Sometimes happiness is just… easy! Twinkling lights, hot apple cider, and quiet snowfalls certainly don’t stand in the way. But other days, whether because of a little anxiety, a little loneliness, or perhaps due to something you can’t quite put your finger on, we might find ourselves feeling down.
If you’ve been feeling a bit off-balance lately, try taking a break from the hustle and bustle around you to focus in on your internal state. Do you need a mental break? Do you need a friend to vent to? Has the cold weather sucked the energy out of you? You can’t expect to feel better if you don’t take the time to identify what’s getting you down in the first place! Treat yourself gently, give yourself time to relax, and whenever you find yourself in need of a centering pick-me-up, give a few of these ideas a try.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy a bit of relaxation and recentering is with a pampering hot bath. Let’s face it, this is far more enjoyable in the dead of winter than any other time of year. Make it an event with dimmed lights, a few candles, your favorite drink, and a good book. Add some relaxing music, toss in some bath salts or oils for good measure, and enjoy warming up from the outside in.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Danish principle of hygge, read about it here. This winter, try intentionally focusing on contentment and appreciation for what you have rather than chasing down the things you desire. Take some time to refine and organize your space, and work to take stock of all the things you are blessed to have, even in their imperfection.
Sure, cold weather can cause some lazy hibernation instincts to arise, but you will feel warm and revitalized after practicing some re-centering yoga. You’ll build strength, release tension, and, if you’re working hard, generate some inner heat as well. Luckily, there are thousands of great videos online that will guide you through a full practice without you having to brave the cold by leaving home!
Take a bit of time to really focus on your diet. Eating whole foods with a focus on vegetables and high-quality protein, while avoiding those tempting simple carbohydrates, is a great place to start. Be sure you are taking in enough B vitamins, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s and probiotics, all of which support good mental health anytime of the year.