If you are in a climate where wintertime means gloomy skies and cold temperatures, and you struggle with feeling the “winter blues,” we want to share a few of our favorite tips for staying healthy in your body, mind, and spirit this season.
Many people struggle to feel motivated and hopeful when temperatures drop and the sun stays hidden. If you are one of them, you are definitely not alone.
Incorporating a few intentional self care practices into your days may help combat these overwhelming feelings.
Don’t forget, however, that it is okay to not always feel your highest. You have cycles just like the seasons and you were made to ebb and flow, in energy, inspiration, and clarity. Just because you feel a bit lower on one day does not mean you will stay there forever or that anything is wrong with you.
Use these months to relax and restore. Give yourself permission to let go a bit. It is natural to seek comfort during certain seasons and to desire to slow down a bit.
There are few things as significant to your health as sleep.
You can create the best healthy habits and perform all the self care rituals you like, but if you are not starting with a rested foundation, you will feel continually depleted.
Studies show that most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. Getting into bed thirty minutes early and spending a few minutes reading or deep breathing may help you sleep more soundly.
We also recommend a stretching routine before falling asleep. If you have just ten minutes before you hop into bed, check out our recent post on 10 Minutes of Stretching for Better Sleep.
Yes, we know it can be quite hard when it is really cold outside to find the motivation to go outside, but taking just a few minutes to breathe fresh air and observe nature may have a dramatic impact on your mood and create clarity in your mind.
Absorbing as much vitamin D as possible will benefit your entire immune system and lift your spirits. So, bundle, bundle, bundle if you have to and get out there.
Breathe in that fresh air and lift your face to the sunshine whenever possible. We don’t think you will regret it.
If you turn into a sloth as soon as it drops below fifty, getting yourself moving in the winter can be difficult.
It is important to make sure you continually remind yourself that you need to exercise because you love yourself. Exercise is crucial for moving your energy, keeping a clear head, and helping your body to feel good.
Movement is a self care practice which benefits your entire being. Be proactive in scheduling it into your day and make it a nonnegotiable. If you need an accountability partner, find a friend who will move with you.
Don’t forget, you are allowed to ebb and flow with the seasons, so if you feel yourself slowing down, consider a gentle yoga practice or a short daily walk, but still get your body moving a bit each day.
Meeting yourself where you are and creating attainable exercise goals will help you to consistently show up and follow through.
It is natural to want to hibernate in the winter months, but if you find yourself feeling the blues, making regular plans to see friends will help combat feelings of isolation.
When it is too cold to get outdoors, scheduling a sweat session with a friend is a good way to have some fun while also getting your energy moving.
Winter is a great time to invite a friend to join you in checking out an indoor rock climbing gym, catching a yoga class, or trying out that new fitness studio you have been eyeing.
If you are looking for additional inspirational activities to do together, we suggest starting a book club, having a movie night, or meeting weekly for a comforting drink is also a cozy way to stay in touch.
Get creative and use this time to invite friends to explore different indoor activities you wouldn’t do in the warmer months.
Taking the time to come back to yourself can be beneficial in allowing yourself to feel grounded.
A regular meditation practice can help shift your mindset from one of apathy to gratitude by clearing the fogginess you may feel in your head and allowing you to find new perspective.
Meditation cultivates self compassion and can help you love yourself as you are.
If you are intimidated by the thought of meditation, check out our 1 Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere.
Winter can get a bad rep for being a bleak food time when fresh produce is hard to come by, but using bold spices in the wintertime will not only delight your palate, but can also improve your digestion and overall immunity.
Finding bold flavors by playing with new spice combinations is a way to wake up your creativity and invite in newness to a season that can sometimes feel a bit stagnant.
Spices can be stimulating and energizing. They can also be grounding and comforting.
We challenge you to pick out a few spices you haven’t played with before and look up a new recipe. You will dive into bolder flavors, try something new, and give your body nourishment.
We would love to hear how you are combatting the winter blues, and maybe even how you are embracing them.
If you feel like the overwhelm is more than you can handle, we recommend seeing your qualified health care professional. Remember that it is always okay to ask for help.