Winter is officially upon us. Today marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. From here, the light will start to return to us. The days start to once again grow longer and longer until we reach the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. This is a great time to reflect and set intentions. You may like to start visualizing the year ahead. It can be a great time for planning but slow down on acting on that right now. Conserve your energy where you can, take rest and really nurture yourself - mind, body and soul.
Winter can bring with it the winter blues, the light is slowly returning but we still have long periods of darkness and cold. Here are some ways your can nourish your mental health in this time.
1. Practice Yoga and Meditation
You don't need much to start a Yoga or meditation practice from home. Nothing fancy at all in fact. A yoga mat can be very helpful and some comfortable clothing for moving in, and sign up for a class or follow along to some Youtube videos.
Here is a Gentle Yoga Practice that is focused around Self-love - Click here.
I have Live online Classes starting in January which can be found here.
For meditations I love the Insight timer App.
2. Get enough rest
Don't underestimate the power of getting enough sleep! For some reason I always feel the sleep I get before 12am is the most valuable, like it is worth twice as much. For this reason I make an effort to have an early night at least once or twice a week but I always aim to get 7 to 8 hours sleep. And if you can take a nap - amazing, do it! Winter is definitely a time to rest so have movie nights and cosy evenings when you can and don't be afraid to say No to things you don't actually want to do.
3. Go for a walk
When light is limited, it can be great to get outside while it is light but it can also be quite magical to take a walk later on when all the Christmas lights are on. Wrap up warm and get outside each day, it makes coming home and getting cosy that little bit more sweet.
4. Spend time with people you enjoy spending time with
It is okay to say No to spending time with people who drain you, or at least make an early escape plan right?! As I said Winter is all about conserving your energy, don't let energy vampires suck it all out of you. Take care of you, spend your time with people who light you up and make you feel good. Meet up for a cuppa or plan a Zoom chat if you have to! But keep those connections going. Winter can be very isolating even before 'all of this' so it is good to talk.
5. Enjoy a new hobby (or an old one you havent had time for)
Bonus points for not trying to turn it into work! Keep the hobby just for you, keep it fun and playful. Maybe its an activity, a sport, something arty, something creative, puzzles - anything. I love a hobby that gets me into a real flow state - like how yoga does, I get into a real flow state when I get stuck into a puzzle. Time seems to disappear and I'm completely lost in what I am doing. Do you have something like that already or something you have been wanting to try? Comment below!
What other ways can we look after our Mental health this Winter?
There are so many other ways that we can take care of ourselves this Winter. What would you add to the list? What helps you?