The cold temperatures and lack of sun can be a bummer during the winter months. With these ways to practice winter self-care, you can boost your mood and beat the winter blues!
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Ways To Practice Winter Self-Care
Get Outside Every Day
Every. Day. You know the feeling. You wake up in the morning and it’s freezing outside, the last thing you want to do is the thing that you need to do the most. Get up, get dressed, and get outside. Cozy days may seem like the perfect remedy for not feeling so great, but during the winter, staying in the house all day can exacerbate feelings of depression.
I know from personal experience, which is why this is #1 on my list of ways to practice winter self-care! I was having a pajama day the last time I talked to my psychiatrist and she immediately instructed me to get myself ready for the day and go outside. So go get some fresh air, something as simple as a walk can do wonders for your mood and overall well-being.
Make Up For The Lack Of Light
If a majority of your daylight hours are spent in an office, make it a point to take breaks and get outside. If the sun is shining, soak it in! During this time of the year, many of us go to work and come home from work when it’s dark out. When I worked in an office environment I would take walking breaks to not only boost my mood but to get some steps in too!
During your lunch break, or whenever you can, get as much Vitamin D as you can. If you live in a place where you are seriously lacking some sun (ex. San Francisco!) take some Vitamin D supplements to ensure the absence of sun isn’t bringing you down.
Create Your Own Light
Speaking of light, bring your own daylight inside. Use a lightbox at your desk or vanity and switch out the light bulbs in your home for daylight white light bulbs to give yourself some light therapy. When diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) a few months after we moved to San Francisco, I did both of these things and they’ve helped me significantly.
I have one HappyLight on my vanity and one on my desk. We also have “daylight” white light bulbs installed throughout our house. I sit in front of my HappyLight while getting ready in the morning or while I’m working at my desk. These lights are very bright, but I can honestly say that sitting in front of them for just 20 minutes a day while you’re getting ready or working can help you feel better. Try one of these:
Stay Hydrated From The Inside Out
On the beauty side of things, hydration is key. Winter weather is dry. Start simply by drinking your water, drinking your tea, drinking whatever hydrating beverage that you enjoy the most throughout the day. For me, there is nothing better than a hot cup of tea on a chilly winter day. This is not only good for your body overall, but it’s also great for your skin.
To dive deeper into hydration and to specifically keep your skin moisturized, invest in a high-quality moisturizer for your face or a moisturizing mask. Moisturizing masks can be used 1 to 2 times a week and they will visibly improve your skin’s appearance! To stay hydrated head-to-toe, I also recommend keeping hand cream in your bag and taking a moment to apply body lotion after taking a hot shower or a hot bath. You can even moisturize your body while still in the shower to save time with a moisturizing shower cream-gel – I absolutely love this one (pictured below) and use it daily!
My Favorite Moisturizers For Winter Self-Care:
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Wrap Up Your Winter Self-Care With Exercise
Moving your body is the answer to quite a few of life’s problems. Exercising is a form of excellent self-care throughout the year, but it’s an especially good idea during the winter. Whichever way you choose to move your body, you’ll feel the benefit. I love to take SoulCycle classes on Fridays and Rhythm & Motion classes during the week.
I like these highly active classes, but a high-intensity workout isn’t necessary. Restorative yoga, walking, and stretching are all great ways to take some time to yourself and boost your mood while taking care of your body. To squeeze in a quick, free yoga sesh at home try one of Yoga With Adriene’s routines. She’s the best!
You may have noticed that a lot of these suggestions are connected. Winter self-care is all about light, movement, and hydration. By combining these 3 areas of self-care, you’re bound to improve your mood and feel better. The results may be immediate or they may take time, either way, you’ll get there so don’t give up!
In what ways do you practice or would you like to practice your own winter self-care?
Needing a little more help? Find a therapist near you right here.
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