Winter can be a difficult time for many people. With the cold, dark days, it's easy to feel low, unmotivated, and just generally down. However, there are many ways you can beat the winter blues and take care of yourself during the colder months. In this blog post, we'll explore some self-care tips to help you beat the so-called winter blues.
TIP 1: Get outside in the daylight
One of the biggest challenges of winter is the lack of daylight. Getting outside in the natural light, even if it's just for a short walk, can make a big difference. Exposure to sunlight can boost your mood, help regulate your circadian rhythm and provide you with much-needed vitamin D.
Research has shown that exposure to natural light can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that spending time in natural daylight can improve sleep quality, increase physical activity, and reduce symptoms of depression.
So, how can you get more natural light during the winter months? Try to get outside during daylight hours, even if it's just for a short walk or a trip to the grocery store. If you're unable to get outside, try to sit near a window or invest in a light therapy box. Light therapy boxes emit a bright light that mimics natural daylight and can be a great way to boost your mood and energy levels during the winter months (and they also serve as a great ring light for selfies!)
TIP 2: Exercise
Exercise is a great way to beat the winter blues. It can help improve your mood and energy levels and combat feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Find an activity that you enjoy, whether it's going to the gym, taking a yoga class, or going for a run. The important thing is to find something that you like and stick with it.
Regular exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for our mental and physical health. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression, with the authors concluding that "exercise has a large and significant antidepressant effect."
So, how can you incorporate exercise into your daily routine during the winter months? Try to find a form of exercise that you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine. You could join a gym or take a fitness class, go for a run or a walk, or even try an at-home workout. And don’t forget about classes like hot yoga, which are perfect for warming up during the winter chill.
If you're struggling to find motivation, try to schedule your workouts at the same time each day or find a workout buddy to help keep you accountable.
TIP #3: Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and anxiety. They can also help you sleep better, which is essential during the winter months when it can be difficult to get a good night's rest. Taking some time for yourself each day to practice relaxation techniques can help you feel calmer and more centered.
There are many different relaxation techniques that you can try, from deep breathing to yoga to guided imagery. One simple technique is deep breathing, which involves taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Another technique is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body, one at a time.
To practice relaxation techniques, find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and focus on your breath or your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath or your body. Start with just a few minutes each day and gradually work your way up to longer sessions.
TIP #4: Connect with others
Social isolation can be a real problem during the winter months, especially if you live alone. It's essential to stay connected with friends and family, even if it's just a phone call or a video chat. Joining a club or group can also be a great way to meet new people and combat feelings of loneliness.
TIP #5: Eat well
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help improve your mood and energy levels. Make sure you're getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks, which can leave you feeling sluggish and irritable.
TIP #6 Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for our mental and physical health, especially during the winter months. Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night, aiming for 7-8 hours. Establish a regular sleep routine, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
TIP #7 Treat yourself
Finally, don't forget to treat yourself. Whether it's a cozy night in with a good book, a long soak in the tub, or a massage, taking the time to pamper yourself can help you feel happier and more relaxed. For an easy relaxing spa day at home, take a long soak with some bath bombs or bath salts, put on relaxing music, grab a glass of wine or your favorite book and sit back for a little bit. And definitely don’t forget to pop on masks for the skin on both your eyes and face - the ultimate way to relax!
After you shower or take a bath, apply creamy body butter to wet skin. It’s important you apply it to wet skin so that you lock and seal in the moisture. And don’t forget about the skin on your face too - gently massage a dreamy moisturizer into your skin to feel even more relaxed.
We all know winter can be a challenging time, but there are many self-care tips you can try to help you beat the winter blues. How will you prioritize self-care this season?