Get some sunlight. During this time of year, it gets dark earlier, affecting our mood and helping regulate our sleep cycle. Exposure to sunlight releases serotonin which improves mood, boosts energy, calms, and enhances focus. If you work remotely, try setting up your home office space near a window to keep your office to decrease drowsiness and boost productivity. BONUS: If you can't make it outside, light a candle. Candle flames boost mood and create a soothing environment.
Set clear and measurable goals. There's no such thing as unrealistic goals; however, you should be realistic about how much time it will take to achieve them. Create a list of your long and short-term goals and how long it will take to complete them (Be honest with yourself) and track your progress as you go. Don't be afraid to reward yourself when you cross the finish line!
Identify whether it's just winter blues or depression. Sometimes it can be more than the winter blues. The Mayo Clinic defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as a type of depression that is related to change in seasons. Symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months. Click here to learn more about SAD.
Exercise. Exercising is a great way to release stress, releases endorphins, and boost your mood. Exercising increases endorphins, which help boost your mood and reduce stress. Exercising also helps improve mental health.
Plan a trip or vacation. If you can, plan a tropical getaway to reset and refresh. If you can't get away, plan a staycation at a hotel for a weekend to change up your scenery. It's a great way to feel like you are on vacation without putting a massive dent in your pockets.
Self-reflect. Self-reflection is an excellent way to look back on how far you have come, where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. Self-reflection ties into goal setting because it allows us to reflect on our achievements and opportunities for improvement.
Ask for support. Due to the pandemic, many of us work remotely and spend more time at home and less time with family and friends at social gatherings, making us feel isolated. Reaching out to family and friends you trust for support can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation lift your spirits and increase happines
Practice self-care. I always say, "self-care is non-negotiable." Self-care is a lifestyle. Take time out for YOU doing the things you love. Self-care isn't just spa days, manicures, and pedicures. It can be a car ride blasting your favorite tunes, sitting still in silence, reading a book, Netflix, and chilling, or whatever floats your boat.
Try a new hobby or activity. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new to break up the winter monotony. Try painting, take virtual cooking or cocktail-making classes, volunteer; the options are endless!
Unplug from social media. Social media can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming and distracting. Unplugging from social media helps you reconnect with yourself and allows you to do the things you have been putting off for later.
BONUS: You are not alone. We are all feeling the effects of the winter season. The good news is that it won't last forever, so get your spring/summer plans ready because it will be here before you know it!
Whew! That was a lot! I hope this blog was helpful to you. I welcome all feedback and look forward to talking to you soon!
Shontelle - The Candle Curator