So Christmas is over, the festive lights and baubles all taken down. The cold is setting in and the days are grey. And dreary. And long. Get ready for them winter blues. I don’t know about you, but for me January and Febrary are long, grey, neverending months where I am more tired than at any other time of the year, less motiviated and just feeling blah.
The question is what to do do about these winter blues, and the answer is self care. Bump it up a notch. I’ve got tips that are sure to uplift your spirits a little this winter.
We all know what happens come January first. Everyone resolves to lose extra Christmas weight, hits the gym hard and then falls off the wagon by the third week in January. So this is not what I mean when I say get physical. Instead of trying to burn away weight on the elliptical or gain muscle in some heavy body pumping class, take up yoga. Gentle on the body, it’s uplifting for the mind and is perfect for chasing away some of the winter blues. And, you don’t even need to leave your house, which is hard in the cold, dark evenings. Plus, this year with gyms closed, it’s the perfect way to get active.
This is something new I’m starting. Often at this time of year, I feel like a slob. I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I’m yawning till after lunch, and when I come home I just flop on the couch and turn on Netflix. And I just feel down. Uninspired. Tired. Disengaged. So instead of going with this flow (which isn’t good for your mental health at all) I am going to create an affirmation journal filled with affirmations that I can record, look at, and be inspired by. I may make it an affirmation/gratitude journal because finding those little things to be grateful for goes a long way to brightening your day. Journalling is an important part of self care, and there are so many ways to journal so the new year is definitely the time to start, or get back into this self care habit.
It’s okay to be a little lazy. The long days of grey skies and early nightfall really does take their toll on you. But instead of binge watching Netflix series’, indulge in a hobby. It’s a great way to practice mindfulness, and far more enjoyable and beneficial for your mental health than plopping yourself down in front of a screen. Reading would be perfect for this time of year. Or a hobby like knitting–the warm yarn, the bright colours you can use, and the idea of a finished project can be extremely motivating. If you have ever been interested in taking up writing, or blogging, now might be the time. Or perhaps this is the time to begin trying your hand at perfecting your cooking techniques or learning to cook. Pick a hobby you’d enjoy and run with it full force.
Miss the feel of the sun on your skin? The warm glow of sunlight? So does your body. It’s essential during these winter months to take your vitamin D, especially if you live in a place where you are not seeing much sunshine like Canada. Research has shown that vitamin D can play an important part in regulating mood and fighting off depression. Although more research is needed, studies suggest that there is a significant relationship between depression and vitamin D deficiency. Check with your doctor before deciding to take supplements so you can get one properly regulated and prescribed.
Get Out in the Snow
I know, it’s cold out there! But sometimes if you can’t beat them, join them! Winter is a great season, the air is crisp and wakes you up (yes, with it’s wintery blast) but you’ll have fun hiking, walking and playing in the snow. There are so many outdoor activities you can do–from a basic walk to snowboarding. Pick one that you enjoy or can do easily, and bundle up and get out there. It’s a lot more fun than you may think. Bring a camera with you and take some winter wonderland shots. When you get in, treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate.
Self care is so important, if there is anything you have ever taken away from my blog, is that fact. So be sure to get busy beating the winter blues with some of these self care tips, and enjoy the winter as best you can. Also be sure to get enough sleep, eat well and listen to your body. All of this is important self care too, and too often forgotten about. We can make it through the winter blues together so don’t despair!
Share your thoughts or other tips in the comments below.