During the winter months when it’s colder and darker, it’s no surprise that it’s a time when we simply feel like it’s harder to work at our maximum capacity. Depression can get you down without you even noticing it. It’s the perfect time to focus on some good old self-care to get you through the cold months. Here are some ways you can do that:
I know, I know: how are you going to be more productive if you sleep more? But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Back in the days when we didn’t have electricity and ready-available light, we would go to sleep with the sun, and wake up with it too. So when the winter would arrive, and the days would shorten, we would sleep longer. This is why you often feel like you have less energy in the winter. It’s okay to listen to your body and give it what it needs. If you have to be at work or in class early in the morning, then make sure you go to bed earlier and give yourself time to rest.
Just like when it’s hot outside and we want to run around and be outdoors, during the winter we get the need to nest indoors and make ourselves comfortable. Don’t fight this need – indulge in it. Wear comfy, oversized knitwear, wrap yourself up in blankets, wear thick wool socks and make sure your space is adequately heated. If you want or need to go somewhere outside often, make yourself as comfortable as you can in what you are wearing, how you’re sitting and even who you’re with.
Winter is a great time to reflect on the year that has passed and think about what the most important things in your life are. Try to start or end every morning with a nice meditation session, where you can light a scented candle, get comfortable, turn your electronics off and clear your mind. Let your thoughts run freely and remind you of everything happening around you. Envision the places and situations you want to be in and play them out in your head. Take deep, long breaths and just be at peace.
Maintain a healthy diet
Winter is the holiday season and you’re surrounded by all the festivities, you are also surrounded by a lot of food. It’s perfectly fine to indulge during the holidays and eat what you want, but it’s important to make sure you’re giving your body everything it needs in terms of nutrients. If you feel like you are lacking any of those, taking supplements and vitamins will make sure you’re on the right track to staying healthy during flu season. Try to eat fresh produce, and get creative with smoothies if you want something quick and easy to kickstart your day.
Perfect an indoor skill
When everything is covered in snow and you don’t feel like going outside, you can still use the time to be productive. Learn a skill you’ve been putting off, whether that’s knitting, perfecting a recipe, drawing, learning a language or solving puzzles. Just because you’re not going outside as much, it doesn’t mean the productivity needs to stop. It can make you feel better, and help to keep the “winter depression” at bay. It’s a rewarding feeling to broaden your horizons and have that sense of accomplishment.