Coping with Winter Blues

By Nicolle Foster, Sacred Mariposa

Winter can be a challenging season for many individuals, as the cold weather and shorter days often bring about feelings of lethargy, low energy, and the blues. However, with a compassionate approach and a few simple strategies, it is possible to find solace and improve overall well-being during this time.

Prioritize Self-Care:
In the winter months, self-care becomes even more crucial. Self-care basics promote physical and mental well-being.  Although obvious, we remember for children but forget for adults- maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are game changers.

Embrace Natural Light (or use a SAD light):
With shorter daylight hours, it is essential to maximize exposure to natural light. Try to spend time outdoors during daylight hours, even if it's just a short walk or sitting by a window. Natural light can positively impact mood and help regulate sleep patterns.  If you can't get outside, SAD lights are affordable alternatives.  Up your vitamin D supplements in the winter.

Connect with Loved Ones:
Winter can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation. Reach out to friends and family, whether through phone calls, video chats, or meetups. Plan friend dates or romantic dates so you have something to look forward to. Maintaining social connections is crucial for emotional well-being. 

Engage in Hobbies and Creative Pursuits:
Winter provides an excellent opportunity to explore new hobbies or creative pursuits. Try new activities such as painting, writing, cooking, online classes, or playing a musical instrument.

Hacks for boosting your mood:

  1. Pamper your body. Get a massage, Reiki, pedicure, facial, or bodywork.  Or gently caress your own face and arms.  Touch releases all the feel-good hormones in the body.  
  1. Ask for more snuggles and hugs. Hugs increase oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.  If you are solo, wrap yourself in a blanket, back into a corner at home, and give yourself a big hug.  
  1. Find gratitude. Take a moment to pause, close your eyes, and note things you are grateful for.  Gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine. Dopamine is our brain's pleasure chemical.  
  1. Place your hands on your heart and belly, and breathe softly and deeply. Exhale longer than you inhale.  This resets the nervous system.   
  1. Laugh. Find funny videos and laugh.  Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body.  And it's fun.

Nicolle Foster, Sacred Mariposa


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