7 Ways to Practice Self-Care and Kick the Winter Blues
Let’s face it, winter gets pretty hard once the magic and romance of the Christmas season is behind us. For me, I’ve always wished that winter ends with Christmas so we can at least have something to look forward to and anticipate to get us through the long, cold months. However, we know the calendar doesn’t work that way, and weather (😉) we like it or not, we have to get ourselves through January…. February…. March... and sometimes a chilly April! So how do we do this? By consulting the internet, friends, and tales as old as time, and narrow down some quick (or less quick) ways of getting out of the winter funk.
You may think: the best therapy is a sunny getaway! Well yes, I do agree, but realistically, we can’t escape the cold every chance we get due to work, personal commitments, and finances. These suggestions, however, are more obtainable, sometimes money-savvy, and way less of a commitment. For ease and organization, I’ve listed these seven ways from least money/time commitment to more money/time consuming.
Less Attitude, More Gratitude
There are so many ways to do this, and most of them are super easy! No, we aren’t asking you to walk around with a crazy grin on your face all day. Simply, practice gratitude. This can be a simple thank-you card to a colleague, friend, or complete stranger. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude and affirmation, in a physical way (writing a card, going out of your way to tell someone), is actually good for your overall health; physical, psychological, sleep, and self-esteem.
Along with this, practicing gratitude towards yourself is important. Journaling and keeping lists of what you’re thankful for has proven to improve psychological health. Whether it’s something you need to do when you feel overwhelmed or something you can incorporate into your everyday routine, it’s important to remember this simple practice which can do so much for your mood.
Stop and Smell the Roses
It could mean living in the here and now, but to me it means breathing in the right scents. No, it’s not necessarily roses that I suggest smelling, but lavender, citrus, and chamomile. Lavender has always been known as the tension-tamer relieving stress and anxiety. Many people have always swore by its use for assisting in restful sleep, but even during the day it can add a certain calmness to your environment. Citrus--lemon or orange oil to be exact-- are specifically known for boosting moods and chamomile is always known for its calming effects.
Getting your hands on a variety of essential oils, diffusers, and perfectly paired scented candles has never been easier with their rise in popularity.
Declutter and Feng Shui
Research always suggests that clutter can stress us out and bring us down. If you’re a real life, human, person who lives in a home, you know there’s no debating this. On the positive, studies have found that organizing and decluttering our home can make us more productive, cheerful, and calmer. In addition, when you’ve decluttered your space you’re more likely to feel what works and doesn’t work in the space. Okay, so maybe I'm not ready to dive into the actual logistics of feng shui, but you get the point. If your space is overcrowded and unruly, chances are your mind and body are too.
Better yet, as they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! The best thing to come from purging overcrowded closets in the past two decades is the rise of online consignment, so those once forgotten things can find their forever homes… with you! 😉 So maybe a little retail therapy is also in the cards for you to cure your winter blues. Always check out Lux Second Chance for the latest arrivals and trendy finds! (sorry, I had to!)
As a child, you heard your mom say it, you heard your dad say it, and maybe even your teacher yelled it once or twice. But it’s true, the health benefits to getting outdoors is crazy! Nature makes us feel more alive, walking around our city may make us feel less alone, and finding green space can actually improve your standard of life!
I know what you’re thinking: but not in January! Fair, it’s not my ideal temperature outside either, but with the help of savvy blogs you can find a list of things to do in your area that satisfies any type of explorer. My favourite is blogto. They make sure to give winter some extra love under their events section. Check out a list of things to do in Toronto right now that are sure to boost your mood!
Get to the Bedroom 😉
Bow chicka wow wow…. is where your mind might go, but trust me, I came across a minimum of at least three things that can be done in the bedroom mentioned on every self-care guide.
One: Sleep! You know you need it, but you feel guilty taking more of it! Stop that! Depriving yourself of proper sleep leads to less productivity, poorer eating habits, and challenges your mood.
Two: Cuddle! Cuddling is scientifically good for you! Studies have shown it reduces stress and releases a hormone called oxytocin that boosts happiness. If that’s not reason enough to bail on your Friday night plans and cuddle in bed with bae and Netflix, than I don’t know what is!
Three: Cue Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”! The list is long when it comes to the health benefits of sex! Apart from making us feel great and release an insane amount of tension and stress, it’s also good for our immune system! Not to mention, it brings back our point number two. Physical human contact is just good for the soul! ♡
Pay It Forward
Helping others is a way of helping ourselves. As cliché and cheesy as that sounds, it’s scientifically proven! Generally speaking, there are three ways to pay it forward: with your time, with your resources, and with your money.
Don’t have a lot of money? Then donate your time by volunteering. Volunteering positively affects self-confidence, self-esteem, and general well-being.
Don’t have time? Then donate your resources. I know personally, I have so many things in my house that are either unused or underused. A lot of great charities accept clothing, food, and even toiletry donations. My favourite is a Toronto-based charity for women in crisis called Sistering. They are often looking for toiletries for women, along with clothes, and any other daily necessities. Take a look at their list and I bet you can think of things in your house that could be used for a greater cause.
Finally, what some could argue is the easiest—just not the cheapest—way to give back is to donate your money. Anyone who wants instant gratification can find millions (and I mean millions) of important causes to donate their money to. On a personal level, I’ve been encouraging donations to Australia wildfire relief funds. Sometimes you can’t get to where the need is, but you can send your finances. The important thing in donating is always do your research and always do it for the right reasons.
Find Your Refuel Place
There are many reasons why one should find a refuel place. Whether it’s an old stomping ground you need to reclaim or a new find all together, a change of scenery from something other than your couch will do you good! Which got me thinking, what are some places where you could recharge, crush out a good workout, have a smoothie, and get some work done in a nurturing co-working space?
Well, Toronto just got it’s answer! Say hello to your new refuel place: Sweat + Tonic. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s multi-purpose space offers spinning classes, spa amenities, nutrition bar, and chic working spaces for its members! Given the dramatic rise in remote-working, I totally understand the craze to have all the necessities of your day in one space. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people, try something new, and shamelessly score some sweet Instagram posts while you’re at it! 😉
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list as much as I’ve enjoyed curating it! Wishing you love, happiness, and luxury in the winter months ahead, Luxers! ♡