If the frigid temps and lack of sunlight have been throwing you into a mid-winter slump lately, you’re certainly not alone. Prioritizing self-care during the winter is vital because it can help to ward off the symptoms associated with seasonal depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder). While it’s always best to seek professional advice, these pick me ups can provide a quick burst of energy and positive when you need it most. Here are just a few self-care tips to keep in mind throughout the rest of the winter season to boost your mood and get you out of that mid-winter slump.
Give Yoga a Try
Yoga is a universal activity that has skyrocketed in popularity over the past several decades. It can be practiced from the comfort of your own home, and there are countless resources to help you get started. Do a quick search on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find countless channels with yoga instructors to make you feel like you’re in an actual class. Once you get the hang of it and learn a few different techniques, you can turn on your own music and really try to get in tune with your body, mind, and spirit.
Furthermore, experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives, and yoga has been scientifically proven to be particularly beneficial for those who suffer from certain types of chronic pain, such as back pain.
“Multiple studies have found yoga to be a more effective treatment for chronic back pain than usual care. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people living with chronic lower back pain reported better back function, though similar levels of pain, after a few months of practicing yoga,” says Everyday Health.
If yoga isn’t for you, try to make sure you’re engaging in some other form of regular exercise, like riding a stationary bike. A study conducted by the British Medical Association found that coronary heart disease was reduced by 50% when people cycled 20 miles a week, and any form of physical exercise helps to boost endorphins. Unfortunately, according to the US. Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
Keep Your Mind Engaged
Whether you enjoy reading, playing strategy games, or working on puzzles, it’s important to have a few go-to activities to keep your mind busy but at ease when you start to feel…well, uneasy. Research shows that puzzles activate our brains while relaxing us psychologically, putting our brains into a meditative state, but any activity that calms you down has a similar effect. Read a new self-help book, listen to thoughtful podcasts, try a crossword puzzle, or write down whatever’s on your mind — you may be surprised at how much it helps. Try diffusing lavender in the room to help you relax.
Make Spring Plans
It won’t be long before spring has sprung, and if you really want to make the rest of winter fly by, start working on upcoming plans for the spring season. Travel plans work best since they’re easy to make online. In fact, 53% of all travel is booked online. You can browse destinations and work on saving up money. This is a healthy self-care activity that always has a positive outcome. Make sure to invite your friends and plan a group trip!
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for proper self-care. However, keeping these simple tips in mind can help you figure out what works for you and what doesn’t while awaiting the highly anticipated arrival of spring.