Written by Sheila Wylie
We all know the feeling: waking up on a cold, dark morning wishing we could hibernate instead of bundling up to head to school or work. Winter weather has a way of making us feel groggy and unmotivated, thanks to cold weather and less daylight.
The colder months can be especially difficult for those who have mental health challenges. Self-care becomes especially important when we may feel we lack the energy for most things. Help yourself get going in the morning by treating yourself to a hot cup of tea, coffee, or water with lemon juice to warm up. While it may be the last thing you feel like doing, spending a short time outside can boost your mood. The exposure to sunlight promotes Vitamin D absorption which can help deter symptoms of depression. Moving around and breathing fresh, crisp air can also help you feel better. Be sure to get plenty of rest- it’s natural to crave more sleep during the winter, so try going to bed earlier to gift yourself some extra hours.
But the best tip I could give for facing the winter blues is to be kind to yourself. It is okay to allow yourself to feel sad or tired. Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself when you feel like you could be doing more. Let winter be a time to reflect on how well you care for yourself and to recommit to being your own best friend. The winter solstice signifies new beginnings, growth, and renewal. Trees shed their leaves, spending months exposed to snow and ice only to grow back in the spring taller. Often, our most uncomfortable and challenging moments are the ones which cause us to become stronger.