It’s getting dark sooner, which means winter is finally here. Winter months bring the holidays to spend with friends and family. However, due to current pandemic situations, how we interact with one another this season will change.
It is important to focus on yourself and make sure you are doing okay. Here are 7 ways you can take care of yourself during the winter months.
Exercise is known to increase your levels of serotonin and endorphins, leading to a happier mood. During the winter it is harder to do outdoor activities, but there are many ways to keep active while staying indoors.
Haven’t exercised in a while? Don’t stress! Start simple by doing a few minutes a day and slowly increasing your time as you keep on a schedule. Don’t forget to do your stretches so that you avoid any injury or harm.
Socializing in 2020 has become different due to COVID-19, but there are many ways we can still connect with friends and family. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression. Connecting with others on a deeper level, calling someone to have a meaningful phone conversation, going on a drive with a friend, or getting take-out for the family are some ideas. Socializing doesn’t have to stop because of a pandemic. Be creative, but make sure to stay safe with what you choose to do.
During winter months, exposure to sunlight decreases. This also decreases your levels of vitamin D. Many studies have suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency and poor mood. Be careful, however, when taking vitamin D supplements. Too much of it can also cause harm. Make sure to speak to your doctor before starting any supplements.
Having a balanced diet is known to keep your body and mind in check. Make sure you’re getting enough fruits, vegetables, and protein to get the nutrients your body craves and needs to function properly.
Being hydrated is also as important as what you are eating. Drinking enough water is known to help flush out toxins from your body, improve blood circulation, and help you feel re-energized. A leading cause of lethargy and chronic fatigue is sugary, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks. Too much intake of caffeine and soft drinks leads to dehydration resulting in you feeling tired and sleepy. (https://www.alfaauv.com/blog/health-benefits-replacing-drinks-water/)
Research has shown that a lack of sleep may actually lead to anxiety, mood disorders, and depression. Make a plan to get enough sleep (8 hours is suggested) and then prioritize that sleep every day. Schedule the same time to sleep everyday (including weekends), and your body will start to feel better and maintain a more regular sleep cycle.
While this sounds simple enough, some may have problems switching off due to anxiety and insomnia. In order to get the needed rest, they may need to get a trained professional's help.
A Happy Jar is a jar or bowl filled with notes of happy experiences that you have had. These are simple reminders of happier moments for when you’re going through tough times and need a pick-me-up. Remember: You can get through tough times.
Have you ever tried journaling before? Journaling is a way to release your thoughts onto the paper without judgment. If you are having a stressful day at work or school, it’s an easy way to vent your feelings. You can journal by writing in an actual journal or creating a note on your phone. Take a few minutes everyday to write your thoughts and feelings. Writing in the evenings can be a great way to review your experiences from the day and become more mindful of yourself.
We hope these 7 ways can help you during the next few months and even throughout the year. Know someone that could benefit from hearing these tips? Make sure to share it with a friend! Sharing is caring. :)
Have any comments on these ways of self care or any other suggestions? Comment below!
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