The days are getting shorter and the skies a little greyer, which means that winter is fast approaching. During these chillier months, our moods and general levels of well-being can take a hit. While some of us would prefer to hibernate until the spring blossoms appear, there are a few simple self-care practices that will help you to feel your best during the winter months. From nutritious nourishment to solo dance parties, read on for four ways to banish those winter blues.
Music has an incredible power to shift the way that we feel, so why not hold your own dance party? Make a little playlist of your favorite, uplifting, inspiring, smile-inducing songs and then turn them up loud. Allow yourself the freedom to move, shake, bounce, and do whatever your body feels like in the moment. It may feel silly, but this freedom in movement can really make a huge change to your happiness levels. You can also put in headphones and walk, jog or sprint to your tunes, or simply have them playing in your car, at the gym or as you go about your day. A dance party is the way so turn up the music.
Superfood Your Life
We all know that eating a nutritious, balanced diet is essential to our wellbeing, but in winter our immune system can do with a little extra help. This is where superstar superfoods come in. These powerful natural supplements have been utilized for thousands of years in a range of practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine.
Medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail, chaga and reishi help to support and strengthen the immune system and provide the body with a wealth of vitamins, minerals and health compounds. Shilajit is a potent natural resin that is nicknamed the destroyer of weakness and for good reason - it contains up to 85 trace minerals as well as the highest amount of fulvic acid in nature. Matcha is not only packed full of antioxidants, but it also contains L-theanine, a ‘feel-good’ compound that will perk you up without the jitters. Other superfoods to check out include pine pollen, he shou wu and schizandra berry.
Stock up your pantry with a few of these goodies then add them to your smoothies, juices, and teas for a superfood boost that your body will thank you for.
Light it Up
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can affect an estimated 1 in 3 people. The darker winter months mean that we get less natural sunlight which can have adverse effects on our body’s circadian rhythm, also known as our ‘internal clock’. When this rhythm is off it can cause things such as mood swings, lethargy, and depression. A simple way is to try and spend a little more time outdoors during daylight hours, but if you're working full time this may not be possible. Another option that you may want to look into is light therapy. You can purchase special SAD lights which mimic the sun and can be used indoors, or head to a SAD light clinic.
Get out in Nature
Nature is such an incredible healer. While we all may not have access to a national park or mountain range, there is always some place nearby to spend a little time in beautiful outdoors. Put on those fluffy winter socks, wrap up all warm and cozy, turn off your phone and head to your nearest park, forest, river or lake. In Japan, they have a practice called shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing. This practice involves walking through forested areas while taking in the beautiful nature and atmosphere. Studies show that a simple nature walk can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce stress levels and strengthen the immune system. A bonus is that this practice won’t cost you a dime.
There are just a few ideas to help make the winter more bearable. There are other self-care practices that can help, such as journaling, gratitude, exercising, taking up a new hobby, aromatherapy, epsom salt baths, and volunteering. You may even want to create a list of things that help to make you feel better, and then pick a few to do every time you need a little mood boost. Happy Winter.