Why Embracing Winter Can Boost Your Mood
This is an ode to winter, and how embracing winter can benefit our moods. Learning how to embrace winter might just be what we need to pull us out of the doldrums. So if you haven’t yet heard of the Danish concept of hygge you might be interested in how learning from our northerly friends can lead to a boost in our mood.
Hygge, as a concept, embraces and focuses on coziness, comfort and friendship. As a practice, it is a lifestyle that embraces self-care, quality time with loved ones and cozy nights in. Plus, these 5 practices can be built in year-round to put well-being at the centre of your life.
1. Create time to spend with loved ones
I always emphasize creation of time with my patients because we’re all “too busy”, but not only are social connections good for your health, not being around people can actually be bad for your health. Create room in your schedule for a skate on the Oval, grabbing a tea with your mum or watching a movie with your girlfriends.
2. Prioritize Self-Care
Prioritize a little R&R into your schedule. Focus on making your living space conducive to comfort an coziness, and focus on a night-time ritual like turning off electronics, getting in the bath or curling up with a cup of herbal tea.
3. Remember to Breathe
With a focus on self-care, relaxation tends to come with. Focus on your breathing when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night by watching your belly move up and down (like how a baby breathes). Emails can take a backseat to oxygen for a few minutes.
4. Increase Your Circulation
By getting out in that wintery, grey weather. Take a hike, go try out a section of the rails-to-trails network and then enjoy warming up with blankets and books afterwards. Or get your friends together for a squat, lunge or plank challenge for the month.
5. Embrace Cozy Cooking
Even if you’re not one for elaborate meals, make comfort and contentment the focus of your meals. Mood-boosting and warming ingredients like proteins, kale, ginger, salmon and dark chocolate will ground you and supply you with some much needed energy. Then sit down to eat so your body can actually absorb the nutrients you’re consuming.
If you feel like you’re still in the doldrums of winter and can’t break free, it might be time to talk to someone about it. Learn more about our work here and feel free to use our complimentary 15 minute consultations to chat with a member of our team about where additional supports to your health can be added.
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