A solid self-care routine can improve your mental wellbeing and diminish the impact of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Stress is sneaky and tends to creep up on us over time. What starts as nights of restless sleep can shift into increased appetite and feelings of irritability. Trouble concentrating at work can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.
We all take steps to stay physically healthy during the winter months but it’s important to support your mental wellbeing as well. A self-care routine addresses more than your outer beauty, it can make you feel well inside and out.
How a Self-Care Routine Benefits Your Mental Wellbeing
It’s easy to go through your daily routine on autopilot, not stopping to think about how you feel. When performing your self-care routine, you have to check in with yourself physically and mentally. This time each day or week is an opportunity to notice how you’re doing in life and take better care of yourself before you are feeling anxious or down.
Self-Care Makes You Want to Get Social and Reach out to Loved Ones
Loving and caring for yourself boosts feelings of energy and brightens the spirit. And who doesn’t want to share the love? Soaking, meditating, and simply resting are restorative and prompt you to get out and enjoy life with those you care about rather than keeping your head down, waiting to get off of work, and heading for bed as early as possible. Set updates with friends and your partner in advance so plans are already on the calendar.
Self-Care Boosts Feelings of Immunity and Builds Self-Esteem
Staying well is certainly trickier during cold and flu season, and feeling rundown can take a toll mentally as well as physically. When you're unwell, it’s easier to be hard on yourself, and low self-esteem sends feelings of stress and anxiety rushing in. The restorative acts of a self-care routine – rest, mindfulness, cleansing – help to make you feel stronger and clear-headed. Think of self-care as a way to gain overall wellness.
Self-Care Creates a Feeling of Inner Joy
An essential part of any happy lifestyle is having fun. Making time for self-care tells your mind you are important and worthy of joy. What do you like to do for fun? Maybe it’s going to the movies, a walk through the park, painting or writing. Little pleasures in life greatly benefit mindset, and when you feel good it’s easier to calm the monkey-mind, digital stress, and worrisome thoughts. Make doing something you enjoy a part of your regular self-care routine.
It’s important that a self-care routine that benefits your mental health works for you and fits into your lifestyle -- adherence is the key to longterm success. Taking on more than you can handle, especially when you feel stressed out, can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Start with a weekly practice that you can do on the weekend. Set a date with yourself for regular self-care will help you to stay on track. Start with something small such as soaking in the tub or reading for half an hour, then build on those habits.