This is our first blog of the new year and it comes right on time! As the temperatures drop across the nation so can our energy levels and moods. With all of the activities in our busy schedules and new years resolutions to pursue, we can't afford to slow down, curled up in bed all day in a dark room with curtains drawn, pigging out on junk.
Netflix, Hulu, and junk food providers are loving Winter right about now. But we could enjoy it too if we can just get out of our emotional, physical, and mental funk!
Winter months mean less sunlight. Less sunlight means less vitamin D from the sun which we need in order to feel energetic, rejuvenated, and ready for whatever we need to do for the day. This is a time of year when people may experience what we call Seasonal Depression, clinically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, which can happen in any particular season).
You may be experiencing Seasonal Depression if you are experiencing low energy, problems sleeping, lost of interest in things you would usually enjoy, changes in appetite, experiencing weight gain, and other symptoms- many of which can be found here.
Fortunately, we are proposing you slither out of that bed with the following list of self-care strategies to create a Self-Care plan to go from the Winter blues to positive steps Winter self-care!
5 simple Winter Self-Care tips:
1. Grab a notebook or go to your local dollar store and start keeping a Gratitude journal. This may sound boring or pointless, but you'll be surprised at how many things you can be grateful for each day if you took the time to recognize them. Paying attention to what you are grateful for can literally lift your mood. Who knew? If you have your basic needs met then you are already ahead of the game! Our suggestion is to identify at least 3 things each day. It could be as simple as "I'm grateful to have the time to binge-watch my favorite series on Netflix".
2. The power of warm scents in your space. Light a candle that reminds you of coziness, bake something yummy in your oven for your household or to give away but be sure to save a piece or two to enjoy for yourself. Essential oils are great this time of year in an diffuser. The warm scent of lavender can help you sleep better, orange essential oil can give you a boost of energy, and Bergamot has specifically been identified to combat depression (to name a few, find more here). Try these ideas not only at home but in your work space as well.
3. Stay warm with warm things. Simple but so easy to skip out on. It could be enjoying a cup of hot tea, hot cocoa, or specialty coffee that you love to make at home or purchase at the coffee shop. Enjoy wearing warm comfortable winter clothing even when you have nothing to do and no where to go. There has to be one "go to" sweater that you just love to wear when your at home or out running errands. Or put on those special fuzzy socks that keep your body temperature warm all day when you wear them. Cuddle up in warm, cozy blankets as often as you can and just be in the moment. We even have a bonus idea, put that fury blanket in the dryer with a fresh dryer sheet for 10 minutes, take it out and enjoy being toasty with a refreshing scent to match!
4. Take care of your skin. Quite frankly if you don't, the winter won't only affect your mood but it can make your skin hurt too! Cracked lips, dry and itchy skin are the last things you want in falling temps. Find a body lotion or butter for dry skin, specifically to moisturize and keep it handy by the sink or on your person for after washing your hands throughout the day. The friction of rubbing your hands together is soothing anyways so its a win-win. Its a special treat when you learn how to craft your own body oils or lotions AND incorporate essential oils in there. BAM, you would hit a home run with that! Try this DIY lotion recipe here.
5. Lastly, make playlists! Notice its plural. Make a playlist for different times of your day. This can be simple to do on such outlets as iHeart radio, Spotify, Pandora, etc. Remember mixed tapes? People still make them, they just do it on YouTube. Select a playlist for the following moments throughout your day:
-Getting ready for the day
-When your working out
-While your at work
-Relaxing at home
-Commuting to and from work
-Winding down from the day
-Sleep meditation to help you sleep
Here is an example of my personal "Chill" remix for days that I'm just at home cleaning, reading, cooking, or writing down ideas.
We certainly feel there are many ways for you to get out of your funk. These are just our five suggestions to start practicing self-care this winter season! Give us feedback on what you've tried and how it went.
Be the Best You That You Can Be One Positive Step At A Time! Peace
*Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, the information in this article is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a professional for treatment of any clinical mental illness. Do not take suggestions on Positive Steps10, LLC website as professional advice for you and your situation without formal consultation as such with a PS10, LLC professional with a contract for services.
Email us: Your Journey, Your Positive Steps