The festive season has come and gone in a whirlwind of food and toys (and probably not quite enough rest) and we’re quickly pushed into January – which can be one of the most difficult months of the year for our mood and wellbeing.
Here are 5 ways in which you can prioritise you:
1. Quick reflection – This gives you a chance to understand how you are feeling as you start the year. A check-in or a quick gauge. Use the tool included to support with this!
2. Carve out time for you – Where do you want to spend your energy Jan-March? What can you let go of? What do you need to invite more of? What will you say no to? And therefore, what will you say yes to?
3. Get some trees in your eyes! – There is evidence that being in nature reduces our mental fatigue, reduces stress and supports our emotional wellbeing. No doubt it’s harder in winter, it’s hard to get time to ourselves and it’s hard to feel the benefit before we actually do it – but the benefits are HUGE! (Forest Therapy by Sarah Ivens is a great evidenced-based read on this)
4. Establish your winter work boundaries – these might be very different to those in the height of summer – you may need to work from home a little more often if you have the chance or cosy up for your lunchbreak with some quiet time. You may need a nap, or at the very least a steaming hot drink away from your desk.
5. Introduce some hygge principles into your life – being warm, cosy, and taking pleasure in the simplicities that life can offer. This could be as simple as the warmth of candles, low lights and snuggly blankets but can also be about connecting with those you love over meals/in activities.
“As someone who struggles with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), I’ve come to realise the power of having a winter wellbeing plan. It’s a tool to come back to on those challenging days, to give us some inspiration, hope and a framework.“
It’s thought the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children – NHS Scotland
Although not everyone suffers to the same degree, it’s so useful to understand how we manage wintertime most effectively for us. Whether that is defining our hibernation plan or setting some wellbeing goals, I hope you can take some time for you. Please feel free to use the Winter Wellbeing tool to get your thinking started.
This article was written by Deanne Logan, a maternity and wellbeing coach, advocate for mental health, and L&D consultant. You can get in touch with Deanne at https://www.careeringintomotherhood.com/coach/deanne-logan/
January 9, 2023