Self-care should be a priority all year round but even more so in the colder months. With the long nights and dreary weather, autumn and winter can knock your mental health and well-being. Developing a few wellness rituals over the cold seasons will enable you to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Finding ways to unwind and invest in yourself helps combat winter depression and you’ll be more equipped to recover from any bad days and negative feelings.
Use A “Wake-Up Lamp"
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression coming and going in a seasonal pattern. The systems often start as the evenings get darker and becomes more severe during December through to February. Symptoms include irritability, a persistent low mood, loss of pleasure from or interest in everyday activities; feelings of lethargy and difficulty getting up in the morning. To combat seasonal depression, develop a healthy nighttime routine, try to get more sleep, and use a “wake-up lamp” or dawn simulator, which can help to keep your sleep cycle on track, boost your mood, and give you more energy.
Declutter Your Space
In autumn and winter we tend to spend more time in doors; it’s not always possible to go outside as frequently as we might like to. Making sure your space is warm and inviting should be a top priority. Creating a home that makes you feel comfortable and content can take a little work and the first step is to remove the clutter. It's hard to relax when you're surrounded by stuff you don't want or know what to do with. At the beginning of autumn, consider a deep declutter of your home to get rid of all that unwanted stuff. Decluttering your space will minimise visual distractions and create an environment you love to be in.
Go For A Walk (Even When It’s Raining)
When it’s pouring hard and freezing cold the last thing we want to do is go outside. As the evenings get longer and the weather gets colder, it’s all too feel like bundling up under blankets and staying in bed is the best option. Enjoying a walk even when it’s raining or cold is a good way to beat the winter blues; it will boost your energy and reduce stress. Getting light exercise will help with mental alertness, focus and concentration, as well as improve your sleep. There's something magical about walking in the rain (or snow), why miss the opportunity?
Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
Nourishing your body is important all year round but even more so in autumn and winter. Stock your cupboards with nutritious foods packed with the vitamins and minerals you may be lacking in the coldest months. Filling foods such stews, curries, and soups, and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper all help to boost circulation and your immune system. Keep dried fruits, nuts and seeds, and other healthy snacks on hand to keep yourself well-fed and well-nourished.
Host A Gathering
There are so many opportunities to arrange gatherings during autumn and winter, and spending time with friends during cold days and long nights is a wonderful way to boost your mood and banish the winter blues. Take the opportunity to invite friends over and host a gathering. It doesn’t have to be anything big: an evening carving pumpkins, decorating gourds, eating food and drinking together. The most important thing is to spend time with your loved ones to maintain friendships, build community, and build the feeling of togetherness.
Re-Read Your Favourite Book
Sometimes you might just want to stay indoors and that’s OK; this gives you the perfect chance to re-read your favourite books (or re-watch your favourite movies or TV series). Indulging in a familiar story will evoke happy memories, lift your spirits, and make you feel content and relaxed. >Make a warm drink (these are good teas for self-care), light a candle, curl up under a blanket, and dive into a familiar story.
Cosy Up With Hygge
Hygge can be roughly translated to ‘cosiness’. It’s about the simple rituals of daily life and enjoying the company of others through happiness, familiarity, comfort, and kinship. You can enjoy hygge whether alone or with friends, at home or outside. Hygge at home can be achieved in many ways but the focus is always the same: creating a sanctuary to relax and feel safe in; a space that nourishes your well-being so that you feel happy and content. This is how you can cosy up with hygge this autumn and winter.