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Surviving Yet Another Winter: Self-Care and Wellness Tips for Modern Day Women

And just like that, winter is upon us once more.

This change in season means the weather is officially getting colder, daylight is getting shorter, and as a result, everybody’s mood and overall well-being become affected. The culprit is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Every winter, it rears its ugly head out of its hiding place and tries to lure us into a dark, downward spiral of depression. The cold, dreary months affect our physical and mental state – to endure such without any aid is painstakingly difficult.

Resilience is needed to thrive against the odds, and self-care is the first step toward that goal. Instead of letting seasonal depression win, now is the best time to put yourself first and show yourself some good, old TLC. You, of all people, deserve it the most, after a year’s worth of hard work!

So, if you want to learn how to survive yet another winter through self-care and wellness tips, read the article below and start taking notes.

Let there be light

Sunlight is a rare commodity during the winter season, so when it does show, make sure to soak up as much sunlight and warmth as possible! Winter sunshine offers many benefits:

  • it is an effective anti-depressant

  • it provides the body with ninety percent of the required amount of Vitamin B, which is essential in combating diseases, strengthening bones, and slowing the aging process.

Exposure to sunlight is widely accepted as a way to increase the release of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is known for its ability to boost a person’s mood and help make them feel focused and calm. In addition, heading outside for a few minutes in the morning hours will help stop the production of melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for making you sleepy during nighttime. Once it is dark outside, your body clock will take it as a signal that it is time to start producing melatonin again.

A five- to fifteen-minute exposure on the arms, hands, and face at least two times a week is enough – you do not need to spend hours under the winter sun. If you are going to stay outside for more than fifteen minutes, make sure that you have ample UV protection on your face and body to avoid getting sunburnt.

If going outside for some winter sunshine is not an option for you, it is a good idea to invest in a sunlight lamp. It provides the same effect and feeling, trust me!

Establish a regular routine

Although the temptation to stay inside and curl up on the bed all day when it is cold and gloomy outside is strong, it is best for you to establish a regular daily routine. It does not have to be too complicated, with everything planned to the last minute.

The routine can be as simple as setting up a time for eating, working, exercising, meditating, and sleeping. If possible, you can also include a couple of activities that will require you to get dressed and go outside. Whether it is to buy groceries, pick up some dry-cleaning, or have coffee with a friend, it is important to plan errands, appointments, and social duties at regular intervals throughout the week.

Treat yourself

The winter season can be long and brutal, so why not make the most out of it, right? A treat can be a cup of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning, an afternoon nap, or indulging in a favorite dish. Whatever it is, you should definitely show yourself some love every now and then.

Get your favorite chocolates or treats, a bunch of pretty flowers, or a scrumptious takeaway of your choice for days that you need a pick-me-up. Or just because you feel like it! You did well this year and made it this far – calories and cost do not count.

Hydrate, moisturize, and eat right

That our skin and hair change as time goes by is no secret; during the winter season, these two are bound to go through hardship as well. Cold air contains less moisture than warm air, so our skin and hair lose moisture, making them dry, rough, itchy, and prone to damage. Yikes!

Make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep the skin and hair hydrated. For flaky and dry skin, a moisturizing lotion is a must. Find a brand that is suitable for your skin type and apply it regularly to keep your skin supple.

And since the cold can be unbearable at times, a 30-minute long hot shower seems like a good idea. It is not – do not fall into the trap. Stick to using warm or lukewarm water for not more than five minutes during bath time because prolonged exposure to hot water can strip moisture from hair and skin. Furthermore, consider washing your strands less frequently (every other day perhaps) and opt for a quick rinse and a deep conditioning treatment to keep your hair moisturized.

It is a good idea to consume products that are rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty, too! Vitamin C is great at boosting collagen production in the body while the latter can help maintain the skin barrier. You can get your vitamin C fix from citrus fruits and dark, leafy greens and healthy fats from nuts, avocados, flax, sardines, salmon, and olive oil.

Flaky, irritated, inflamed, and cracked skin are common during winter but if any of these symptoms persist, do not respond to treatment, or is causing severe discomfort, you should visit a doctor, as it might be a more serious skin condition, like eczema or dermatitis.

Winters can be tough – there is no other way to sugarcoat the truth. It will wreak havoc on your physical and mental health but by following some simple self-care tips, you can overcome the challenge. If everything goes a bit overwhelming and you want to feel warm, safe, and happy, take a few minutes to stop, rest, and think of something that makes you happy – it can be a person, a beloved pet, or a particular memory that you treasure. It is a simple and effective trick that I learned and it never fails to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside – the perfect antidote to the cold winter days ahead!

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