Self-Love in the Winter
I asked in a giveaway what people wanted to read, overwhelmingly it was about self-care, which I was very flattered about. Thank you for thinking I am good at self-care. As someone who has been very bullied, self-care is essential to not letting it affect me. At the age of 23, I started making myself a priority and I've learnt a lot about myself. I know that to keep my brain happy, I need endorphins and I need good food. I know that I need a lot of rest and I am an introvert now. I also know that I really like cooking, I like knitting, and I enjoy walking to work. I know that I need a calm lifestyle to be happy.
I think a lot of people don't give themselves the time they need in a day, which is the issue in lack of self-care. Let me just say this now. YOU ARE NOT A MACHINE, CHANCES ARE, YOU ARE LIVING A LIFE THAT DOESN'T SUIT YOU AS A HUMAN. I said it. You know that if you are reading this, you want tips because something isn't right. I am not a doctor, but as someone who has discovered being an introvert, I know that I can't keep up with my extroverted friends. I've accepted that, that's where I've learnt that I need rest, I need a solid bedtime, I need exercise, and I need good healthy brain food. Which extroverts need, but they get energy differently.
You aren't a bad human if you need to rest, nobody should make you feel bad. My self-care is practical, it's not about face masks and baths, it's about feeding your brain, it isn't fun per say. There's nothing wrong with a bath and skincare, but at the end of the day, if you haven't shopped for groceries or left the house, the mind doesn't get better.
Here are my tips to feel better during the winter:
1) Find projects around the house
The limit to cleaning does not exist, it's incredible how fast houses get messy; clean it and see how much better you feel. Clean house, clear mind. Or find a project that needs to get done around the house, maybe you build a new set of shelves, maybe you paint your bathroom. It's incredible how much pride is brought by just tidying up or creating something for yourself.
2) Go outside
There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. I walk to work and home every day it's about 40 minutes in varying weather. It's never too cold, it's never too slushy, it's bad clothing preventing you from going outside. Instead of hating the cold, embrace it while we still have it. The fresh air does everyone good, your parents aren't just telling you that to sound like a broken record.
3) Take up a new hobby
After university, I noticed how bored I got and how my mood was seriously awful when I had nothing to do for fun. I was cleaning and found some yarn and a knitting needles. I found a video on Youtube and taught myself how to knit after 10 years of not knitting. I cried a little of frustration at first, but then I found my groove.
Find something you enjoy doing and fill your spare time with it.
4) Get a second job
This is for the people who get bored during the winter. It's not for the people who need a lot of rest. I need rest, a second job wouldn't be for me, but for those who enjoy working, a second job for a few hours a week wouldn't be the worst. Maybe your hobby is your second job? Also extra cash is nice, but don't overwhelm yourself with this, it's not worth it.
As much as I keep busy, I know I need to rest. I need to go to bed at 10pm, I need to be up before 7am. I need to not take naps so I can sleep through the entire night. I need to take breaks, I need to sit and just watch tv. If you feel tired all the time, maybe you need to evaluate how much rest you are getting. It's not healthy to stay up all night or only get 6 hours of sleep. Maybe you go to bed late, but you can sleep longer in the morning, great, but make sure you are getting enough sleep.
I hated working out in university because I was so busy, but maybe it would have helped my brain to do so. The years after university have been crucial for me to exercise and keep a schedule that worked for me. It wasn't about loosing weight (which I really haven't, just gained muscle) it was about keeping my brain happy with endorphins.
7) Learn to cook
You need to feed yourself. PLEASE STOP BUYING PRE-MADE FOOD TO FEED YOURSELF ALL THE TIME. Real food is good for you. Snacks are great, but incorporate foods that feed your soul. I say this all the time, but you need to feed yourself to survive, you need to eat food you like, and you need to eat food that will feed your brain (not the processed stuff). Your body will thank you.
I hope these tips help, it's what I do.
Thanks for reading,