When cold weather strikes, you don your winter coat, secure the lawn furniture covers and insulated tarps, and hunker down with hearty meals. But what about taking care of your mental health? Practicing self-care and focusing on mental health is key to keeping well in winter.
Meditation and other exercises in mindfulness are considered to be the most effective ways of practicing self-care. Taking just a few minutes every day to sit down and meditate encourages your brain to have the chance to slow down and focus on the positive production of thought.
Set aside a designated time each day for your meditation session. Move to a quiet place in your home that’s free of distractions and ask for privacy from family. There are a number of mindfulness apps and instructional videos available online that can guide you through the meditation process with ease. Once your daily session has ended, your mind will be clear and you’ll be ready to take on the tasks of the day, from cleaning up the house to checking on your outdoor sofa covers.
You don’t have to venture into the cold to visit your local spa in order to have a pampering self-care experience. Treating yourself to an at-home spa night is a great way to unwind after a long day without having to leave the warmth and comfort of home sweet home.
From foot soaks to face masks, there are plenty of DIY recipes for you to follow that don’t require a special trip to the store - with the ingredients probably found in your pantry. Much like when you pull off the custom tarps to tackle an outdoor project, going the DIY route for your spa night is an experience that leaves you satisfied.
Journaling is one of the most popular self-care exercises around thanks to its accessibility and creative potential. Keeping a journal allows you to express your emotions and get all of your thoughts on paper, leaving you with both a mind clear of anxiety and a renewed sense of self-appreciation.
While you can journal any time the fancy strikes you, self-care experts suggest taking pen to paper in the evening, when you have the time to reflect on the day’s events and make any new observations about yourself and your new year’s journey into self-care. But don’t hold yourself to a strict schedule- making a task of journaling may diminish your enjoyment.
Self-care involves more than just pampering yourself. Actively practicing gratitude in your daily life will make a huge difference in your mental health during the chill of winter. Making gratitude a conscious habit starts with a simple task: observation. Take the time to pay closer attention to the world around you, from your interactions with others to the little things that make your day special. These observations will help you gain a stronger sense of appreciation for the little things that make life special.
The post-holiday winter months have a habit of bringing socialization to a halt thanks to unpleasant weather and folks heading back to work for the new year. Keeping contact with your nearest and dearest is crucial to maintaining good mental health. While you may not be able to pull off the dining set covers and throw an outdoor dinner party, there’s plenty of options available for you to keep in touch with friends and family all winter long.
Letter writing is a charming way of staying connected while embracing your creative side. As a cold winter evening bears down on your custom tarps outside, cozy up indoors and write letters to your loved ones that live out of state. Taking the time to write out a heartfelt correspondence will put your mind at peace and remind you of all you have to be grateful for.
An often overlooked aspect of self-care is the space in which you practice it. The weather may be too chilly to pull off the sofa covers and spend a relaxing afternoon outdoors, but you have the perfect opportunity to transform your interior space into a relaxing retreat fit for a self-care king or queen.
Aromatherapeutic candles, cozy blankets, and soft ambient lighting are just a few of the accents you can add to foster an environment of self-care and relaxation. Consider dedicating a specific spot in your home such as a nook for practicing self-care activities. When the weather warms up in Spring, you can even pull off your lawn furniture covers and build an outdoor meditation and mindfulness zone.