The cold, dark winter months can be psychologically difficult for many people. Depression sets in, and it’s often too cold to go out for a walk or a hike. In addition, with the reduced sunlight hours, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) cases increase. However, despite the cold, dreary weather, there are ways to take care of yourself so that you don’t slip into a bad mood every day. Here are 10 winter self-care tips to get you through the winter months.
1. Meditate for 10–15 Minutes
Besides helping to combat stress, daily meditation has a ton of benefits. It boosts your immune system, which can be especially helpful during flu season. It also lowers your blood pressure. But best of all, it helps decrease anxiety and depression. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes as soon as you wake up or right before you go to bed, and use this time to meditate. Clear your mind of all the recent stressful events, and focus on something calming.
2. Smile and Laugh More
Believe it or not, smiling and laughing more can help beat depression. When you smile or laugh, the brain releases neuropeptides which help alleviate stress. Neuropeptides aren’t the only chemicals released; your other endorphins are activated, too. When you laugh, your body releases serotonin, which is a natural pain reliever.
Not comfortable showing off your teeth? Don’t let that hold you back! Use stain erasers and other products to give your pearly whites some extra shine. Using the best teeth-whitening products can bring you more confidence and become an important part of your self-care routine.
3. Soak in a Warm Bubble Bath
Another great winter self-care activity is to soak in a warm bubble bath. Besides warming your body up, it’s soothing and relaxing for both your body and your mind. A warm bath opens up your lungs and blood vessels, which makes breathing easier. A warm bath can also alleviate any pains and inflammations. To top it off, you’ll be regulating your body temperature as well.
4. Have Hot Chocolate, a Warm Cup of Coffee or Tea
Nothing feels better than a hot chocolate, a warm cup of coffee or tea when it’s freezing outside. Keeping your body warm over the winter is a good way to ward off diseases, such as the flu. And a warm cup of your favorite beverage is a great way to do it. The caffeine content in all three will give you a lift when the winter blues start getting you down.
Source: Edalin Photography/Shutterstock.com
5. Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
As you age, you’ll discover that it is family and loved ones that are a priority in life. If you work a lot, take a minute to breathe and spend time with those closest to you. A daily hug can do wonders for your mind and body.
Let your loved ones know just how much you love them. Just a few intimate moments with loved ones can erase a bad day, reduce your stress levels and boost your heart’s health. And, above all, it can help erase those winter blues.
6. Read a Book or a Magazine
Going out during the winter is hard because it’s often too cold. The good news is that you don’t have to leave your home to escape. When your work is done for the day, find a good book or a good magazine and indulge your mind.
Find a topic you love, and buy a book or subscribe to a magazine devoted to just that. If it’s travel, subscribe to a travel magazine. If you love cooking, subscribe to a cooking newsletter. Letting your mind escape in this way can be very healing.
7. Listen to Music
Another way to let your mind escape is to listen to music. Find the music you love, and spend a little of your day listening to it. If you can, find calming, uplifting or motivational music. These will put you in a positive mood and boost your well-being.
You can create different playlists for yourself and listen to different types of music daily. You can also use this time to explore new artists and new music genres. And if your musical tastes differ from your partner’s, now could be the time to explore what the other person likes.
8. Write a Gratitude Journal
The daily winter grind can be depressing, especially for activities like shoveling snow. However, if you write down what you’re grateful for every day, you can shift your outlook to a more positive one. Besides forcing you to think about all the positive aspects of your life, a gratitude journal pulls you away from dwelling on everything negative.
To keep a gratitude journal, buy a specific notebook just for that purpose. Then write down five things you’re grateful for every day. Be as specific as possible, and try to expand on why you are grateful for something or why a person is special to you.
9. Spend Some Time Stretching and Strength Training
Winter months usually mean less physical activity, and less physical activity isn’t good for your body. You may not be able to go out for a run, but you can do some stretching and strength training. Getting your body moving is important for your physical health. Moreover, strength training not only builds muscle but also prevents injuries, helps your heart and increases your flexibility. You’ll also feel better and stronger!
10. Pamper Yourself
Whether you spend extra time brushing your hair or getting your nails done, take some time every day to care for just you. Spend two minutes brushing your teeth whitening, and luxuriate in that time.
Get a hands-free toothbrush and luxury toothpaste to make the daily process feel more like a treat than just a routine. Find a great hair conditioner for your hair or an expensive body lotion. Indulge yourself with your self-care products.
Beat the Winter Blues With Self Care
Winter can be challenging but overcoming the winter blues is possible. Meditating, laughing, warming up, spending quality time with loved ones, journaling, exercising and pampering yourself are some of the tips you can try to make your winter more joyful.