As the seasonal blues come along I thought I would share some tips to get out of that funk, which I’ve definitely dragged myself away from over Christmas break and I have to be back on it for when sixth form starts up again! Here are a few self care tips I tried that help me to stay productive and content during winter:
This isn’t for everyone but I love going into nature and finding new places to explore. It takes you away from reality for a bit, inevitably taking away your stress and anxiety. Here are some examples of all the advantages of a walk: it improves self-perception, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality. On New Year’s Day, my parents and I went on a walk (our New Year’s Day tradition) in a secluded place for an hour or maybe even less and I felt so relaxed and to be honest didn’t want to go back home to reality. But, my point is, that it is the perfect thing to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try it and you’ll see. It’s hard to explain the sensation but it’s worth it.
Getting lost in a book can create a new world for you to delve into. It can distract your mind from all the overwhelming negative thoughts. I’m currently reading ‘Little Women’ and I love setting up my cosy room with candles and fairy lights, with a good book. I always get lost in the words and characters, trying to visualise the authors descriptions.
Blast Your Music
Make sure you have a playlist for every emotion, especially upbeat tunes! I found out your heartbeat changes depending on the music you listen to, when you’re feeling low and unmotivated, music can increase the heart and breathing rate. It will hopefully create that motivation inside you that’s trying to get out. Even if it just pulls you out of bed, it’s still something.
Act Of Kindness
Do a random act of kindness. It will give you a different outlook on your day when you selflessly help another person. You could: donate money to charity, drop a few pennies or pounds into a guitar case for that singer on the street, give some coins to a homeless person, volunteer your time at a charity shop or donate all your clothes and books you don’t use anymore to a charity. In more selfish terms, it makes you feel good about yourself and seem like a better person, others will also have a better view of you.
List all your goals that you want to achieve, whether that’s weekly goals or life goals. It will give you a path to start on and you won’t feel so lost on what to do with your days. You need to figure out the steps to accomplish those aims. For example, I want an A on my next assignment, the step is revise for an hour daily on that subject. The motivation to get that dream into reality will be large enough to pick yourself back up again.
I actually did this recently when I was feeling a bit down. I walked into my local supermarket, grabbed a Starbucks and as I was walking out I saw some flowers, I marched over there and bought some beautiful roses. I didn’t feel instantly better but it definitely comforted me to have a pretty asset in my room, that makes my bedroom a lot brighter. I’m not sure how or why but it did put a smile on my face.
Organise Your Space
Tidying your room and decluttering, can have the same effect on your brain. And what I mean by that is your view of your space won’t be filled with clutter and rubbish, distracting you from what you’re supposed to be doing. A clear space equals a clear mind. It will be a relief when you finally clear out that draw you scavenger through everyday and donate all the clothes that take up room in your closet you don’t wear anymore. I am very minimalistic in my interior design anyway but having no distractions on my desk whilst studying, really helps me get through it.
Lastly, the best thing you can do if you’re having a rough day is to wallow. As Lorelai Gilmore showed us, to get over something you must wallow about it first. Let it all out for 5 minutes and be as sad about it as you want but after those 5 minutes are up you have let it go and the pain of it is gone. To cry with someone is always better than alone but sometimes that can be uncomfortable for some people, so just make sure you have a blanket, tissues and ice-cream. You have to admit to yourself you are upset before you get over it, otherwise you push it further and further to the back of your head and sooner than later it will suddenly appear when you least expect it. Wallow. That is the number one trick to letting go.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”– Edith Sitwell
Thank you for reading!