Winter rolls on by but for some reason despite everyone being so busy and cheery, you are struggling to raise a glass of Advocaat to keep the cold out. There is something you can do to help beat the cold weather, and that’s self care.
Whether you have a mental illness or not these tips will really help to nourish you through the cold spell. And they might just help you keep your cool when it comes to pretending to be happy around relatives and co workers.
1, Dress to impress…yourself. Have you got a tatty old coat? Same old scarf and gloves since forever? Time to invest in yourself. You will feel better if you look better. Not only would a new coat keep you warm, but you can choose a style that really flatters you no matter what your shape. Go for gloves with accessories, a bit of sparkle always goes down well.
2, Medicine. Make sure you are taking your prescribed medication when you are supposed to be taking it. It can be easy to forget to take it during the festive season.
3, SAD lamps, these are relatively cheap these days and really have been shown to help with depression. Use daily for best results.
4, Eat locally and organically. This will help you to eat what is in season, as well as supporting local business. Your body requires plenty of fruit and veg…why not make it organic? It is an investment in your health. Besides, you are worth it.
5, Friends and family can be a little overbearing during Christmas. You don’t have to let it get to you though. Make sure you take regular breaks, stand outside for some fresh air for a bit. Do a mindfulness exercise while you are out there. Feel the cool air on your skin, recognise what it is like to breathe fresh air and how it feels filling your lungs. Accept that it’s ok to not be ok, and you are working on it!
6, Take part in the festive season. It’s called ‘act opposite’. Whatever you want to do, simply act opposite as long as its for the greater good. So when you are in bed and your mind tells you to pull the duvet over your head, instead get out of bed and get on with the day. I know its a struggle, believe me I have been there. It is so worth the effort though.
7, Mental health support team. Make sure you have your mental health support teams numbers with you. Ask a trusted friend or relative to call them if you are unable. Let people know that you may need extra support.
8, Vitamins and Minerals. Are you taking a good supplement? Try a supplement as long as your GP agree’s, and this will help nutritionally to support you through winter and beyond. If your body feels good, in theory your mind should respond postively.
9, Mindfulness. Practise, practise, practise! Mindfulness will give you that much needed 5 seconds of glorified pause. It helps put the brakes on and grounds you back in your body. Good for those that dissociate.
10, Keep a journal. This can be hard going at first, but it is one of those essentials that we look back on and see the benefit. We often say things like “This was me last year” and then see how much we have changed. A journal will help document moods and changes. You can see if changes you have made really helped or not. We are often required by mental health professionals to keep a mood diary, or to rate our mood daily. You can easily do this in your journal. Feel free to take your journal in with you to appointments. It can act as your advocate.
Stay well this winter, invest in you and enjoy the season.