As the winter drags on, it can be easy to give in to seasonal affective disorder or S.A.D. If you’re struggling to get through the winter, taking some time to care for yourself can be an effective way to reset your mood and make you feel better. Below are a few ways that you can practice self-care this winter.
Buy Yourself Flowers
You may think of buying flowers as something that you do for someone else, especially considering 83% of people like getting unexpected flowers, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Self-care is all about caring for yourself the way you care for others, so treating yourself to a nice bouquet of flowers is a great self-care activitity. Place your flowers in a place that you will see them daily, like on your kitchen table or your desk to make sure that you’re reminded to take some time for yourself when you see them, even if it’s just one minute to stop and admire them.
Use Scent Memory
Of our five senses, the one tied most closely to memory is our sense of smell. This can be used to your advantage when it comes to self-care since you can choose a calm, relaxing scent and use it for whenever you’re dedicating time to self-care. Having a specific candle, essential oil blend, or room spray that you use when you’re doing anything self-care related means that when you’re really stressed, you can use that scented item and instantly be reminded of the calm energy of the time you take to care for yourself.
Have a Warm Drink
Whether you’ve already had a long day or you are gearing up for one, taking time to have a nice warm drink and relax is a great way to practice some simple self-care. Make yourself a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee, and take the time to drink it while focusing on being present and not stressing out about what lies ahead of or behind you. You can use the time to reflect on good things in your life or things you’re grateful for, but try to avoid any negative thoughts while you’re having your drink. Even if it’s just five minutes, it’s a small piece of self-care that can make a big difference in your day.
Go to a Spa
If it’s safe to do so where you live, going to the spa for a treatment can really help you make sure that you’re taking time for yourself. Whether you want to go for a massage, facial, or wax, going to a spa means that you’re doing something to help take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re ready for whatever spa treatment you’re going for — for example, if you’re getting a wax, you may want to take an aspirin or tylenol half an hour before your appointment to help with discomfort, and if you’re getting a deep tissue massage you may want to plan on not exercising for the rest of the day.
Take a Bath
If you enjoy baths, taking an hour out of your week to take one can completely turn your mood around. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive bath bombs or other bath accessories — just some Epsom salts or inexpensive bubble bath can make a hot bath feel even more relaxing than you thought it would. Play some relaxing music, light a candle or two, and take time to just relax and enjoy the moment to really care for yourself and fight off that wintery chill.
Get Some Sun
One of the main reasons that the winter is so difficult on the state of so many people’s mental health is that we aren’t getting enough sun. In the warmer months, we spend more time outside and the days are longer, so in the winter when sunlight hours are short and cold, it can become easy to not get enough sunlight. Try to get outside on any sunny day by going for a walk or even just parking further from the entrance of the shop you’re going to. If you can’t get outside, sit by a window where you can get as much sunlight as you can to attempt to fight the effect of S.A.D.
The environment that you choose to spend time in will inevitably impact the way that you’re feeling. If you slowly let your house get messier and messier, it can start to negatively impact your mental state until it feels impossible to get things back to a livable level. If you have a few hours to spare, take time to deep clean a room or two of your apartment or home. If you can, try to go all out: fully organize any loose items, vacuum, mop, dust, and wipe down anything that you can. Once things are looking clean and fresh again you’ll probably feel much better. Plus the relief of having your living space actually feel livable can make a big difference.
Try a CBD Product or Two
CBD has become very popular recently because it can be used in a multitude of applications, like to aid sleep, relaxing muscles, or calm some anxiety symptoms. CBD can come in many different forms depending on what you want to use it for, so make sure to look into the different applications before you pick up any CBD product. Some of the most popular forms are gummies, drops, and lotions, all of which can have different uses. If you’re looking for a strong CBD product, try to look for something that has the label of CBD isolate, which is refined and in the end is 99% pure CBD.
Winter can be a hard time for your mental health, and that’s why self-care is especially important. Prioritizing yourself everyone once in the while can help you avoid burning out or falling into the trap of seasonal affective disorder.
How do you take time to take care of yourself in the winter? Let us know in the comments below!