Earlier this week, I put together this post on coping with the post-holiday blues. Then Wednesday happened. If you’re feeling sad, hopeless, or angry about the events at the Capitol, you’re certainly not alone. I don’t normally get political here, but I want to be clear that what I saw unfold in my own backyard was appalling, treasonous and that kind of hate has no place here. You can read more of my thoughts on instagram.
After the holidays wind down and we’re left with a long road of winter ahead, it’s easy to fall into a funk. And thanks to COVID, many of us don’t have the usual activities to turn to like restaurant dates, spa appointments, or just getting together with friends. I’ve found that giving myself little rewards to look forward to every day really helps. Here are the COVID-safe activities getting me through the winter blues:
- Get outside. I get it. Going outside in the wintertime isn’t always appealing, but hear me out. Taking in 30-45 mins of direct sunlight a day (particularly in the morning) helps regulate circadian rhythms. This benefits sleep cycles, mental health, even your immune system. Being cold is good for you, too! Scientists now believe periods of lowered body temperature can potentially slow down the aging process and increase life spans. Spending time outdoors really helped me keep my sanity this past year. I try to get outside at least once a day, even if it’s just for a walk. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll forgo a jacket and wear this soft knit beanie to keep my head warm.
- Take a bath. A soak in the tub is one of life’s luxuries I rarely afford myself. In the past, it was something I only did at fancy hotels. Now I find myself taking advantage of the one we have at home. Add some aromatic bath salts and a few candles and you’ve got a lovely evening. I like to slather on sweet almond oil afterward to seal in moisture!
- Up your takeout game. Sometimes, you just gotta treat yourself. My husband and I like to order out once a week to support local businesses and get a break from cooking. To make it extra special, I put on a cute outfit, light some candles, and play some music to set the mood. I shared some more tips on how I make an at-home meal feel fancy here!
- Treat yourself to a massage. I suffer from neck pain and, pre-COVID, massages were one of my favorite self-care treats. Since spas haven’t been an option for me lately, I purchased this shiatsu back and neck massager and, let me tell you, it’s worth every penny. It works wonders on tight muscles much like a real massage would. My husband gave me the Vitruvi diffuser for Christmas (which, btw, totally lives up to the hype!) and I like to use it with a little mood lighting to create a spa-like environment at home.
- Plan a “spa day.” I love doing my own spa treatments at home. Taking an uninterrupted block of time to take care of your skin can be such a relaxing indulgence. I like to do a few treatments at a time like a face mask and a hand mask. Add some aromatherapy and a good podcast and I’m in heaven!
- Try yoga. I’ve dabbled in yoga for years, but it wasn’t until last year that I started making it a part of my regular regimen. It relaxes me and boosts my mood and it never feels like a chore. Thanks to YouTube, there are loads of free online instructional videos. My favorite is Yoga with Adriene. Her channel has a great variety of routines for every skill level. My favorites are Yoga for the Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back and Yoga for Bedtime at the end of the day.
I hope these were helpful! These are just a few things that work well for me and of course everyone is different. It’s also important to note that winter blues can often be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you’re really struggling, please do not take it lightly and talk to a health professional immediately. Many therapists are currently offering virtual appointments.
How are you feeling right now? Are there other ways you treat yourself to get through winter? Please share in the comments!