The third Monday of January has been labelled Blue Monday – the saddest day of the year. This was first determined in 2005 using some mathematical equation which has since been disputed. However, it does make sense that mid-late January would be hard for a lot of people. The holidays are over, we have short daylight hours, the weather is frigid, our post-Christmas credit card bills are coming due, we’re often fighting off colds and other illnesses, and we have probably slipped up on our New Year’s resolutions by now.
I know I experience the winter blues, and this year I’ve been feeling it again lately. I also know some self-care practices that can help for me though. So, what better way to fight off Blue Monday (on January 16th) than by getting into the regular habit of practicing self-care? Utilize these suggestions through the winter and hopefully they will translate into a self-care habit all year long. Here are my top 10 winter self-care activities to fight Blue Monday.
Top 10 Winter Self-Care Activities
1. Cozy up with a good book and read by a warm fire or under a soft blanket. It’s simple, but this is my favourite.
2. Winter = dry skin = feeling crappy. Put lotion on your whole body right after your get out of the shower and actually give it some time to absorb in. Use your favourite store-bought moisturizer or try making your own.
3. Brew a cup of your favourite tea and just sit still while you drink it. Really be in the moment as you experience not just the taste, but the sight, smell, and temperature of it as well.
4. Run your pajamas in the dryer for a few minutes then put them on right away when they’re done. Warm PJ’s on a cold night is the definition of cozy.
Winter #selfcare idea - Pajamas in the dryer. Warm PJ's on a cold night is the definition of cozy. Click To Tweet
5. Cook a better version of your favourite comfort food meal. Choose something like mac n cheese, shepherd’s pie, pizza, lasagna, or chili and find a healthified recipe online. They taste just as good, if not better sometimes, and you won’t have that rock in your stomach feeling afterward.
6. Even though it’s cold, bundle up and go outside for a gentle hike or walk – even better if you can do it on a sunny day (they’re rare in the winter where I live). The fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise will get those feel-good brain chemicals flowing.
7. Give yourself a hand massage. Using reflexology techniques, a hand massage can be a great way to relieve tension and stress, plus it feels amazing. There are a variety of simple online tutorials and videos to guide you in just 3 minutes.
8. Netflix, rent, or just play your favourite movie. Invite someone to watch it with you.
9. Spend time with an animal. If you have a pet, cuddle up with it, play fetch, or take it for a walk. If not, borrow a friend’s dog for a couple hours or help out for a bit at your local animal shelter
10. Search up some funny, inspirational, or cute videos on YouTube. They can make you laugh and lift your spirits while reminding you of all the good in the world without leaving your living room. I recommend unlikely animal friendship videos or carpool karaoke.
Do you feel the effects of Blue Monday or the winter blues? What winter self-care activities do you do?