#Blogmas - Self Care in Winter
While this time of year can be filled with joy for so many, it also can be incredibly tough for many others. It can be isolating when you’re not quite feeling it, and everyone around you is super happy.
I have a touch of S.A.D and find the winter months quite tricky, as it feels like all my energy is zapped from me and the lack of sunlight makes me miserable. So I really have to put myself first over the winter, more so than in the Summer where I naturally feel so much better within myself.
This is my first year I haven’t been in education over winter and don’t have January exams to worry about, so once I leave work on Friday 22nd, I can really enjoy Christmas and truly relax, and I am LIVING for that.
Self care is so essential and often overlooked – and I don’t just mean have a green smoothie for breakfast every morning. Yes, caring for your physical health is important and definitely shouldn’t be ignored, but looking after your mental health is absolutely vital too.
Here’s some ideas for practicing self care this winter:
Take the day off
Life is busy, especially in the festive season when you have lots to organise for Christmas day. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from taking a break and some time to yourself. Clear your schedule and have a day where you don’t have to worry about anything. Watch that film you’ve been wanting to sit down and watch for ages. Have a bath. Read a book. Just spend the day doing things for yourself.
Go for a walk
It’s difficult to motivate ourselves to get outside in the colder months because well… it’s cold. And usually wet. And windy. And dark. Ok I’ll stop now.
But seriously, getting some fresh air can do wonders. Wrap up in as many layers as you think will keep you toasty (and then an extra one just in case) and go for a wander. Stay off your phone and appreciate your surroundings, noticing every detail.
Get plenty of rest
I feel like an old woman saying this, but seriously. This side of Christmas and after can be very busy with social events, exams and coursework deadlines, shopping, seeing family, and work can be very busy depending on your industry so that, coupled with the colds and bugs going round, means it's really important to not get yourself too stressed out and run down, as a cold will hit you like a freight train otherwise. Remember to look after your physical health, as if this is impacted, it could take a knock on your mental health too. Anyone else find their anxiety so much worse when they're exhausted? Get your vitamins, eat well, rest up, keep warm, you know the drill.
It's okay to step back from social media
A lot of people have said it before me, but sometimes a break from social media can be very beneficial. Social media can definitely be harmful for mental health, and I actually think this time of year could be the worst for it. You see a lot of people going out, having fun, getting loads of gifts, spending time with loved ones. And it can be quite easy to feel left out. What you don't see on social media is those who don't have a Christmas party or don't feel like they can go, you don't see the grief someone experiences that can be compounded by Christmas if they've lost a loved one, you don't see those behind-the-scenes, everyday struggles. And even though you can tell yourself over and over that an Instagram feed is a highlights reel, someones a step back from it all is the only way forward.
Turn off your phone and enjoy what's around you without being constantly bombarded with what's going on in others' lives. It can do the world of good, and trust me, the online world will still be there for when you come back!
Put yourself first
Spoil yourself! Be your own biggest fan.
I don't mean buying yourself a tonne of presents for Christmas, though that's totally OK too. I definitely bought myself a book when placing some online orders ha! But also feel free to say no, and put yourself first.
Also treat yourself to something you've been wanting to do for ages. Reread Harry Potter or start a new Netflix series. Do the things that YOU want to do and will make YOU happy!
I hope you're all having a lovely time but if you're not quite feeling it, I hope these tips are somewhat helpful. And please don't be afraid to talk to someone if things are really tough, or even a little bit tough and you want to get stuff off your chest. Talk to friends, family, my emails are always open if you want someone to listen, or talk to a mental health charity or helpline. Don't ever feel like you are alone!
Have you got any tricks for looking after yourself in winter? Let me know in the comments!
P.S... Blogmas Update:
You might have (or might not have) noticed that my blog was a little quiet the past few days and I’ve actually missed a couple of Blogmas posts. I’ve unfortunately been pretty ill the last few days and the last thing I wanted to do was look at a laptop screen. Also, one of the posts required photos to be taken and I was just not up for doing that, as much as I wanted to be.
And just to compound this, I’m having problems with my Creative Cloud software and potentially won’t be able to use the programmes I use for all the photos and graphics on my blog until the middle of January. I have got the rest of my Blogmas posts prepped so they should carry on as normal, (just missing the two I haven’t managed to get up the last few days), and then I think I might slow down a little bit. I don’t know, we’ll have to see how it turns out!
I feel awful for failing Blogmas and the challenge I set myself but sometimes life just gets in the way. And when blogging is not your full time job, it can’t be prioritised as much as you would like it to. But I just wanted to let you know what was going on and why I disappeared from the social media/my blog for the last few days.
I hope you enjoy the rest of my Blogmas series!