This is a time to rest, nurture and care for ourselves. Here are my top tips to help you do so and say goodbye to the Winter Blues.
This morning I had a dilemma. I wanted to go for a walk, but I also wanted to write this blog. My solution? Write the blog in my head/my phone, while enjoying a morning walk to clear my head and set me up for the day. It’s a lovely day, cold and crisp with the birds singing and the sun low in the sky. I found it so much easier to let my thoughts flow as I walked than I would have done sat at my laptop.
January and February can be tough months for a lot of people. The fun and anticipation of preparing for Christmas is over. The pretty Christmas lights which cheered up the dark evenings have been packed away. We’re left with short, sometimes grey, days with not enough light. But it’s definitely not all gloom and doom. This can be a time to rest, nurture and care for ourselves. So here are my top tips for making the most of this time and saying goodbye to the winter blues:
1. Remember, this period of time is temporary.
My mother-in-law once told me that it gets easier after February half term, and she was right. While we are already seeing the days getting slightly longer, it becomes more obvious from about mid-February. By the time this blog goes live, that won’t be far away
2. Notice the beauty of the season and the early signs of spring.
What can be beautiful at this time of year? The stunning sunrises and sunsets; frost on cobwebs, flowers and leaves; the birds singing; a blue sky on a cold, crisp day. Take time to notice, appreciate and enjoy the beauty of nature as it is now, in the moment. And, as you begin to notice the beauty of nature, you’ll naturally notice the early signs of spring, the indications of hope, new life and new beginnings. The snowdrops are already beginning to put in an appearance, showing us that the darker months will soon be over. Spring is on the way. The daffodils, crocuses and other bulbs won’t be far behind.
3. Get outside every day.
It’s so important for our physical and mental health as well as for our sleep pattern to see daylight every day. The earlier in the day you can get outside (or even take a few moments looking out of a window), the better. If you are going to and from work in the dark, try to get outside for a few minutes when you take a break for lunch. Every little counts.
Pushing ourselves to keep constantly busy at this time of year is not healthy. We are designed to respond to the levels of light, to be active in daylight and rest when it is dark. When there are more hours of darkness, we are meant to rest more. Treat this as a time to rest and recharge ready for the spring and summer ahead. Take the time to treat yourself to doing nothing. Or choose to enjoy restful, mindful, activities you enjoy such as playing an instrument, painting, crafts or reading.
5. Keep physically active.
Ok, I know this is the opposite of resting, but it’s just as important. This isn’t the time to run a marathon (unless you’re already super fit and that’s what you enjoy!). But physical activity stimulates our feel-good hormones and helps us sleep better. Do what gives you joy. Whether it’s a walk on a cold, crisp day; a swim; yoga; cycling; or dancing. If you can do it outside, all the better.
6. Practice gratitude every day.
You could do this in your head or keep a gratitude diary. It takes only minutes and reminds us of what we have to feel grateful for and therefore helps us to feel positive. Even on a bad day we can be grateful for the simple things. For example, birds singing, a roof over our heads, food on the table, a warm blanket, good friends, family and a cosy bed.
7. Plan fun things to do, or even do them spontaneously.
It doesn’t matter what you do, whatever brings fun and joy into your life. Having fun is so important and kick-starts our happy hormones, making us feel good for long after we have finished having fun.
8. Make time for yourself.
Self-care is so important all of the time. Never more so than during the winter months when we may be feeling a little tired, jaded, fed up or drained. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing for yourself. Small, quick things such as meditating, sitting down with a cup of tea or spending time with a pet. Simple things like reading a book, taking a walk, watching a favourite tv show, crafting or jigsaws. Bigger treats such as going for a manicure/pedicure, massage, reflexology, reiki, a guided visualisation for relaxation. And the really big treats such as a spa day/spa break, weekend away, a retreat or a holiday. They all count. Ensure that you make time for the small, quick and simple things at the very least and try to treat yourself to something special when you can.
I hope that my top tips for saying goodbye to the winter blues have been helpful for you. If I can help at all with a massage, reflexology, reiki, guided visualisation or with some Hypnotherapy, please get in touch via the contact form on this website, on 07957 208 212 or at firstname.lastname@example.org