Here are some of my favorites that go perfectly with a grey-coloured, moody day: a piping hot mug of matcha, a vinyl Leon Bridge, trying out new soup recipes in the comfort of your home book corner. Page-turning reading. But despite my best efforts and intentions to embrace the atmosphere of hibernation, my inner sunshine begins to climb the walls. Before I do, I realize I’m wearing pajamas. Clearly, you need winter self-care tips. (As far as my wishful thinking tries to convince me otherwise, spring hasn’t come yet.
I said it once, and I’ll say it again. Summer is my happy place. Time for a cannonball to dive into the pool, flip flops, and tank tops. Still winking strangely through the pine needles on my living room floor after the glimmerings and sparkles of the magical holiday season are faded memories, the dreary, cold days of the first month of the year I feel dragged. upon. (And all the way… and all the way.) Without the skis strapped to your feet and the after-hot toddies waiting in the wings, you can completely opt out for the rest of winter.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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12 winter self-care tips to nourish your mind, body and spirit
But when I found myself humming along to the lyrics, or thought it was “O-BLAH-Di, O-BLAH-Da,” I started to wonder if life could go on.Is it just a pity, peculiar to this season? myself thing? Or is there anyone else who feels the same way?
This question inspired me to revisit an interview I did last year with Jessica Chernetsky, M.D., an Austin-based integrative primary care physician. western holistic medicineAs with most articles on winter mental health, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was a big part of our conversation. And my winter blues aren’t necessarily SAD per se.
So I expanded my research and reached out to a good friend, a yoga and meditation teacher. Kate Weitzkin To get a healthy dose of her sunshine (she really do It feels like an anthropomorphic sun).Kate’s meditation Her calming online yoga practice works wonders for body, mind and spirit. Her Rituals Her courses are highly successful online programs designed to help you weave the arts of mindfulness, presence and rituals into your everyday life. (Just ask Camille, who recently took the course.)
Today, Kate shares her wisdom with us. Below, she gifted us with 12 inspirational tips to help you prioritize your health for the rest of the winter. rice field.
Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical care. If you are experiencing any form of seasonal depression, talk to your healthcare provider first.
1. Face the sun
A few years ago, I was having a conversation with my mother, sharing the struggles I was going through at the time. Just before we hung up, she said, “Put her face in the sun today, honey.” I followed her advice and have carried her wisdom with me ever since. It’s become something I share (and do!) often.
We know that sunlight increases levels of serotonin, which plays an important role in regulating mood. Of course, we all want to protect our skin from UV rays, but even just a few minutes of standing outside, breathing fresh air, and basking your face in the sun can have a huge impact on your mood and energy quality. there is. .
2. Embrace Humidifier Heaven
I finally invested in a humidifier this winter and it has made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep and how I wake up each morning.
3. Prioritize sleep hygiene
We know that both quality and quantity of sleep are important for immune function, but prioritizing your nightly z also plays an important role in your mood and mental clarity. A complete overhaul of your nightly routine is often over, but consider incorporating one micro-shift into your sleep routine and building from there gradually.
Hot tea, a soak in the tub, a vetiver sole massage, and a guided meditation to calm you down.find a habit that feels right for you And notice how you feel when this small change becomes part of your nightly ritual.
4. Trust in Nature’s Wisdom
Mama Nature is a reminder that winter is a time to slow down and turn inward. By following this guidance, we can feel connected to the world around us and be in tune physically, mentally, energetically, and even spiritually. Consider stepping into the introspective movement of nature by writing or journaling. Do your best to let go of your agendas and expectations and allow the page to become a soft landing for your thoughts, feelings and insights in the moment. But find a time that works for you and enjoy the clarity and liberation it brings.
For tips on how to start your journaling practice, read this.
5. Practice the basics of breathing
Consciously (and gently) regulating our breathing can directly affect the quality and feel of our mind. Breathing techniques may also support lung health and function. can be a useful tool during the winter months.
- Lie on your back with the support you need to feel comfortable. Breathe in and out naturally through your nose several times.
- On your next inhale, gently inhale only 1/3 of your breath’s capacity, hold your breath briefly, and then inhale 2/3 again. Then exhale long and slowly.
- Take a few natural breaths and notice how you feel. Repeat this a few more times when you feel comfortable.
- This technique can also be applied to exhalation. Start by taking a full, full inhale. On an exhalation, exhale halfway through, pause, exhale to two-thirds of the way, pause, exhale completely, and then in smooth succession he exhales once Inhale.
Once you are comfortable with this exercise while lying down, try sitting in a comfortable upright position. It is important to keep your breath soft and gentle.
6. Enjoy daily movement
Some form of daily exercise offers a myriad of benefits that support overall wellness. This is especially true during the winter months, when temperatures tend to stagnate behind the drop in temperatures and the lure of a warm fire and a good book. Luckily, we now have access to a number of online practices to choose from: lace up your walking shoes and brave the cold, or turn on your favorite tunes and he’ll throw you a 15-minute dance party. mosquito, Practicing yoga online and staying physically active during the winter can help boost your immune system, promote better sleep, and keep your mind clear and focused.
7. Build meaningful connections
Cultivating supportive relationships and making meaningful connections with others is a very important part of experiencing wellness any time of the year. The sky is the limit when it comes to that. how you connect with others.this is and will Each of us looks different (hello fellow introverts!). Every day I do my best to make at least one face-to-face connection with her. One day, that means making eye contact with my boys and saying a kind word before heading to school. On other days, I go on dates with my partner or take a walk around the neighborhood with my friends.
Keeping it simple and retaining the intention to look for opportunities for meaningful connection every day will give you consistency. Not only does it fill our social cup, it keeps us healthier.
8. Try aromatherapy
Using therapeutic grade essential oils as aromas is a very effective and quick way to change our internal state, either through an oil diffuser or simply inhaled from the palm of your hand. Citrus oils in particular (wild orange, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, etc.) are known to support and uplift the mood, making them a welcome experience for our senses during the cold, dark days of winter. may become. Citrus essential oils are a useful tool when your energy is low or when you need to boost your mood.
*Keep in mind that using properly diluted, high-quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils is extremely important.
9. Make meditation effective
Taking a break from activity each day, sitting quietly, and creating space to organize your inner state can positively impact your health in many important ways. Improved sleep, deeper self-awareness, improved concentration, and enhanced immune function are just a few examples of how the practice of meditation can support your wellness experience.
Having a dedicated space in a quiet space at home or work removes the barrier of where to go when you’re ready to practice, and acts as a gentle invitation to practice each day. Sit and watch your breathing, do a slow body scan, Guided meditations are kept simple. Remember: The only “right” way to meditate is the way that works for you.
10. Dry brushing
Supporting the lymphatic system is an important factor when it comes to body health and a healthy and functioning immune system. While lymphatic massage by a trained professional is an art and can be a very supportive tool, dry brushing can be done in the comfort of your own home and is thought to gently stimulate the lymphatic system. increase.
My dry brush is right next to my shower. It’s an easy way to boost circulation, revitalize your system, and support your immune system first thing in the morning! Check out this article for more information.
11. Stay hydrated
This may be easy, but know I know how important it is to stay hydrated all year round, especially during the dry winter months. not yet I have a hard time consuming the recommended daily intake.
12. Seek inspiration
Developing a willingness to learn and explore new things helps to keep you surprised and curious, helps you keep your mind active, keeps you (and feeling) connected to the world, and keeps you looking forward to it. I can give you something new to do. Day. Podcasts and audiobooks are literally at our fingertips, offering a super easy way to take in new learning, explore new ideas, and stay inspired. It’s a lesson!