Winter Self-Care Tips

Avoid the Winter Blues

It's never to early to begin thinking about your Winter Self-Care plan.

Winter means lower levels of light for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and that often means lower levels of energy and increased incidents of seasonal depression.

It also means less opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreational activities as the snow and cold settle in. Taking time now to transition into new routines can help you maximize energy levels.

Avoid the winter blues with these basic tips for creating a Winter Self-Care Plan.

Plan to start and end each day with a small amount of time for yourself.
Simple self-care activities don't need to consume a lot of time. Often, a few minutes of time spent at the beginning and end of each day can be enough to significantly boost your mental energy. Consider taking a walk, journaling, enjoying a bubble bath, or singing and dancing to your favorite music.

Make sure you get enough sleep.
Sleep has been shown to be one of the most important aspects of living a healthy, happy, and disease-free life. Make a routine of turning the lights down when it begins to get dark outside. Avoid the use of bright light appliances such as the tv and computer to prepare the mind and body for quality sleep. Instead, try some soft music and a soothing cup of hot cocoa.

Monitor your vitamin D levels.
Sunshine levels are significantly less during the winter months, and impair our body's ability to absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D has been strongly linked with optimal health, including adequate energy levels that can stave off depression and disease. Be sure to supplement your levels with quality products.

Include physical activity.
A short walk, stretching, dancing, or a trip to the gym can improve the way you feel, both physically and mentally. If you don't like exercise, pair it with an enjoyable activity – step on the treadmill during your favorite tv show, listen to books-on-tape while taking a walk, or pair up with a friend for aerobics, weightlifting, or yoga.

Make time for friends and family.
In many traditions, holidays are a big part of winter. Preparing a holiday list now for gifts, activities, and meal items can help alleviate last-minute stress. Decide ahead of time what you will be doing, eating, and buying so you can minimize the unexpected and enhance the quality of your relationships and holiday activities. Set personal boundaries to avoid being roped into holiday situations you'd rather avoid.

Use the Winter Self-Care Worksheet and the Holiday Planning Tips to make the most of the upcoming season.

Other pages you may be interested in are:

Personal Development Worksheets

Goal-Setting Process

Self-Care Tools

Positive Change Tools for Success