10 Mindful Winter Warmers To Help You Beat The Seasonal Blues
As the weather changes, so can our mindset.
Shorter days, longer & darker nights, the temperature is dropping and the weather is miserable, ah winter we meet again. It’s extremely common for our mindset to take a hit during these times and impact our mental health and overall mood, but there are a lot of ways you can bat away those negative emotions and beat the winter blues.
As much as we would love to live in a world where as soon as Christmas Day is over, the sunshine is automatically back in our lives and we are wearing shorts again. The reality is that after the build-up and excitement around Christmas is over, what have we got to look forward to? January & February are some of the toughest times of the year, cold, broke & exhausted after all the festivities, it’s no wonder we all just want to hide away until spring.
Science suggests that there is another way, don’t build the duvet fort just yet!
1# Embrace Winter
“Say whaaaaat?!” Yes, you heard us. Time to suck it up and accept that winter is here and no matter how much you deny it’s presence, it’s not going away. We don’t mean to be cruel but sometimes you need that tough love, so get the candles, get the extra blankets and try and give your home or bedroom a cosy feeling. A new comfy set of PJs, winter baking with your family or friends and wrap up warm for some chilly walks in the fresh air surrounding by your nearest & dearest...or the dog, the dog counts.
We can hear you now, “okay, now I know these guys have lost it!” Unfortunately not friends, exercise is one of the best things to lift your spirits and pump around that positive energy. You have to find something you enjoy otherwise you won’t stick it out, football to yoga or even home workouts and you don’t need to open that door to the world. Don’t believe us? Get the low down on exercise and mental health here
#3 Catch some rays
Okay not like a summer holiday but now that the nights are longer you only have a small amount of time to see natural daylight, which can really impact your mindset. Make the most of it and open those curtains, go outside on lunch breaks, sit in a lit room when at home and get yourself on a walk on those sunny, crisp days.
#4 Get your Masterchef on!
Research tells us that there is a strong link between mental health and the food we eat, it’s natural for us to indulge in rich, heavy & sweet foods around this time of year and although it’s good vibes to treat yourself, you can start to feel the negative effects if you get carried away. Try switching things up by including mood-boosting foods into your diet such as vegetables, omega 3 (fatty fish, nuts, avocado) and vitamin D which can be found in mushrooms, red meat & eggs.
#5 Fill your life with productivity
You can find yourself feeling very unmotivated this time of the year to do anything, the days of jumping out of bed, preparing your skin for the sun and strolling down to the park seem like a distant memory. So do all the things you told yourself in summer you had no time to do, sort out the sock drawer, declutter the spare room, have a clothes clear out, set up a filing system for your paperwork (adulting 101). We know clear outs are boring you don’t need to remind us, but you can’t beat that sense of achievement once it’s all done!
#6 Get something booked in
You will be surprised how much faster time can go when you have something to look forward too. Changing your mindset to that of someone who is excited about the coming weeks, and they will stop dragging. Get a catch up booked in with your bestie, make a cinema date, head to a new restaurant or book in a weekend away with the family.
#7 Trick your body
Research shows that listening to upbeat music or watching feel-good TV & films can help your brain release those happy, happy hormones! Make yourself a feel-good playlist that goes on as soon as you wake up, ask someone for some recommendations or make a list of your fav feel-good films and why not make it even better by inviting a friend over for some company, did someone say movie night?!
#8 Tend to your social life
We know the temptation to hibernate is strong right now, you don’t want to open that door or even dare to look out of the window but you have to fight it! Staying in touch and spending time with friends is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, say yes to invites out no matter how much effort they may seem. Maybe even host something yourself, now you can’t say no!
#9 Make self care a priority
We can not stress this enough, you’ve got to try and stick with it no matter how hopeless it may seem. It could be something as basic as getting out of bed and making it, jumping in the shower and putting on actual clothes. You don’t have to go out but it gives you a feeling of achievement and sets you up for that day, you can cook for yourself, give yourself a pamper day complete with facemask and tidy up after yourself for extra good vibes.
#10 Don’t forget to give yourself a break
If you’re feeling low and struggling please remember to be kind to yourself. It’s not your fault you’re feeling like this and you deserve to feel better even though you may think otherwise. So what you didn’t make it to the gym today? You ate the whole packet of biscuits? Who cares, it’s okay and you haven’t failed.
If trying our tips doesn’t help and/or the slump seems to never go away, talk to a trusted family member or friend. You might want to consider a trip to your doctor who will be able to give you practical advice on how to improve your mental health. If you find it really difficult to function on a daily basis, you can find more information in this article on seasonal affective disorder (SAD).