My Top 3 Self-Care Strategies to beat the Winter Blues

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Anyone else out there feel like they are just a bear hiding out in a cave, eating stuff and waiting for Winter to pass? I feel you. Around this time of year my mood darkens with the weather, my energy is sucked away with the sun and my immune system takes a hard knock.

Basically, I’m like most other people living way too far away from the equator! This is my third winter in the UK, and though it’s still hard here are a few tricks I’ve picked up to help me navigate this period.



PROBLEM: I’M COLD, STRESSED & GENERALLY JUST MISERABLE

SOLUTION: Draw yourself a deep, hot bath. Add a few drops of Lavender or Cedarwood Oil, a handful of Epsom salts (I use this), light a candle and put on some relaxing music. Lie here for as long as necessary, then when you emerge pour a very large glass of wine and watch your favourite show.


PROBLEM: I FEEL EXHAUSTED, UNMOTIVATED & JUST WANNA EAT CAKE

SOLUTION: I believe whole-heartedly that energy creates energy. So as hard as it is, find it within yourself to put on your trainers and do a basic 20 minute workout in your living room - that’s right, you don’t even have to go to the gym. Do this at least once a week, twice if you can and remember it’s ONLY 20 MINUTES - if you have 20 minutes to scroll through social media you definitely have 20 minutes for a workout. Have a shower, put on your comfy pants and make yourself a delicious, healthy dinner. Then sit back and enjoy the feel good vibes that come from a bit of exercise and some greens. Not quite sure how to do an at-home workout without guidance? Just keep it basic: 3 rounds x 20 squats, 3 rounds x 20 push ups, 3 rounds x 20 crunches. Remember to finish off with some gentle yoga and stretching.


PROBLEM: I HAVE A HEAD COLD, AND EVERYTHING HURTS

SOLUTION: I have recently become a lover of all things essential oils and this week especially have relied very heavily on a few key oils. Eucalyptus Oil; a God-send when you have a head cold! I put a few drops in a hot bath in the morning, and I also drop a few into a bowl of steaming water and cover my head with a towel to inhale the fumes and clear blocked sinuses. Congestion in your sinuses can lead to horrible headaches. To combat this I like to put a couple of drops of Lavender Oil on my wrists, and I rub a few drops into my temples. When I am sick I am almost always in a foul mood because I hate being put in a corner and have to remind myself that this too will pass; be kind to yourself and let your body heal.



I don’t know a whole lot about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but there’s a strong chance I suffer from a mild form of this. I use a combination of all the above practices throughout Winter, and make sure I spend time outside every day, come rain or shine. This year I also considered buying a SAD Light like this one; 20 minutes of use in the morning is said to improve your mood for the whole day. Have you tried this before? I’d love to know if you think this is effective.

Kathrine MacLeod