I’m writing this with the heating on and a hot cup of tea by my side as it is really starting to get chilly now.
Winter is well and truly on its way and if you’re the type of person who struggles a bit when the days get colder and shorter then hopefully this post will help.
Here are 7 self-care tips to help you feel a bit brighter and get you through the winter.
1. Head outside.
Try and get out in the daylight as much as you can.
If you work 9-5 it can be really hard feeling like you’re leaving home in the dark and getting home in the dark. So try and get out in your lunch break, even if it’s just for a 10 minute walk around the block.
The natural light will give you a boost in Vitamin D that really helps fight the winter blues as well as boosting your immune system. It might be worth taking Vitamin D supplements if you find you can’t get out in sun enough.
2. Hit the gym.
Or make that walk on your lunch-break a longer power walk. There was a study carried out at Harvard University back in 2005 that found that simply walking fast for half an hour a day, 5 days a week, or an hour a day, 3 days a week helped to improve feelings of depression.
If the weather is really against you then hitting the gym might actually provide even more benefits, if it’s a brightly lit gym that you visit. Another study has been done that found that people who exercised under bright lights had better general mental health and vitality.
3. Try dry skin brushing.
Adding a few minutes of dry skin brushing to your daily routine can be a great way to give yourself a little lift. Using a dry skin brush is a really effective way to get your circulation going in the mornings, and it can also boost the lymphatic system.
To really feel pampered treat yourself to an extra moisturising body lotion to use after your bath or shower.
4. Cosy up with a warm drink.
There’s nothing better on a cold day than a nice mug of something warm and comforting to drink.
Taking a few minutes to curl up and enjoy a hot chocolate, a horlicks or a spiced milk drink can feel lovely and indulgent when you’re feeling a bit blue in the winter.
5. Get creative.
Whether you enjoy sketching, baking or knitting, spending some time doing something creative can really improve your mood and keep the winter blues away.
If you’re not feeling particularly inspired then spend an evening browsing Pinterest, you’re bound to find a creative activity on there that you fancy trying. And getting in to a state of ‘flow’ where you are completely absorbed in an activity has been shown to improve our sense of well-being.
6. Eat the right things.
Choose delicious, warming, comforting foods to see you through the winter. Things like soups and casseroles are great as they feel soothing but generally also contain lots of nutrients. Bonus points if you add warming spices like garlic, ginger and black pepper which help boost the immune system, boost circulation and add extra antioxidants.
On a slightly less healthy note, make sure to treat yourself to some chocolate too. After all, it has been shown to help relieve anxiety and make us feel happier.
7. Slow down and head to bed.
Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself in winter is to sort of give in to it. When the evenings draw in, just allow yourself to slow down. Rest, read, just hibernate a little.
And if you can, try to go to bed an hour earlier than normal. The shorter days in winter mean we’re exposed to less daylight, so our bodies produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone that makes us feel tired and ready to sleep). This means we tend to feel tired earlier in the evening than we do in the warmer months.
Rather than fight that urge, sometimes it’s best to go with it, and head to bed earlier.
What are your favourite things to do to take care of yourself in winter?