Managing your mental health in Winter
Winter is a tricky time for many of us, myself included. The lack of light can cause low mood, certainly the isolation many of us are experiencing does and the anxiety that comes with wanting the perfect Christmas and completing seemingly endless to-do-lists.
So, it’s time to implement a strategy to help you manage.
1. Mood lighting Reframe “dark and gloomy”
2. Take a Vitamin D supplement Our main sources of Vitamin D are sunshine and food. However with modern farming methods, we don’t get the required amount of vitamin D in our food, so we’re already lacking it this far North. Over winter this gets worse which can lead to low mood, so add in a supplement.
3. Find relevant positive affirmations Remind yourself regularly that Christmas does not have to be perfect. Use a positive affirmation like “I release the need for perfection” every time you find yourself worrying about getting the right present, wrapping paper, the best food etc.
4. Use scents Anxiety is proven to be linked to your sense of smell. Smells can trigger anxiety and anxiety can trigger a heightened sense of smell, and so on. However this information can be used to your advantage. Lavender, Rosemary and Ylang Ylang are proven to reduce cortisol levels so get out the essential oils or scented candles and
5. Reach out to family and friends I know we’re all on social media and you know what your brother had for lunch and where your Mum took the dog for a walk today already, but pick up the phone anyway, or even better draw them a picture or write them a card or letter and pop it in the post. It feels much better sending or receiving a card than it does giving or receiving a like on a Facebook post. Being part of a community and family is linked with happiness.
6. Invest time in relaxation This pays off big time! Listening to a relaxation, before you go to bed can help you wake up in a good mood. I personally find that if I take 15 minutes to sit and calm myself when I feel anxious, I can get much more done in the following few hours. This is because I find it easier to focus and think clearly, rather than making mistakes and having to redo things. So it actually saves time over all to spend time on relaxation.
8. Practice Gratitude
I grant you, this one is going to be trickier than usual this winter. It’s been a hard year for even the most positive of people. It doesn’t matter how big or small this gratitude is. You could be grateful for central heating, or that you made it through 2020 with a roof over your head, that you are safe. Taking time to think of things you are grateful for, reduces stress and calms
These tips I have learned and practiced over the years and they’re where my idea for Winter Wellness toolboxes came from. I wanted to be able to put everything I know about staying calm and positive over winter, into a handy little box to make them easy to access. So all of these tips (apart from the vitamin D supplement) have been covered in the contents of the boxes. There are tealights for mood lighting and smell. There are positive affirmations for reframing your thoughts. There are postcards to help you reach out to friends and family in a more meaningful way. There is an online relaxation. And there are seasonal, warming recipes that include mood balancing ingredients. Give yourself or a friend the gift of positivity and calm this Christmas! Click here for more info