Seasonal depression and the winter blues are common. Being cooped up indoors without much sunlight can make us feel sad and irritable.
To protect your well-being and boost your mental health during the winter, here are our favorite self-care tips to navigate the winter blues.
Cultivate Your Environment
Optimizing your space for relaxation and stress relief is essential to winter self-care. No one wants to come home to a messy room. So, take small steps to ensure your space is clean and welcoming.
Choose one area to clean every day. Perhaps that’s just making your bed every morning or doing a quick 10-minute tidy of your kitchen. You might be surprised at how this simple accomplishment can lift your mood.
Don’t Just Treat Yourself, Fuel Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with an afternoon baking session, whipping up fresh chocolate chip cookies on a cold day. However, there’s a difference between treating yourself (which should be a ‘once in a while’ thing) and binging on unhealthy foods for emotional support.
Even though it might not feel like a treat, fueling your body with plenty of water, vegetables, and nutritious food makes us feel energized. Instead of that lethargic food coma after indulging in sweets, your future self will thank you for the better food.
Give Yourself Some Buffer
It’s tempting to pack your schedule to the brim with new work projects or Zoom calls with your besties. But, this could actually be causing more stress if you’re rushing from one obligation to the next.
Give yourself some buffer between appointments to enjoy your coffee, listen to a podcast, or make sure the dishes are clean. In short, breathing room is so important to winter self-care.
In a world where being busy and never getting enough sleep is glorified, take the power back and prioritize 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Not only does proper sleep allow us to wake up with gusto and make the most of our days, but it also balances our hormones and boosts our immune system. The world always feels a little brighter after a good night’s sleep.
Elevate Your Heart Rate Each Day
We get it. The last thing we usually want to do when we’re feeling down is to exercise. However, moving our bodies is known to boost those pleasure-sensors in our brain that instantly boost our mood.
It doesn’t have to be much. Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Start a home workout session and, even if you don’t finish, chances are you’ll feel much better than before.
Check out our portable home fitness equipment to squash the winter blues.
Gratitude is the ultimate antidote to stress and anxiety. Of course, sometimes our mental health requires professional treatment, but practicing gratitude is worth an attempt.
When we’re feeling down, it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. We build up all the ways we’ve been wronged, how we’re not good enough, or that there’s something external to blame for our unhappiness.
By flipping the script and finding gratitude for everything you do have, you’ll recognize all the reasons there are to be happy. A roof over our heads, a body that can move, and a mind that can think.
Take it one step further and even find gratitude in everything that didn’t go your way. Thankful to have a job, even if your boss is overly demanding. Thankful for the broken arm because it could’ve been worse. Thankful for the breakup that opens you up to something better.
Daily gratitude can truly change your life and turn around your winter blues.
Limit Screen Time
When we’re stuck on our screens, it’s less likely that we’re interacting with the real world. Sure, our technology has so much to offer and it’s certainly not all bad. But limiting your screen time can go a long way toward improving our mental health.
Especially when it comes to social media and the news, we often find ourselves reading inflammatory information or comparing ourselves to others. Both are often unnecessary and could be contributing to your stress and irritability.
Even though the winter months can mean a lot of time spent indoors avoiding the cold, limit your screen time and find healthier ways to spend your time. Learn a new skill like cooking or speaking a foreign language. Work on a hobby. Read a book.
It’s surprising how beneficial a digital detox can truly be.
Try Journaling or Meditation
Both journaling and meditation are mindfulness exercises. When you journal, you’re putting your thoughts down on paper, forcing them to stop swirling in your head. During meditation, you’re noticing the thoughts and watching them pass by without attachment.
They’re both incredible ways to ground yourself and find more self-awareness. When we’re aware of our unhelpful thoughts, we can learn to let them go. Both journaling and meditation are worth a try in order to lift us out of our blue moods this winter.
Try all of these self-care tips this winter to fight off the blues.
Looking for ways to boost your at-home workout routine for better mental health this season and beyond? Check out the MAXPRO Store today for your gym, reinvented!