Feeling the winter blues? Me too – read on for my top tips on how to keep them at bay with self-care.
The best self-care tips to see you through winter
Although I love winter, it’s never long before the darkness gets to me. Sneaking through the cracks in my doors and windows, it finds me, wrapping its coils around me and sucking out my energy and happiness. Some years I handle it better than others (the winter Ian and I got together, I didn’t feel this at all) but for the most part winter slowly saps my energy, leaving me deflated and anxious.
I don’t know if what I experience is SAD or just the general deflating feeling that winter brings, but what I do know is that looking after myself more during the winter does help. Self-care is important for everybody.
- Take a vitamin D2 supplement. During the autumn and winter months it is difficult for us to get as much vitamin D as we need from sunlight alone. The NHS recommends that everyone consider taking a vitamin D supplement (such as vitamin D2 which is vegan) in the autumn and winter months. The Vegan Society recommends the VEG 1 supplement.
- Get out of the house. Rather than stay in the house all day, make an excuse for an extra trip outside. Take the kids to the park, walk to the shop to pick up a treat or spend an afternoon in the garden with a hot cuppa and a book.
- Connect with your loved ones. Winter is the loneliest time of the year for many. Get in touch with somebody you care about. You’ll get the best boost by talking to someone face to face, but even chatting on the phone will help you feel better.
- Delegate your tasks. All too often, mothers are expected to do most of everything. Get the other people living in the house (big or small) to take more on. If everybody else did a little bit more, we would be able to put our feet up for half an hour!
- Take time out for you. This follows on from the last point really. Don’t let yourself be on the go all the time. Sit down with a mug of Baileys Almande Pumpkin Spice and a good book, go out for a coffee with friends. Allow yourself some time to be YOU.
- Get active. It’s so hard sometimes to get up on the sofa and do something active, but even a few minutes of activity every day will help you feel better. This doesn’t have to be something intense!
- Eat more fruit. I’m not much of a fruit person, but Ian swears that eating fruit can help keep away colds and other illnesses. Rhian, the biggest fruit eater of the house, is hardly ever ill. While hardly conclusive evidence, we all know that fruit is good for you and most people should be eating more of it!
- Sleep. Not getting enough sleep at night is one of the surest ways to ruin your day. When you’re tired, it feels as though the whole day is spent wading through treacle. Make sure you get to bed in plenty of time to enjoy the recommended 8 hours, or whatever your body feels is best.
- Wrap up warm. When my boiler was broken for two weeks last month, I spent most of the time freezing. It didn’t take long for me to become down, irritable and scatty. I couldn’t concentrate on much other than feeling cold. I did not get an awful lot of work done for those two weeks! Keeping your body at the temperature it needs to be will keep it working at its best. I wrote about keeping warm in winter last week.
All too often, mothers are expected to do most of everything. If everybody else did a little bit more, we would be able to put our feet up for half an hour!
Winter can make people feel up against it – the onslaught of colds, the fading light, the bitter winds. There are things we can do about it – looking after yourself should be the number one priority. After all, if you don’t look after yourself, how are you going to look after anyone else?
What are your favourite self-care treats for the winter?