Self-Care In The Darker Months

Health And Wellness, Mental Health

As we head into autumn and the darker months, some people struggle due to the nights drawing in early and the temperatures dropping.

I’ve put together a short list of tips for self-care in the darker months which might be helpful.

Self-care in the darker months

1. Get cosy

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of the cold. In fact, I have a real aversion to it.

One thing that does help, however, is to make the most of being indoors and getting myself set up on the sofa with a blanket and a book.

Practically, the blanket helps in saving on the heating bills. Even more than that, though, there’s something really nice about getting cosy indoors when the weather outside is less than hospitable.

To increase the “cosy factor” I’ll turn off the main light and instead put a lamp on, and perhaps even some candles. I find that candles add another element to the cosiness of a room.

A great book to give you ideas about creating a cosier living space is The Little Book of Hygge.

What things do you think you could do within your environment to make it more comfortable for you?

2. Eat well

It can be all too easy when we’re struggling with low mood, to let other things fall by the wayside. Try to be mindful of the foods you’re eating as these can impact your overall levels of wellbeing.

I find that when I eat a balanced diet, it helps me feel better psychologically. I try to cook from scratch when I can because fresh ingredients fill me up more.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the time (or the inclination!) to cook from scratch every single day. However, when I’m able to make the time to cook a meal from scratch it is well worth it.

3. Invest in a “Wake Up” Light

If you have the financial resources, and getting up when it’s still dark is difficult, you might want to invest in a Wake-Up Light like one of these listed here.

The light wakes you up gradually, in contrast to the rather ‘sudden’ wake-up call you might get from your mobile phone.

These clocks have been clinically proven to help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). You can also buy ‘SAD lights’ such as this one, which you can use during the day.

 

As the darker months arrive, it can be even more important to practice self-care as some people struggle when the nights draw in or when they have to get up in the dark. Self-care in the darker months might include making things cosy at home, eating well, buying a wake-up light, and getting good quality sleep | Self-care For Autumn | Self-Care | #autumn #selfcare #selflove

4. Plan things you’d like to do

It can be hard to practice self-care in the darker months if we don’t have much to look forward to. I find it helpful to make plans for things to do over the coming months.

This might be meeting with friends, going out with my partner. It could even be making a date with yourself! We’re not always good at taking time out for ourselves, so it can be really beneficial to do this.

Perhaps you could look out for things going on in your local area. What events are taking place? It might be a good time to try something you’ve never done before.

If you like to be outdoors, then the National Trust have some beautiful properties in countryside settings to explore. Membership is reasonably priced, and it means you don’t have to pay to enter their sites. You often get free parking too.

Perhaps there are other sorts of places you would like to visit?

 

5. Get a good night’s sleep

I think a lot of us (myself included) underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Over time, if we’re not getting good quality sleep this can impact our mental wellbeing. If you’re already feeling low because of the darker months, this certainly won’t help.

An ongoing lack of sleep can also cause us to eat more than usual as the hormones in our body which regulate hunger and fullness go out of sync.

Things that can help with sleep are:

  • avoiding caffeine after early evening (5pm), perhaps even earlier if you’re sensitive to it;
  • not using mobile phones/computer screens about an hour before bed to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down;
  • drinking a warming drink about an hour before bedtime;
  • taking a book to bed with you to help you relax before you drift off.

I hope this post has given you some useful tips on self-care in the darker months. Do you have any tips not listed here? Let me know in the comments.

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