By Alex Raymond, RD, LD.
Burr it’s starting to get a bit chilly over here in the DMV area!!
I personally have never been one to favor cold weather. When it starts to get cold (like below 60, I know I’m a baby), I fantasize about migrating to warmer weather. The snow is okay, but honestly, I think I could live without it. I’ve been talking to my clients about this change in weather, and the change in the amount of light we experience, and many find self care difficult. Sometimes people generally feel a bit more tired during the winter due to the darkness and cloudy days. People also find they aren’t outside as often. Sometimes people find boredom sits in. Sometimes it’s a combination of all of those (it certainly is for me!)
I thought it might be a good idea to write this post about self care during the winter months. Even though it might be frigid, it’s crucial to take care of yourself and to spend time relieving stress through a positive outlet.I like to call this “building your self care tool box.” The more tools we have, the more we can choose from when stress sets in. Here are some ideas:
1. Finding a new hobby
The winter months may be a great time to find a new hobby! It doesn’t have to be a hobby you’ll shine in, but just something different to spend your time. This would also be a good way to challenge that perfectionist voice. I’ve considered signing up for a few painting classes this winter. Granted, I am a terrible artist and do not anticipate any of the paintings turning out well, BUT I think it would be really fun! I’d even check if a few friends would want to join me :).
Is there a friend (or family member) who you miss seeing? Maybe your schedules never line up, and it’s hard to plan a get together! It could be a good idea to plan a fun activity with this person. The activity could involve going to a museum, getting coffee or food, or a movie.
3. Plan a board game night
Life? Monopoly? Clue? Guess Who? Apples to Apples? And my personal favorite… What Do You Meme? Games are so much fun! What about planning a night with family or friends? It might be fun reminiscing on games you used to play as child and creating new memories and traditions with people who are in your life now. Not to mention, this could turn into a fun, yet relaxing, night in.
4. Taking an email/social media cleanse
Try turning off email notifications and social media notifications from your phone. Or better yet, try deleting the apps! It might be nice to take a break from people being able to get in touch with you at all times. See if you can do this for 1-2 days.
5. Focus on one fun task
Spend an evening completing a fun task in the comfort of your own home. Maybe by yourself, maybe with one of your favorite humans. What kind of fun task? I’m thinking of coloring, puzzling or finishing a book…
6. Giving yourself permission to just….sit
If you’re someone who is always on the go, what would it be like to spend some time to just relax? I understand this might not be an option for everyone at all times. But, if an opportunity does arise where you either don’t have plans or you can say no to plans, take it. It’s okay to spend time watching TV or reading and to NOT feel guilty about this. We all deserve letting our bodies recharge.
To Wrap it All Up….
Self care can be hard. Especially during busy and overwhelming times of the year. Honestly, sometimes in the Winter I find it feels so gloomy and that I don’t want to do anything. BUT, taking a little bit of time for yourself can help so much with lifting your mood and providing good energy. Focus on one little thing that you know you’ll enjoy, whether that’s taking 10 minutes or a whole evening for yourself, whatever makes sense.
If you need any self- care suggestions, or needs any more input on working through the winter months please contact one of our wonderful dietitians, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call or appointment.