Words by Hayley
Though it may be the festive season, chock full of presents and parties, winter can often feel…blue. The days feel almost non-existent, and the sky is often a menacing grey. Forget spreading the spirit of the season; it’s hard enough to keep your own spirits up!
It may feel stressful to be fielding these seasonal blues throughout autumn and winter, and you may feel alone in your emotions. But trust us, this is not unusual at all. In fact, these are pretty normal feelings to have as we move through the seasons.
If these feelings are so normal, then why aren’t more of us more prepared each time cold weather and dark days roll around? Why don’t we have an emotional toolkit to help solve our distress or alleviate the symptoms? Well, we may not have had it before, but we’re bringing one with you now. A list of hands-on tools that will help you engage in self-care when the winter doldrums strike.
Know that there is strength in numbers. It may seem like a leftover from your elementary school days, but the buddy system is an extremely helpful method for helping you stand strong against SAD or the winter blues. If you start to feel down or unmotivated, having a friend who might gently prod you into joining her for hot yoga or will tote you along with him to a Ro’ride can be essential. It works both ways! When your bud is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can be that friend to provide support.
Listen to yourself. Although it’s great to try and encourage yourself to get out and do things and see people, you really do have to pay close attention to what your body and mind are telling you this time of year. If you’re feeling physically drained from fighting through the streets in the wind, take a night off from your exercise regime. If your stress levels are through the roof and tears well in your eyes at the thought of socialising again, give yourself a break and cancel your plans. Be kind to yourself!
Make scents. One of the most underrated tools for mood management is aromatherapy. Different scents affect your mood differently. When you’re just feeling a bit blah this time of year, you’ll want to opt for invigorating scents that will leave you feel rejuvenated. Think citrus scents, whether that be orange or mandarin or grapefruit. Squeeze a few drops into your diffuser or use a warm, damp washcloth to gently massage the awakening scents into your temples and pressure points.
Embrace your inner introvert. While we don’t suggest cutting yourself off from everyone around you, we can recommend being just a little more introverted during the winter months. Opt for one-on-one hangouts or more intimate groups of close friends because big commitments with loads of people can become overwhelming. Cook with your neighbour or invite your best friends over for a game night. This way you see people, without being surrounded by a sea of people.