How To Take Care of Yourself During the Winter
Here comes the holidays filled with gifts, food and happiness.. right? Well for many of us, like myself, sometimes the winter comes with uninvited blues, depression, anxiety or even mental health struggles.
For many of us who live in the cold and dark winter, it’s hard to get up from the bed and start our day. The winter can be extremely difficult for those that struggle with anxiety and depression because the lack of the sun and Vitamin D affecting our mood and health.
For me, living in this type of environment has been difficult and it really motivated me to move away to Miami, Florida. I wanted to be near the sun, warmth and more daylight. If anyone has visited Miami, Florida you know it is hot all year round. The coldest it would go would be in the 70s during the winter season and that’s cold for Florida. When I was in Florida, I found myself not struggling much with my mental health until I returned to live in New England again. Then, I struggled during the winter once more. Now, for many of us, we have to learn skills and tools to take care of ourselves during this difficult season.
Before reading further, I am not a doctor, or a licensed medical professional. If you need professional assistance please seek professional help, see your doctor and if you are in desperate need of help, please see the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk to someone.
Have you signed up for the email list to receive exclusive content and travel and lifestyle tips?
Have you connected with me on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest?
Connect with me! I love meeting new people from all over, send me a message!
Let’s get started! Here are some ideas to take care of yourself during the winter, especially for your mental health.
This might not be a surprise but it's something that I usually bring up in my self care blog posts. Getting up and moving has seriously brought change into my life. When you move around, you release that good endorphins and it helps you clear your mind. Whether it’s for 15 minutes or an hour, you just need some time to get up. I mentioned before, I love doing yoga, pilates or some type of core exercises. You can just take a walk outside or around your house. If you are able to consistently keep this in your routine, you are maintaining being healthy and help beat the winter blues.
This is something that I’ve made it to my daily self care routine. Meditation is a practice and a great skill to develop. Many people think you need an hour and to sit in silence when really you don’t have to. They gave us a training on meditation at work where I learned about different types of meditation methods and one simple way and common one is focusing on your breathing. All you have to do is focus on your breath, breathing in and out. Set out a timer for at least five minutes or even do YouTube videos listening to a bell sound. This method is helping you focus on clearing your mind by focusing on one sound.
Put on some sweet soft candles and let them burn. Seriously. There is something soothing watching candles burn. Being around this type of sensation is great for your mental health because it will calm you. You don’t need expensive candles, but there are great ones in TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or even Target. I usually buy mine in TJ Maxx because they are so beautiful, affordable and they smell so good.
This is something that truly changed my life as well. Last year, I learned about aromatherapy and how there are different types of oils that are beneficial for you. Aromatherapy is a great treatment for different types of situations. There are so many different types of oils that can help you heal from headaches, improve quality of sleep, to boosting immunity, to help ease anxiety. There are so many different types of oils. Whatever you want to heal, find the right oil to diffuse. Remember to research! Here are a list of essentials oils for different purposes.
Take a warm bath
There is nothing more soothing and comfortable than taking a nice warm bath. Taking a shower is different. Taking a shower is more quick and it doesn’t really have you in that state of mind to relax. Get the pleasure of laying down in warm, lavender (or whatever sense of smell) water and put on some music and relax. Usually, after taking a warm bath you’d probably want to put on some body lotion because your body might be dry.
There is something amazing with being able to write out what is in your mind onto paper. I do this every morning before I start my day. Journaling has been a great way to clear your mind, especially if you have negative or stressful thoughts that are unpleasant during the winter. Writing down thoughts may not be for everyone, but at least give it a trial run for a week and see how your mind feels afterwards.
Hang out with a friend
During the winter it can be difficult to leave the house or even bed. However, this shouldn’t stop you from spending quality time with friends or loved ones. During the winter, depression or anxiety can have you feeling stuck inside four walls, and you probably don’t have any energy to hang out with anyone. This happens to me during the winter and you are not alone. Being in isolation does not help with your mental help and to even get out from bed is a victory in itself. However, try to find some energy to get up and spend time with a friend who understands where you are coming from.
Take a long lazy day and rest
The days are shorter in the winter. During this time, we can lose energy and any interest of doing anything from errands, to exercising, to hanging out with friends. Maybe we’ve been running around getting things done and we just need a rest. This is your permission to do so. Sundays are my favorite days to relax and sleep and be lazy. Find your own day during the week and give yourself permission to do nothing.
I mentioned aromatherapy earlier for diffusing and absorbing oils. However, light therapy is another great way to take in artificial daylight that we lack during the day because of the winter. There are so many great technology advancements that allows us to explore other ways to better our mental health and light therapy is one way. If you want your mental health and body clock to benefit from more sunlight, you can find different types of light therapy online.
There’s this term that has been going around and Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a “Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special,” according to Hygge House. It is a feeling and you can create it yourself. Many people like to grab warm blankets, grab hot chocolate, wear pajamas and read a book so they feel like they are enjoying a relaxing and cozy lifestyle. Whatever it consists of, make your own hygge lifestyle especially during the winter.