It’s no secret that I suffer from Summertime Sadness, also known as summer onset seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, the more common form of SAD is known as the Winter Blues. That’s why today we’re going to talk about having a mindful winter.
With long nights and cold days, it’s easy to feel withdrawn and to lose your energy and inspiration. The thought of cold and dark instills a primal fear into the hearts of all of us, so anxiety and depression are only natural during these next few months.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t start making small changes to our everyday lives to reduce the effects of SAD, and make winter that little bit more bearable.
Below are some practices for a mindful winter that can help alleviate, or at least soften your SAD.
Just remember, no change provides immediate effect – be patient, create new routines, and over time you’ll start noticing the improvements in your life.
How to have a mindful winter
It’s cold, and so comfort food is easy to indulge in. However, the lethargy that comes with overindulging won’t make you feel any better. Although a bowl of pasta might make you feel good right now, unless you’re burning those carbs you’ll regret it tomorrow! Try eating seasonal foods, and foods rich in Vitamin D and Omega 3.
No one wants to go out and about when it’s cold and raining, however winter isn’t only full of cloudy, rainy days – if the sun is out, you can be too! Put on a thick coat, and go for a relaxing stroll, and remember a cooler body has a more efficient mind. So going for a walk in winter will help clear your mind and help you relax! If you don’t want to head outside, despite the sunshine, try indoor iceskating or visiting your local heated pool!
Curling up on the sofa, buried beneath a layer of blankets doesn’t mean you have to put your mind into stand-by. Rather than switching on TV, try reading a new book or listening to some music to either stimulate your mind, or help it relax. Keeping our minds active in winter is essential and helps keep depression and fatigue at bay.
This is all about making sure you make time for you, which if you’re struggling with the cold, dark, and lack of sunlight, is even more essential. To read more about Self Care, click here.
Honorable mention: Christmas
Although there’s a few more months of cold after Christmas, this day falls close to the Winter Solstice, aka the longest night of the year. After the solstice the days begin slowly, but surely, to grow longer once more, which will come as a relief to any person with the Winter Blues.
In addition to the solstice, Christmas is a time for giving, for being surrounded by friends and family. It’s a time to revel in the delight that is winter with sparkling lights and fanciful food. Although the Festive season only lasts a month, embrace it wholeheartedly and you won’t even notice the weather!
Although these mindful practices are only small changes, they can have a huge impact of your physical and mental health.
Do you practice mindfulness?