Today I’m back on a lighter note for Blogmas and talking about ways that I personally protect my mental health during the winter and holiday season. You can search “self-care” and will be bombarded with thousands of blog posts and magazine articles on the topic. I’ve even written a couple my self (10 Ways to Practice Self-Care Today & The Truth About Self-care).
This list includes ways that I try to remain sane and calm during the holiday season and not let anxiety or depression creep in to control how I’m feeling:
L-Theanine & CBD
L-Theanine is an amino acid found most commonly in tea leaves that promotes relaxation without drowsiness. A coworker recommended these to me this summer as a natural anxiety reducer and I’ve been taking them ever since. I LOVE these. There are no side effects, and you can experiment with the dosage that works for you. I’ve also taken CBD oil in vape form since April and it’s amazing. I use CBD oil to relax and also relieve pain from headaches and menstrual cramps. CBD is known to be an anxiety-reducer and I’ve incorporated it into my self-care routine for this very reason.
Either with an actual bright-light lamp or making an effort to go outside on bright days, even for just a few minutes each day. Lack of sunlight definitely has an effect on my mood during the winter and so I make it a point to get more sunlight when I can on the bright days and keep my blinds wide open, even with the cold. I haven’t experimented with a bright-lamp but I have heard great things about it.
Even when I have to force myself, getting up and moving does help me feel better. Exercise can be a stress and anxiety reliever with the added bonus of weight-loss and increased stamina.
I try to go on a beach trip somewhere warm during the cold months each year now. The beach is my happy place and I always return feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. I know this isn’t an affordable luxury for everyone but if it is, I recommend it.
Do Away With Obligation
During this season, its highly likely to be bombarded with invitation after invitation for holiday parties, family gatherings, work events, etc. And depending on the relationship, you can feel obligated to go somewhere that you know may not have you feeling the best. Try saying no more to things you truly don’t want to do, especially when it’s not in your best interest to attend.
Create a Morning Routine
Two weeks ago I started a morning routine. Previously, I just get up in enough time to do the bare minimum to get my day started. I’m making it a habit now to wake up earlier, drink tea, and say an affirmation for the day. Sometimes that will also consist of journaling. Find what works for you and stick to it. Even if it’s just waking up five minutes earlier to express gratitude or reflect on the previous day.
This one is hard. It being the holidays, it’s so easy to indulge in pretty much everything. Free food from all the potlucks and parties. An abundance of alcohol and other beverages at these same parties. And shopping all the sales and promotions. Resist the temptation to overspend and overeat.
Volunteering is a BIG part of my self-care because I enjoy doing it. I try to volunteer at least twice a month in some capacity. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, volunteering helps me to realize 1. I’m extremely blessed. 2. Things can always be worse.
Hopefully, this list helps you in your effort to protect your mental health this holiday season!
Do you have any self-care tips to add? Let me know below.