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The Gift of a Life Lift

A blog that can help you to give your life a lift. At Brown Paper Packages we aim to inspire you to make changes to your daily lives to feel healthier and happier and experience improved wellbeing. Follow our posts and take this opportunity to change your mood or help to lift the life of others.


A DIY Winter Wellness Break on a Budget

Helen O'Callaghan

We’ve just got back from a beautiful week long get away in Pembrokeshire, Wales... You don’t need to visit a wellness retreat for a therapeutic break away from the everyday grind, just throw yourself into nature, read a book and be sure to pack away your phone. There is so much beauty to be found at this time of year... and there is nothing more wonderful than having it all to yourself, which is one of the advantages to a coastal holiday in February. We recommend that you wrap up warm and invest in the right clothing such as a balaclava to keep off the wind, and some waterproof outerwear and footwear, but what ever you do, don’t let the weather stop you!! 


Here are some easy steps to planning your DIY Winter Wellness break;

  1. Book a cottage by the sea, a caravan in a national park, a lodge in a nature reserve, or area of outstanding natural beauty… a farm stay is perfect for children. You only need 2 full days and you will start to feel the benefit.

  2. Climb to reach a spectacular view point and reward yourself after with a warm drink next to a crackling fire.

  3. Go for a morning stroll to the beach or a waters-edge and take a flask of hot soup or tea so you can sit and enjoy the smells and sounds. You could even take a small fire pit or bbq or invest in a hiking / backpacking stove for lunch. Kids love cooking outdoors and you don’t need to be camping to benefit. I still remember my dad’s old Primus stove when we were children.

  4. Learn something new… Look up your local museum or visitor centre. The Wildlife Trusts and Nature Reserves often have inspiring places to visit. We love the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Visitor Centre where you can grab a bite to eat while learning and spotting rare and interesting birds. Castles and historic towns and villages also make great learning topics for all the family.

  5. Be Active… it’s probably a critical part of a winter holiday as you need to be active to keep warm while visiting the sites… but being active is also great for your physical and mental Wellbeing. Why not hire a bike and if you have kids you can usually opt for a trailer that is covered to keep the wind off. Or look up your local pool… And even better you can find a list of outdoor lido’s online that open in the winter. If you need something less energetic look up a local yoga studio, they sometimes have family yoga classes available.

  6. Eat healthy… plan some simple quick and easy healthy dishes and take lots of healthy yummy snacks to give you energy. Cooking up some frozen sauces and dishes before hand will also make it feel more of a holiday. A healthy bean chilli, or pasta sauce is a great option. It is becoming increasingly easy to find vegan and vegetarian cafe’s and restaurants so do your research before hand. We visited PlumVanilla Cafe in Narbeth and what a treat. The food was delicious and there was even a small selection of toys for the kids.

The British coast line is beautiful in the winter and if you wrap up warm and the sun comes out you can get all the benefits (minus a swim)... Kids love to rock climb, searching for shells and stones and take great pleasure in running around the sand dunes or throwing their finds back into the sea. It’s incredibly good value during this time of year and also very peaceful and tranquil.


We had terrible signal during our trip which gave us the excuse to switch off from the world and all things social media. The most important part of creating your DIY Wellness break is putting away your phones and immersing yourself in a good book. Visit your local library before hand to inspire you and pack plenty of options in case one doesn’t grab your attention. If you don’t enjoy reading, then maybe a past time such as beading, knitting, crocheting or whittling could relax your mind. Do the research before and take what you need.

My last tip is if you are traveling with children take them lots of colouring and craft activities like hama beads and play dough so you can all enjoy your down time together… We hope this has inspired you to book up your DIY Wellness Trip. With a little extra effort you can feel refreshed and revived after just a few short days. Good luck and enjoy.