Dark, dreary days can bring on a lot of struggles for many. Here are some small things you can do to improve your winter outlook in a big way.
Winter is coming and for some it is already upon us. That means dark, gloomy days, cold weather and for many, it also includes mental health struggles. Here are some small suggestions for staying positive and sunny during the gloomiest time of year.
Mind Your Mentals
2020 has already been a rough year. With winter knocking on the door it’s likely that many will struggle with their mental health this winter. Despite the shimmer and shine of the holiday season, winter can take a big toll on your mind and your outlook and it’s important to take the time and effort to address that and take care of yourself.
You can’t take care of or be there for anyone else unless you are taking care of yourself.
We’re all busy. Whether it’s work or family or both or whatever your circumstances are, we are all busy and we live in a world where it’s a competition to be the busiest. That is not doing your mental health any favors.
Tune out the “busy” around you as best you can and focus on the things you are doing and the things you can control. Being busy is a state of mind. Everybody is busy, it’s not a competition but comparing busy schedules and trying to be busier than your friends or coworkers doesn’t come with a prize, it only comes with increased stress on you for no reason at all.
It’s easy in the winter, well for some it’s easy all year to hunker down and make excuses for not being active. Being active is one of, if not THE best way to improve your mental health. Sitting on a couch or in front of a screen, scolling and being sedentary is the #1 way for your mental health to go downhill fast.
2020 has been the year Americans have been waiting for. The year where we were asked to stay home and sit on our couches. This is literally what many Americans have been training for.
But, I’m here to tell you to get up! Get off the couch, put down the phone, turn off the television, walk away from the computer and do something. Do something active. Take a walk, take a hike, get a bike.
Do some pushups, go online and find a free workout and actually do it. Pull out those Insanity DVD’s circa 2010 and let Shaun T show you how out of shape you have become.
There used to be a commercial that said, “a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion, stays in motion.” Truer words were never spoken. A body at rest will become achy and overweight and sore. You have to move your body in order to improve your mind.
We All Love The D
Vitamin D of course… what did you think I was talking about?
Vitamin D is crucial to improving your mental health. That’s why so many suffer from seasonal depression or increased thoughts of harm during dark and dreary months. That’s another reason why depression has increased in 2020. Not only has our entire life been uprooted and our “normal” flipped upside down but people aren’t going outside as much. People aren’t enjoying the sunshine. Sunshine is key to happiness and positivity.
In the winter, it can of course be more difficult. But sunshine exists even in the dreariest of days. Make it a point to get up and go outside.
Related: 20 Day Self Care Challenge
Certainly not recommended by any skin care professionals when I am feeling really down and there’s no sunshine to be found, not only do I take a Vitamin D supplement but I also will go get a tan. I spray tan year round but sometimes I am just feeling off or really down and I need a bed tan. I know, horrible for my skin but as a last resort to help me improve my outlook and state of mind, it’s something that for me is worth it because it really helps me mentally.
When you look in the mirror and you are happy with what you see or excited to see results from something you will feel better about yourself. A good skin care routine is a great way to practice self care and to do something that your skin and body will thank you for.
Skin Care doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Investing in a skin care routine that will improve the quality of your skin and help you feel better about yourself is priceless.
This isn’t vain. Taking care of your skin is crucial to not only taking care of the only body and skin that you have but to improving your mental health.
Skin care doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can find amazing skin care products at places like Glowrecipe where they have an out-of-this-world Watermelon Sleeping Mask that I swear by and a Banana Souffle Moisture Cream that is delightful. Their products come in large sizes, smell like summer and are perfect for adding a little something for you to your daily routine.
The Ordinary is another awesome company that provides high quality products at a fraction, and I mean fraction of the price of many other brands. I use a wide variety of their products and am researching what to try next.
They use a lot of big, scary words because their products contain high amounts of things like Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution or Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane but they provide in depth guides on what everything means, what it should be used for, what shouldn’t be used with it. It’s very comprehensive. Plus, you should always research the products you are putting on your face.
Have you ever walked into a room or even your own house or someone else’s house and just felt overwhelmed? It’s really important to have somewhere you can go that is clutter free. A more zen space.
It might not be possible for your entire space to be clutter free and calm. You might have kids that have toys all around or dogs that have hair spread all over. You might not be able to afford for someone to come and clean your house. You might not be able to carve out time everyday to pick everything up and keep every space clean and pulled together.
So, pick a couple of spaces that are important to your sanity and make it a priority to keep those spaces clean and organized and put together. For me, it is my office, my bathroom and kitchen.
I need my kitchen to be clean. I cannot walk into my kitchen and have it cluttered without feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Our kitchen is a place where things go. Everything ends up cluttered in our kitchen and it drives me nuts. Almost everyday, I have to take the time to pick up and clean our kitchen because it makes me feel grounded. It only takes a few minutes but providing your mind with that clarity and peace doesn’t have a price tag.
Related: 20 Day Self Care Challenge
I hear people all the time say, “I just don’t have time for myself.” You do have time. We all have time, you have to carve out the time and make it a priority. It isn’t that you don’t have time, you don’t want to make the time.
It goes back to being busy. Everyone is busy but you have to make yourself a priority. No one else is going to do it and everyone will continue to lean on you until you have nothing left to give. It is your responsibilty to set boundaries and recognize that you are busy, everyone else around you is busy, it’s not a competition, and it’s up to you to carve out time to take care of you.
I hope this has given you motivation to take care of yourself this winter. This has been a crazy year and we have to make ourselves a priority. Be active, get off the couch, get some sun or even some fake sun, baby your skin and find ways to nourish your body and mind.
Related: Self Care During Challenging Times