The colder months of the year can be incredibly hard on our physical, emotional and mental health. While we have good intentions when it comes to taking care of ourselves, there’s often something in the way that prevents us from being as healthy as we could be, even though we really want to be. Here are 7 ways you can help yourself to stay healthy this winter and all year round.

1) Exercise – it’s good for you!

You’ve probably heard it a million times, but when you feel at your worst and least motivated to leave the house, exercising is an easy way to get you out of bed and moving. Plus, it will give you a much needed burst of endorphins and make you feel better. The key is just getting started – no excuses!

2) Eat well

Sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t just come down to what you put on your plate. It also means taking care of your mental health, which can be difficult during winter when you’re cooped up indoors and feeling blue. Eat a balanced breakfast that includes whole grains, protein, and fruit or veggies every morning, reduce your alcohol intake which is also an depressant and limit your caffeine intake to the mornings to ensure you can top up on your sleep.

3) Take time out

Taking time out is an important part of staying sane. Find a place to get away from the hustle and bustle, like your bed or a quiet park. Take a few moments for yourself and do something you enjoy, like read a book, paint your nails, or take a nap. Remind yourself that you’re not alone in this. There are others who feel the same way you do during this time of year.

4) Ask for help

If you are feeling particularly low at times this winter, ask for help. Talk to a friend or family member who can listen and give advice. There is no shame in asking for support when things get tough! One of the biggest problems people have with their mental health during the winter season is that they try to do it all by themselves. Taking care of yourself should not be seen as selfish or lazy; instead, it’s a way to take responsibility for your wellbeing and avoid burnout.

5) Practice Breathing or Meditation

Try to incorporate a few minutes of breathing or meditation when you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. It might not seem like it would help but in the long run, it will. If you don’t know where to start with meditation, try downloading an app like Headspace or Insight Timer. They have guided meditations that can be helpful for beginners, and they also offer programs for more experienced meditators.

6) Connect with loved ones

When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be hard to keep up with your social life. But remember when you’re feeling a little blue, the best thing you can do is spend time with the people who love you. Take a break from work or school to have dinner with your family or friends or find some time to catch up on their lives by calling them on the phone. You’ll feel better in no time!

7) Chill out

It’s easy to let the winter blues get to you. When it gets cold outside, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do the things you usually would, other than stay inside and hibernate until springtime. There are plenty of things you can do!

 Plan a movie night, a home spa session, a wine and cheese evening.  Book it in and follow you. This winter can be managed to have the right balance between activities, rest and reflection. 

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