BIG READ

NOT YOUR FAVOURITE SEA­SON? WELL, THERE’S AC­TU­ALLY A LOT TO SMILE ABOUT. THINK EMPTY BEACHES, SELF-CARE, RELAXATION, FOOD AND OF COURSE, SWELL

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | WELCOME - WORDS: AN­NIE CAUGHEY

Can you be­lieve we are just a few weeks from the winter sol­stice (the year’s short­est day)? How did that come around so quickly?

Maybe you’re be­com­ing frus­trated by the shorter days and the frosty dark morn­ings that chain you to your bed, hold­ing you back from that morn­ing gym class – yes, we know it’s not your fault.

How­ever, as gloomy as winter some­times may feel, there’s a lot of pos­i­tive things to come out of the sea­son (and it’s not just be­cause it’s so­cially ac­cept­able to wear Ugg Boots in pub­lic again).

Be­cause of the chill­ier nights, our bod­ies can make the most of the prime sleep­ing con­di­tions. A study by the Na­tional Foun­da­tion of Sleep found the ideal bed­room tem­per­a­ture to help the body get its most rest­ful sleep is about 15 to 20 de­grees.

Plus the beaches be­come way less crowded and splurg­ing on a pair of match­ing py­ja­mas for ev­ery mem­ber of the fam­ily, in our humble opin­ion, is to­tally OK.

So, with all these great ben­e­fits, the Week­end Mag­a­zine thought we’d share some life hacks to help you make the most out of winter.

Sun­light

For all the nine-to-five work­ers in the re­gion you may be suf­fer­ing “cabin-fever” be­cause of a lack of sun­shine. Spend­ing your whole day in­doors to then drive home as the sun sets can be a bit de­press­ing.

So, why not start or­gan­is­ing an out­door lunch break? Sit out­side your of­fice, find a park near your work­place or if you’re some­one who gets a whole hour for lunch, why not take your food to your near­est beach and eat while sit­ting in the sun.

We’re lucky enough on the Sun­shine Coast that our winter days (which on av­er­age sit about 21C ), still of­fer prime weather to get out in the great out­doors. Just 30 min­utes of sun a day can im­prove your vi­ta­min D lev­els, im­prove your en­ergy lev­els and de­crease your lev­els of mela­tonin – the hor­mone we make more of in winter that causes us to feel sleepy.

Gym rou­tine

For all the early morn­ing gym go­ers, per­haps you could use this sea­son as an op­por­tu­nity to shake up your rou­tine. At group train­ing fran­chises, early morn­ing classes can quickly book out or be­come over­crowded, so why not es­cape the masses and take on the night classes? If it’s dark on your way home from work any­way, what have you got to lose?

Cur­rently on the Coast, the sun is ris­ing about 6am. This gives most work­ers at least two to three hours be­fore they start work to get out and about. Use this time to do some­thing more re­lax­ing like walk­ing the dog, some back­yard yoga or a morn­ing surf. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for the sweat sesh later.

Surf

Hands down the best thing about the colder months on the Sun­shine Coast is the winter swell. There’s less surfers, more waves and bet­ter rides.

Favourable winds usu­ally sweep­ing in from the west cause for a clean off­shore break that gives rid­ers those glassy, long waves. As long as you’ve got a wet­suit to suit, the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture this far north isn’t too pun­ish­ing – just don’t tell any­one else that. Af­ter your surf sesh, warm up with a ba­con and egg roll and a cof­fee from a nearby cafe. What a per­fect start to the day.

Read

While most Sun­shine Coast houses won’t fea­ture grand fire­places in the liv­ing room, we do have houses de­signed to catch the sun’s light.

So even with­out a fireplace it’s easy to re­treat into a warm cor­ner and settle in with your favourite book.

Find a large glass slid­ing door or win­dowsill and cosy up on the car­pet.

Let the winter sun wash over you while you es­cape in­side the pages. Just glorious.

Winter es­cape

Speak­ing of fire­places, we lied. There is a place on the Sun­shine Coast that ac­tu­ally does have a lot of them – the hin­ter­land.

What a won­der­ful time of year to book your­self a cabin with your part­ner, friends or fam­ily and have a week­end nes­tled away in the woods.

There’s a heap of whole­some ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions to choose from in­clud­ing farm stays, bed and break­fasts, Airbnbs and old-style ho­tels.

Check out the hin­ter­land cul­ture, one of its many gal­leries or sur­round­ing agri­cul­ture busi­nesses like Brouhaha Brew­ery, Maleny Dairy or the Big Pineap­ple.

Then once night falls, it’s time to pull out the red wine, slice the cheese and settle in for a night of cha­rades or late-night movies. Hmm, that doesn’t sound so gloomy does it?

Tip: If you’re keen to ven­ture out of the Sun­shine Coast, why not check out the

Bunya Moun­tains.

The re­gion is just un­der a three-hour drive from the Coast and boasts six dif­fer­ent na­ture re­serves. Guests can ex­plore rain­forests, wa­ter­falls or climb up to look-outs show­cas­ing exquisite views more than 1100m above sea level.

Be sure to bring your binoc­u­lars be­cause the sur­round­ing parks are home to more than 215 species of bird.

PHOTO:CON­TRIB­UTED

SEA­SONAL AC­TIV­I­TIES: There's no need to let the winter blues get you down with these sea­sonal pick-me-ups.

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