on how we feel, but winter, well, it is tempting to eat more sweets and carbs during the dark days, isn’t it? You can’t go wrong with porridge or a nourishing soup. If you think you may need more expert advice, consult a nutritionist. Healthy Eating Using Traditional Chinese Medicine


You might also like my blog, Strength and good fortune using the 5 traditional Chinese Ways

What do you do when you feel tired and fed up with winter? Drop a comment below to share with us.