Self-Care in the Gray Months

Harsh winter weather is no stranger to West Michigan. During this time, many individuals find themselves feeling more stressed and “down”. The lack of sunshine can interfere with the body’s circadian rhythms. You may find that your melatonin levels increase, making you more sleepy, and your serotonin levels decrease, making you more irritable and sad. You may also feel more isolated if you stay home to avoid the cold weather and driving on icy roads. To combat these feelings, try creating a self-care routine.

“Self-care” is a term that is seen all over the internet, but many people wonder what it actually means. Simply put, self-care means taking steps to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. This looks different from person to person, but engaging in some form of health care helps regulate your mood and increase your resilience to stress. Here are some self-care ideas for you to try during the winter months:

Get Some Sunshine

Enjoy the sun whenever you get a chance! During those rare moments when the sun is shining, bundle up and go for a walk outside. Not only will you keep your body in shape, but you will decrease your melatonin levels as well.

Take a Hot Bath

Turn on some of your favorite relaxing music and warm up with a hot bath. Consider aromatherapy as well! Add your favorite bubble bath or calming essential oil mix for even more tranquility.

Make Your Favorite Warm Beverage

Whether you enjoy the healing properties of green tea or the taste of a warm latte, treat yourself to your favorite warm beverage. You will stay warm and cozy while elevating your mood and staying hydrated!

Stay Active

A great way to boost your mood is to exercise. If you are avoiding going outdoors during the cold months, try an indoor winter sport like ice skating. Also, consider getting a gym membership for the season.

Enjoy Comfort Foods with Friends

Invite some friends over for a warm meal. You will benefit from the social interaction as well as your favorite food!

Curl Up with a Good Book

Reading is good for your mental health. Grab your favorite blanket and curl up with a good book in your ideal cozy spot. You will feel snug, and maybe even learn something new!

Aim for trying one self-care activity per day. Even if it is something small, doing what works for you can do wonders for your mental health. If you still find yourself troubled by symptoms of depression, call Health for Life to schedule a phone meet-and-greet with one of our clinicians. We would be happy to work with you to create a treatment plan that will meet your goals!

Learn more by visiting our counseling page here.

Or reach out for a complimentary 15-minute consultation here.

Or call 616-200-4433. We at Health for Life would be glad to help!

References:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/winter-self-care-strategies-tips/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201912/self-care-tips-during-winter

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