Do you find your mood tanks as soon as the temperatures drop?
Despite winter hosting the most magical time of the year, it can be a difficult season for many people who find the shorter days and lack of Vitamin D hard on their mental health.
This is why it’s important to take care of yourself in the wintertime!
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas to ensure that your self-care becomes a priority during the coldest of months:
Why is the Winter So Tough for People?
Have you ever noticed how depressing winter can be?
This isn’t always a matter of having the winter blues!
There’s an actual type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder that happens in the wintertime due to shorter days, lack of sunlight, and other factors.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder include wanting to sleep all the time, finding it hard to carry out daily tasks, having no joy in previously enjoyed activities, social avoidance, and constantly feeling tense or stressed.
Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder can involve antidepressant medications and phototherapy, but it is possible to avoid the negative side effects of winter depression by focusing on your self-care!
Tips for Self-Care in the Winter
1. Get Outside
I know, it’s cold outside, and that’s probably half the reason you feel down during the wintertime.
But getting outside during the wintertime is awesome for your health!
Whether you go for a short walk or play in the snow, the sunlight and winter air are beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Here are some fun winter activities you can try to get outside:
- Go for a hike
- Build a snow fort
- Try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
- Check out an outdoor spa
2. Stay Hydrated
Even though it’s not hot outside, you still need to stay properly hydrated during the wintertime.
During the winter, you are sweating under multiple layers of clothes, and your body receives less moisture from the environment due to drier air.
Water is also vital to keeping your tissues, organs, and cells healthy. It also keeps your immune system in tip-top shape!
To make sure you’re getting enough water during the wintertime, try these tips:
- Keep a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
- Drink a glass of water before bed and when you get up in the morning.
- Add sugar-free flavors to improve the taste.
- Set a drinking goal and track your progress.
3. Treat Yourself
Sometimes working through the winter blues means giving yourself a treat every now and then!
This could be a night off from domestic responsibilities to binge Netflix, a treat from your favorite coffee shop, or an uninterrupted soak in the tub.
Here are some other ways you can treat yourself this winter:
- Give yourself a facial massage
- Cook your favorite meal
- Take a nap
- Buy a new book
4. Keep a Journal
There are many benefits to keeping a journal when it comes to taking care of yourself during the wintertime.
Journalling is a great way to sort out your thoughts and feelings. The writing doesn’t have to be eloquent – just jot down whatever comes to your mind!
You can also start a gratitude journal, writing down the things you are thankful for.
Gratitude journaling has been shown to improve self-esteem, mood, and positivity.
5. Move Your Body
While exercise is important all year round, moving your body is especially important in the wintertime.
This is because many people become sedentary in the wintertime, lacking the motivation to get moving when the weather is cold.
But you don’t have to go outside to exercise! You can get fit and improve your health from the comfort of your own home.
There are many YouTube videos out there that can help you, no matter your fitness level!
You can use YouTube videos as your own personal trainer and stay healthy without going outside or breaking the bank.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Nutrition!
Keeping yourself nourished during the wintertime will help you feel upbeat and energetic during the colder months.
When the temperatures drop, it can be tempting to reach for sugary treats and comfort foods, so it’s important that you continue to focus on your nutrition.
Here are some ways you can maintain a healthy diet during the winter:
- Healthy Carbs: Yes, you can have carbs! Just make sure they are healthy ones like nuts, whole grains, sweet potatoes, squash, and beets.
- Supplements: Even though it’s best that you get your vitamins and minerals from food, you can supplement things like vitamins C and D during the wintertime.
- Fruits & Veggies: Fill your diet with seasonal veggies and fruits, such as broccoli, turnips, oranges, pomegranates, and squash. If you prefer out-of-season fruits and veggies, look for the frozen variety (which is just as fresh!).
- Eating Schedule: It can be easy to eat when you’re bored, especially during the wintertime. Keep yourself on track and avoid overeating by eating on a regular schedule.
7. Surround Yourself With People You Love
With stormy weather keeping us inside, winter can seem like a lonely time for many people.
That’s why it’s important that you surround yourself with people you love whenever you can!
These can be your friends, family members, neighbors – whoever brings joy into your life.
Consider hosting a holiday get-together or having friends over for a cozy movie night. If the weather is frightful, keep in touch by video chatting or playing online games together.
8. Embrace the Hygge Lifestyle
Pronounced hue-gah, Hygge is a Dutch word that means a feeling or moment of comfort and coziness. It’s a lifestyle that combats the darkness and boredom of winter.
Hygge is all things comfortable, such as comfy clothes and comfy spaces. Think pillows, blankets, candles, firelight, and hot tasty beverages.
Hygge also means turning off the television and putting down your phone in order to connect with those around you.
Here are some tips you can follow to create a Hygge atmosphere this winter:
- Create a Hygge basket and fill it with snuggly blankets, fluffy socks, and scented candles.
- Grab your family photo albums and take a stroll down memory lane.
- Keep a pile of good books on hand.
- Go for a winter walk with your family (bring along a blanket and a thermos full of hot chocolate!).
- Play board games.
9. Develop Your Passions and Hobbies
Is there something you love doing that you never seem to have the time to do?
Is there something new you’d love to learn?
Winter is the perfect time to work on your passions and try new hobbies. Whether it’s brushing up on your drawing skills or learning a new language, take care of yourself this winter by stoking your creativity.
10. Organize Your Home
Since you’re going to be spending more time inside during the winter, why not clean out your home and create a comfortable space?
Organizing your home doesn’t have to happen only in the spring. In fact, a good clean-out before Christmas can be super helpful in keeping your home tidy and organized!
Plus, organizing gives you something to do to stave off winter boredom!