Style of the City has worked to share with you the best ways to improve your general wellbeing over the winter period, by finding some top self-care tips to help look after yourself physically and mentally during this time.
The winter months may bring in snow and festivities, but for many, it can see the start of a struggle, and that is OK. It is OK to struggle at this time of year, in fact, according to ‘Mind’ charity, 76% of people struggle sleeping over the festive period. The pressures to perform and get into the ‘festive spirit’ can be found challenging, so looking after yourself is crucial.
Self-care is incredibly important for your wellbeing, and spans much broader than just applying a face mask! Self-care includes everything, from daily choices such as wearing warm clothes and maintaining a healthy diet in order to help prevent illness, to trying to prevent more serious conditions by looking after your general physical health, and mental wellbeing.
During winter, we breathe a lot more indoor air. Using air humidifiers is a great idea to keep the air your breathing moist, a 2013 study, found that by increasing the humidity levels to 43 percent or above significantly reduced the ability of airborne viruses to cause infections. Furthermore, diffusing essential oils also helps to increase the negative ion count in the air and has been proven to be beneficial in the interest of alleviating the effects of seasonal affective disorder.
Getting together with friends is another key element of self-care, as important as it is to ensure you make time for yourself, maintaining friendships and socialising is a really healthy component of mental health that helps to improve your emotional well being. According to the ‘Mayo Clinic’ the main highlighted benefits of friendships is the ‘Increased sense of belonging and purpose that help boost your happiness and reduce your stress’ through the ‘Improvement of your self-confidence and self-worth.’ Friends can help you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or even a lack of exercise by grabbing a coffee to walk around the park together. Further studies have shown that ‘Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).’
If you’re struggling to fit friends in with your working schedules, or perhaps you have just moved to a new city and are looking to socialise and find new friends! There are many ways to do that! A great idea is to join an Art class. Bring a friend or go solo, art classes are a great method of improving your well being and find people with common interests. This could be joining a winter art class, such as wreath making, or attending a still life session or pottery making/ painting. There are many to be found in Cardiff and Penarth, and they are a great solution if you fancy getting your mind active, but not so much your body!
Join a Fitness class:
If you desire a more active idea, there are many fitness classes available to help you socialise while keeping your feet moving. ‘Stretchy Suzie’s’ is a Yoga studio located in Cathay’s, Cardiff, and is the perfect way to stay Zen, and connect! Bring a friend, or really find your Zen by going solo, there is a class for everyone.
Fitness space (in the city centre) also offers many classes that are the perfect size to meet people without feeling overwhelmed, they offer a range of classes from kettlebells to dancing! You can get your workout in whilst getting your groove on, the perfect recipe to put you in a great mood.
Find a Routine:
Finding a routine is also incredibly important for your mental health, especially during winter where daylight savings draw the day to a close at 4pm. It is important to schedule yourself time to wind down and engage in self-care, whether this is planning time away from social media, having a bath or shower or giving yourself time to attend a class, as it allows yourself to be productive whilst having time to enjoy it. Also, giving yourself enough time in the evenings will allow you to get creative with cooking dinner and give yourself an incentive to eat well.
Finally, it might seem obvious but moisturising your skin to help lock in your skins natural moisture is very important to prevent it cracking or flaking. Our skin gets much tighter in winter, so it is important to ensure you moisturise after showers and use an SPF to help protect against the winter sun.
Hopefully following these top tips will help to inspire you with new ways to look after yourself, and ensure you can make the most of the winter months! It is important to remember that self-care looks different to everyone, and taking control of your health and emotions is important. If you seek further help please speak to your GP.