Winter weather can really take a toll on not only your hair and skin, but also your mental health! The gray skies, cold weather, and shorter periods of sunlight can really bring a person’s mood down. This year, combat the winter blues by trying something new! From practicing gratitude to trying out a winter sport to simply embracing the coldest season of the year, there are a variety of things to do and practice that will keep your emotions in check! This winter, don’t let the dreary weather keep you down! Check out this list of 10 self-care tips for the winter blues and make this winter your best one yet!
1. Get Outside
During the winter it’s important to get outdoors! Since there is less sunlight during the coldest season of the year, taking advantage of it when you can is key to combating depressed moods. Less sunlight can have a significant impact on not only your mood but also your energy levels as well as your body’s circadian rhythms. This can result in a drop in your vitamin D levels which in turn can lead to depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is also common during winter and can negatively affect your overall well-being. Try to go for a walk before work, or schedule a stroll around the block during a break in your day. By going outside during daylight hours, you’re not only keeping your mind and body active, but you’re also getting that much-needed vitamin D from the sun!
2. Focus On Gratitude
This time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the stressful things that come with the holiday season. From crummy weather to getting sick to having to plan the family holiday party, there are plenty of things during winter that can seem frustrating and even unfair. However, it’s important to not let yourself get carried away with those things. By focusing on gratitude, you can actually feel happier and more resilient. Rather than stress over the cold weather, be thankful for a warm house and roof over your head. Instead of worrying about hosting a party, thank your family for making the trip to see you. Giving thanks during the holiday season is not only proven to make you happier, it can also reduce stress, strengthen relationships, and improve overall health!
3. It’s Okay To Say No
This time of year, people generally become busier. From working extra shifts to shopping for gifts to holiday parties every weekend, there is a lot to do during winter. While staying busy can be a good thing, it’s important to know when to say “no.” When you over-extend yourself, you’re neglecting the time your body and mind need to recharge. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, everybody needs time to themselves where they can relax and reflect. Especially during the colder months, things can get hectic and really impact how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. So the next time you’re invited to that party for a friend of a friend that you’re not really interested in going to, pass it up. Instead, stay home and curl up on your couch with a cup of hot chocolate and binge-watch your favorite show!
4. Try Out A Winter Sport
Cold weather and snow can definitely put a damper on your afternoon runs. That’s why experimenting with winter sports is a great way to stay active during the cold season. From skiing to snowboarding to snow-shoeing, there are tons of ways to get your heart-rate going in the snow! Try an afternoon of hiking with snow-shoes or head to the nearest hill to try out skiing, snowboarding, or sledding! Even if you find that one of these sports isn’t a good fit for you, at least you gave it a shot. Just by keeping active, you can improve your mental and physical health and in turn combat the winter blues.
5. Embrace The Weather
Just because it’s too cold to go outside doesn’t mean you can’t still embrace the winter weather! Rather than bum out over slushy snow and chilly air, appreciate it and use it as an excuse to stay in. Cozy up by a fire with a cup of homemade hot chocolate. Better yet, cook up your favorite dish and eat it in front of the TV in your warmest pajamas and fuzziest socks. Winter weather doesn’t have to be a bad thing! By embracing the weather and using it to your advantage, you can rid of any negative feelings you have towards the cold season of the year and begin to associate it with warm and happy feelings!
6. Indulge In Moderation
With the holidays quickly approaching, baked goods and sweet treats will be around every corner! While it’s totally okay to eat that gingerbread cookie or snack on that tin of gourmet popcorn, just be sure you’re indulging in moderation! Eating too much sugar and other unhealthy foods can lead to low energy levels, anxiety, stress, and mood swings. Balance your cravings for those naughty foods with fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re taking care of your body and mind this winter.
What better time of year to take up baking than the holiday season? With plenty of holiday parties and family get-togethers approaching, there are tons of reasons to bake! Not only is baking a great way to give and share, but it’s also a way to keep your mind focused on something that can be oh so rewarding! Whether it’s a simple pan of chocolate brownies or you challenge yourself with a three-layer cake complete with decorations, baking can really warm up not only your kitchen but your soul!
8. Slow Down
During the winter, running from one thing to the next can feel extra stressful because of the production that bundling up is paired with bad roads and slower traffic. All of this combined can make going from class to work to the grocery store feel like a lot. It’s important to slow down this time of year in order to stay sane. Rather than pick up that shift your boss offered you, turn it down and give yourself a day off to just unwind and slow down. Instead of picking up groceries for dinner, order delivery or whip together something new with ingredients you already have. Rather than run around, slow down and take the time your mind and body need to catch up to everything going on and all of the changes that winter brings.
9. Invest In A Fancy Moisturizer
Cold winter weather means dry hair and cracking skin. Especially in areas where winter is almost half of the year, it’s okay to invest in an expensive quality hair mask or face moisturizer. Hair and skin are delicate and winter weather can really take a toll on their health. By treating yourself to a fancy moisturizer, you’re also taking care of your body which can result in feeling better overall.
10. Take Time Off
Whether you plan on heading to Orlando for a week this winter or have no plans to leave your house at all, it’s important to take time off of your busy schedule and enjoy a little “vacation” time. Plan a trip with your SO to a cozy ski chalet in the mountains or pick a week to take off of work and just hang out at home. By giving yourself a little time off, you not only get to relax and focus on you, you also become more appreciative of your job but and all of the other get-togethers and events going on this winter. No matter where you spend your vacation, be sure to take one and enjoy every second of it!