Long nights. Bare trees. Crisp air. Yes, we are well and truly in the midst of winter – and though it’s often cosy, its chill and darkness can impact on our wellbeing. Very often, the season triggers low mood, irritability and – in serious cases – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And so, self-care isn’t just important at this time of year – it’s essential.
That’s why I’ve put together five key tips for achieving winter wellness…
1. Eat well
OK, this may sound like an obvious point – but it’s a vital one to make. What we eat really can affect our mood! So, make sure to stock up on healthy grub. I’m talking fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and lentils – basically anything that contains fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you’re after a serotonin boost, try out some complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, pasta, bread and oats.
And let’s not forget about protein. Fail to get enough, and it could lower your mood – and nobody wants that, especially during winter. But if you’re a veggie or vegan, fear not! Protein is abundant in pulses, lentils and nuts. It can also be found in sweet potatoes, broccoli and other delicious vegetables.
2. Avoid lie-ins
Another simple tip – but once again a crucial one! While sleep is vital at any time of year, it’s particularly so during winter. Or rather, when we go to sleep is important. Even though it can feel like it, we don’t actually need more rest in winter than we do in summer. The cold weather and long nights just make it seem like we do! And for many of us, the temptation to turn off the alarm and lie in is greater now than during other seasons.
But sleeping too much typically worsens feelings of sluggishness – and this in turn can affect our emotional wellbeing. So, resist the lie-in urge! You’ll likely find it easier to adopt a healthy bedtime routine as a result.
3. Enjoy right now
So winter may not be your favourite season – chilly weather and dark nights aren’t to everyone’s taste. But despite its low temperatures, this time of year can be very picturesque. So, why don’t you delight in its beauty? Enjoy the gems of winter, and it could help to take your mind off its less pleasant aspects.
You could even set yourself an artistic project focussing on the landscape, nature or other sights of the season. Experts are keen to underline the close link between recreational activities and mental wellness. If you’re low on spare time, you can just schedule an hour or so to stroll around your local park or green space. Look for wintry gems (frost on branches, red breasted robins, etc), and it may just help you to feel better about the season. You could even do so during your lunch hour!
4. Treat yourself
Whoever said you need a special occasion to treat yourself? Self-care is fundamental to our wellbeing – performing it regularly can really help to maintain a positive mood. And this, of course, is essential during winter. As you’ll have likely guessed, the practice lives up to its name: self-care means looking after ourselves. But despite what many say, it isn’t selfish at all.
Actually, it allows us to underline our inner value to the person who needs to see it most: ourselves. As a result, it can help to grow our self-esteem – and as you’ll no doubt know already, our sense of self greatly affects how we treat ourselves and those around us. Self-care isn’t tricky to achieve.
In fact, it can be as easy as sticking up for our feelings and beliefs. Eating healthily, exercising and investing in positive relationships are all forms of self-care, too.
If beauty treatments help you unwind, why not book in with us at the Nail & Beauty Nerd? We tailor each visit to your needs and preferences to provide the best treatment possible. Just the thing for luxury self-care!
5. Look to the (near) future
If you’re really struggling to shake the winter blues, it may be best to look to the future – the near future. True, when we’re in the middle of winter, it can feel like the season will last forever. But it won’t. It might not seem like it, but spring is on its way. So, why don’t you look ahead to the coming season? Doing so will provide an easy way to take your mind off the chilly weather and dark nights. Plan fun activities for the warmer months, and it could help the next few months to pass more quickly.
It’s fair to say that winter isn’t the most comfortable time of year – and that’s why it’s crucial to look after your wellbeing during the season. With these top tips, you’ll be well on your way to beating the winter blues. .
Before I sign off…
If you think you’re struggling with SAD or are worried about your emotional health, or someone else’s, please visit your GP as soon as you can.
Need urgent support? No problem! There’s plenty available both online and over the phone, from the Samaritans to Mind.
I’d also highly recommend The Blurt Foundation, which offers heaps of helpful guides on mental health.