Saturday, February 23, 2019

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) DuPage shares Self-Care in the Winter
*Self-Care in the Winter*
Though we are hoping to have Spring right around the corner, Winter is still here. Self-care is always important, but especially during the months of Winter which tend to be darker, colder, and often keep us inside. Here are some ideas of how to make it through the remaining weeks we have of Winter- and look forward to Spring!

Be Kind To Yourself
Self-care and self-love are always important to keep in mind when faced with depression. Be easy on yourself and try to let go of small things that stress you out or bring you down. Do something nice for yourself whether it’s a nice warm bath, facials, manicure/pedicure, exercise or even just taking a nap.

Light Box Therapy
Therapeutic light boxes are come in a variety of sizes from tiny pieces that can sit on your desk or bedside table to large floor units. Their bright light mimics sunlight and can provide needed sun exposure in the winter when outdoor sunlight is scarce.
Walk In Nature
On a sunny, cold day, bundle up with a thick jacket, sweater and comfortable shoes and go for a nature walk. Embrace the small things around you like the birds chirping, the wind blowing through your hair and the leaves crunching under your feet. Take some time to absorb the warm sunlight whenever possible while walking or biking. Take frequent deep breaths and enjoy the moment you have with nature.
Spend Time with Friends
It can be hard to find the motivation to venture out to see people when you have to trek through snow and cold wind. Still, socializing will help you feel connected to the world.
Identify Indoor Hobbies
Being cooped inside all winter can feel boring at times and isolating at times. Having a list of fun indoor activities can help bring purpose back to your days. Things such as puzzles, indoor exercise, knitting, cooking, even cleaning provide a sense of immediate accomplishment, enhancing both motivation and mood. Reading books stimulates your thinking, enables you to think creatively, improves concentration, and increases vocabulary and knowledge. 
Journaling is a way to release your thoughts on to the paper without judgment. If you are having a stressful day at work or school, it’s an easy way to vent your feelings.
Make A Happy Jar
The purpose of a Happy Jar is to remind you of happy moments and thoughts when you are going through difficult times. Take some time at the end of each day to think of something that you are thankful for, or something fun that happened that day. Write it down on a slip of paper, and put it in a jar. Continue to do this, and when you are feeling down or stressed, take out the jar and read through the things you have written down. Since gratitude is one of the best ways to fight depression, this can help remind you to appreciate the happy moments in life. 
These ideas come from "Counseling Speaks" and NAMI National.