What comes to mind when you think of the word “winter”? Even though the season is one of my favorites, it also tends to be the most stressful time of year. With finals, the holiday season, and the new year looming overhead, it can be easy to put your own mental health & wellness on the back burner.
As a result, here are a couple of things I plan on doing to make sure I don’t neglect my own cheeriness this winter!
1. Make gratitude a priority.
With all of the commercialization surrounding the holiday season, it can often feel like everyone’s sole priority is material things, which is a super stressful mentality to have. On top of that, if you’re a student, the pressure of exam season can often feel like too much to bear.
Because of this, it’s important to remember what the season is all about. I know the saying “attitude of gratitude” is corny, but I think it helps immensely during the most stressful times. The way I maintain gratitude is through making a gratitude log in my Bullet Journal by writing down two things I am thankful for each day.
Most of the time I write down little things like getting up on time or finishing a homework assignment early – it might seem small, but when you look back on your worst days, it definitely works wonders.
Staying grounded and remembering the good things is so important when it comes to maintaining mental health, so I encourage you guys to do the same.
2. Spend time with loved ones (& vent)!
If you have a lot on your mind, it can really take a toll on your productivity on the things that matter, so sometimes it’s a good idea to vent. It might feel like you’re “wasting time”, but think about it – when all of the bad, negative stuff is expelled from your brain, the only thing left there is your will to work! For me, I like to vent to my boyfriend or my roommates, as I love them to death and they are a great support system.
But don’t neglect the people that have been there from the beginning – often times there is nothing like quality family time to get you into a more rejuvenated mood. I don’t know about you guys, but talking to my sister on the phone or texting with my mom and dad automatically makes me feel a million times better. Even though I don’t live too far away from school, I miss being with my family on a daily basis, so I know that I can always count on them for a pick-me-up.
3. Indulge in winter activities
Guys, I love winter activities. Ice skating, getting hot chocolate, watching holiday movies, singing Christmas carols – all of it fills my heart with warmth and goodness. Therefore, it is perfect for times when prioritizing self-care is important!
When you need to unwind after a stressful day, grab a bunch of pals and work your way through this Winter Bucket List, or even just make yourself a cup of your favorite hot chocolate, put on a face mask, and curl up on your couch to watch a Christmas movie. Even with the gloominess and chill outside, if you keep yourself warm with good company and fun activities, you’re bound to feel worlds better.
4. Stay healthy!
Yes, staying healthy should still be a priority even in these “dark times”. Since it gets darker out sooner, you might want to just hibernate with a box of Chips Ahoy and call it a day, but that kind of thinking is counter-productive! The sugary goods might be sweet at first, but you’ll feel sluggish and unmotivated not long after your tenth cookie. Trust me – I speak from experience!
Instead, get your butt up out of bed and head to the gym or opt for a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the french fries. It’ll be much easier for you to find the energy to get through your day to day life this way, plus think about all the room you’ll be saving for the great food that comes along with the holidays!
It’s impossible to succeed if you don’t feel like yourself, so prioritize that! Even with all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the winter months, always remember that you and your mental health come first. You’ll thank yourself later.