self care

10 Self Care Tips To Combat The Winter Blues

Snow is pretty. And I love cozying up in my most comfy sweater & drinking warm beverages. But I’ll admit – the winter season can be rather dull with the shorter / darker days. Not to mention the cold weather has enticed me to hibernate until spring. To make the winter season less depressing, I’ve come up with 10 self care ways to combat those winter blues. They are not extraordinary tips & are probably ones you’ve read before – but I personally find these activities & routines to be very helpful during these cold months. And I hope it inspires you to add a few of these to your own routines.

📌 for later

add ambience & light in & outside your home

After the holidays, people tend to take down their holiday decor whether it’s outdoor lights or your Christmas tree [ if you celebrate ]. I’m not saying you need to keep the holly jolly atmosphere up until March – but I suggest you maybe string some white neutral lights around your apartment, bedroom or home to brighten your surroundings. I’ve noticed during those cold dark nights in the winter, when I have string lights or the fireplace going, I find myself more at ease. Another suggestion would be to simply open your blinds throughout the day & bring in that natural light when you can. And although we may want to save money on our electric bills, it’s important to keep your lights on if you are going about your home. Sitting in the dark can dampen your mood & can actually affect your circadian rhythm.

get outdoors & explore nature

I know what your thinking – it’s too cold to go for walks. But I say, bundle up & get moving even if it’s a few minutes a day. Getting outdoors & breathing in that fresh air is so good for our health. It provides us with a sense of clarity & can actually make us more productive when we return to our usual tasks. I personally love taking walks around the neighborhood or go window shopping at local towns during the winter. And if it’s snowing, at least we have pretty views to admire. When we do get the chance to visit the mountains during this season, I love hiking the local parks & taking in the iced over waterfalls & trudging in the snow.

escape in a good book

When you are looking to relax & shut your mind off I highly recommend getting lost in a book. As you may know, I have became an avid reader once again & love prioritizing a few hours in my evenings to reading a few chapters. Some of my favorite genres to have that proper escapism is fantasy or thrillers. If you are looking for some book recommendations, check out my favorite books & series of 2022.

take a warm shower or bath

For me, I’ve became a shower girl. Some of it has to do with the fact I found a giant spider in my tub a few months ago & I’m still not over it. But I digress. I love taking warm [ borderline hot] showers in the evenings. Sometimes I will literally sit on the floor of the shower & let the water fall on me. The warm water helps me get sleepy & for obvious reasons, warms me up from the frigid temperatures. On nights or weekends I’m able to, I enjoy doing a full self care routine with hair masks, exfoliation, shaving & using a nice smelling body wash. It sounds simple but I always feel so rejuvenated once I’m super clean.

declutter your space

Are we even surprised I mentioned this? I think a good decluttering session is always a good idea especially in winter when we are in our homes more often. When our space is organized chances are it will brighten our moods in the process. Go through your clothing, toiletries & even miscellaneous items. And if you are looking for decluttering inspiration in all areas of your life, browse through my entire decluttering section on the blog.

play videos games or old school board games

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with friends, your significant other or family – board games are a fun way to spend your time. I love going / hosting game nights especially in the winter. We tend to order takeout & just catch up as well. Video games are also a great way to occupy your time whether alone or connected with friends. It’s a great way to connect with friends from a distance. During the pandemic especially, we loved playing Fall Guys & Animal Crossing. I’ve even considered re-purchasing The Sims as it was a favorite of mine back in the day. These activities are nice ways to unwind & relax after long days.

start a blog or get to writing

This is a rather specific idea & one that has been a great hobby. I think if you are looking for a way to express yourself creativity or feel connected to other fellow writers, starting a blog is a wonderful option. I started my blog during the pandemic in 2020. I have always had a passion for writing & I love how blogging allows creative freedom. It’s a wonderful outlet for those who are interested. If you don’t necessarily want to write publicly, you can always opt to start a journal of some kind. For instance, I kept a gratitude journal in the past & it was a fun way to practice positive psychology & develop more grateful outlook of life. Especially if the winter season brings on seasonal depression or a general sadness for whatever reason – writing down your thoughts & getting them out of your head is a healthy form of expression.

deep clean your home

Cleaning your home isn’t just a spring time routine. I think the winter time is a great season to really cleanse your home & organize it. Not only does a clean home improves your mood, it can also be a healthy & productive distraction when you are having an off day or have a lot on your mind. And since we are in our homes a lot more during the colder months, we tend to analyze & take in our surroundings a lot harder.

enjoy a winter activity

Sometimes if we are ones to dislike the cold weather, it’s important to consider a different perspective & find ways to enjoy it. There are tons of fun winter activities to choose from including iceskating, skiing or tubing, weekend escape to a cabin [ bonus points if it snows] or shopping around town [ which isn’t winter specific].

book a warmer destination

If you are someone who really dislikes the winter weather, why not just book a trip to a warmer climate? I’m sure there are places you would love to visit & I think this time of year it’s a great time to take some time off, get a tan & soak up that sunshine. I few places I would love to visit at some point is The Caribbean, Greece or California again.

The key to combat the winter blues is to find simple [ or somewhat extravagant] ways to make it better. Outside the travel suggestion, a lot of these are rather easy ways to incorporate in our routines. And to those who absolutely thrive in the winter season, definitely comment down below some of your suggestions.

Stay warm!

-B

Health, Self Growth

10 Ways To Stay Stress Free

I think we all can relate 2020 has been a stressful year. All of us have become superheros in our own rights wearing more than just our usual hat & juggling responsibilities like we are professional circus clowns. Some of us are in lockdown for the second time, having to bare the boredom that is being stuck between the same four walls of our homes. How do we manage such a lifestyle change? Today, I’m here to discuss the ways to find peace during the uncertainty & keep our stress levels to a minimum.

Drop A Plastic Ball

Now, I can’t take full credit on this suggestion. But I was blown away by this one so I had to share. Youtuber, Allison Anderson discussed the idea that we as humans are constantly juggling both plastic & glass balls. Most of the time we are unable to handle the weight of both types. We tend to focus our attention to the plastic ones which are daily tasks, responsibilities or deadlines. But we must not let the weight of those hinder the glass ones. What do the glass balls represent? Your mental health of course. We don’t ever want our mental health to suffer or our glass ball to drop. Unfortunately, I think we all have had moments where we have let this happen. And that’s when our stress levels go through the roof. So, to prevent this, we must let a plastic ball drop instead. Stop filling your calendar with too many obligations when you know you won’t be able to handle it all. It’s ok to say no. Have a sense of balance with your life. Protect your mental wellbeing.

Write Your Thoughts Down on Paper

Have you ever had those moments where your mind is racing a mile a minute & you can’t get any of those thoughts straight? Sit down, take out a piece of paper & start writing. There is seriously something powerful about writing thoughts down on paper. It’s like once those thoughts are etched in ink, they are free from the overthinking mind. I think venting is a great way to get those feelings out. And there is something beautiful & private about having such a moment with yourself. I myself don’t always hold onto my venting pages. I usually just shred them right after. But you can always look back on your thoughts a few days later & see if you feel the same way. Usually you don’t have the same perspective. The idea of writing down your thoughts on paper is taking your internal feelings & releasing them externally. And with that, you should feel lighter.

Ask yourself, “will this matter in the future?”

This question has saved me from hours of overthinking. Most situations, solve themselves pretty quickly. And even when they are heavier topics, such as grief, even those become better with time. But for the majority of daily tasks & responsibilities, worrying about the outcome is wasted energy on your part. Things will play out when they should & how they should. Sometimes we have no control whatsoever. Once you except this notion, you’ll become more at peace.

Take a Moment for Yourself

Mental health & self care are one in the same. And I’m constantly talking about its importance. Especially during this time, we MUST put ourselves first. I don’t care how busy you may be. Put down the laptop, put the baby in their crib, let the kids do their thing, let your significant other play video games & take time for yourself! Run a warm bath, exfoliate your skin, put on a face mask, paint your nails or apply a leave in conditioner. These all sound like superficial things, but I’m telling you, when you feel good on the outside you will be able to handle whatever life throws at you. My favorite me time activity during these cold months is curling up with some hot chocolate & a good book.

Change Your Scenery

If you are in lockdown again, this might seem difficult, but I’m telling you it’s not. If I feel like I’m spending too much time in the living room, typing away, I’ll sit down on a different chair in my blogging office or at the kitchen table. If I’m really bored of being at home, I’ll drive around & hit up the Starbucks drive thru. Sometimes I’ll just drive around different neighborhoods & listen to music. Another great idea is to take a walk in your neighborhood. Fresh air is so crucial. And if the temperature is dropping, just do what I do & put on a bubble coat that goes down to your feet. I also have been decorating our house for Christmas already. It makes me feel happier & brighter during these cold dark nights.

Bury Your Social Media Apps

I read about this tip as well & thought it was genius. I’ve already discussed the importance of decluttering your digital space but I never thought about this idea. To help use your apps more intentionally, hide them in the back of your folders on your phone. As someone who constantly checks Twitter & news outlets for updates about this virus mess, it can all become too much sometimes. Another suggestion is to not keep the social media app on your phone at all. Only allow yourself to check those platforms via desktop.

Let Go of What is Unnecessary

Like the concept of plastic and glass balls, sometimes you need to let go of some things completely. Whether it’s toxic people, work environment or social media platforms, there are times where you need to clean house. And before the new year I always like to clean up a few things to start fresh. I’ll be sure to discuss these topics closer to the new year.

Do A Bit of Cleaning

I know not everyone is as much of a clean freak like me, but I’ve always managed my stress by occupying my mind through organizing my room or cleaning around the house. I use it as a form of distraction & then get a clean house out of it. Win win for me. Also, when my space is clean, I feel less stressed out anyway.

Have a Heart to Heart

I know when you keep things bottled up it makes situations feel worse. It’s important to have people in your life you can go to for advice or simply someone to listen. People can provide other perspectives on problems that you may not have thought about. And sometimes talking things out just makes it seem easier. But always be choosy of who you confide in & choose someone you trust wholeheartedly. I know this year has felt pretty isolating. I feel for those who live alone. But luckily we have technology to help us feel more connected. Plan a zoom date or get together, text a friend, play Among Us or Fall Guys with someone. Even message a follower / “online” friend. Reading other people’s blogs & connecting with you all on social media has been a blessing during these times. It has made the rest of this year better.

Focus on a Brighter Future

I honestly feel like a better tomorrow will never come with the year we’ve had. But you have to remember, generations before us have gone through some tough times as well & they made it through. Start thinking about future plans & ideas. Where do you want to travel to next once things are better? Go back to the writing tip & start manifesting your dream life. Although it seems like this virus is with us for longer than we wanted, it brightens my heart when I see people getting married still, buying homes, adopting pets or even starting new careers & continuing education. Focus on those stories & moments. Those are the resilient ones. But at the same time, if you are feeling down & unmotivated, don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. Your emotions are valid. Treat yourself with care. We will all get through this.

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-B