Top 5 Tips for Staying Sane This Winter (Even with this Global Sitch)
I know with winter comes the holidays, and the non-stop plans...and of course the winter 'blues + blahs'...and it's because of these things that around this time I like to take an extra look at my self-care routines, my boundaries, and my lifestyle/habits and ensure I'm 'cleaning up house' and practicing my rituals more than ever.
It's so easy to fall into the rabbit holes, to get sucked into family drama, and to feel like no matter what you do around this time for others, it isn't enough.
I'm here to remind you that you can create self-care practices to jump over the holes, set up clear boundaries with family, and tell you that you ARE enough, just as you are NOW.
Here are my top 5 tips for staying a bit more sane, with everything added to our plates this season.
5) Get your sleep on! Hell yeah, take that nap! Or, don't, if it messes with your sleep schedule. This is the time of the year for hibernation. Find the right sleep sched for yourself, and stick to it. If you have a hard time falling asleep, try a guided meditation or breathwork (or both)! If you have a hard time staying asleep, ask yourself if you're waking up due to stress, or if you need to seek a doc. If it's stress, what in particular is bothering you? Try to journal on it -- if you can' think of how to start journaling, send me a DM. I'm always happy to help others where I can! If I don't know how to help you, I usually know someone who can. Reaching out is sometimes the first step in breaking down the stress wall.
4) Turn off the TV. Yup. I know we are indoors due to it being cold (for the most part). And I know with this sitch, we are supposed to stay inside on top of all that. But we don't need to be glued to the screen. Christmas movies are cute. Keeping up with the news can be key in gathering information. But too much stimulation (which is what TV provides), can alter our release of serotonin (the mood-boosting hormone) and cortisol (the stress hormone)...and when these are not regulated, say good-bye to your mental health. Maybe it's time to finish a project you've been putting off, learn a new skill, or learn how to meditate (you can do this as a family), this year! Lastly, which goes along with #1...the screen time right before bed completely ruins your circadian rhythm...so these kind of go hand in hand.
3) Drink more water. Really Katelyn? This is in your top 5? Yes. Water keeps us hydrated...and hydration is KEY for your not only your physical, but mental health as well. This list is about staying 'sane' this season, right? When we deprive ourselves of water, we not only set ourselves up to for a list of health issues that resemble flu-like symptoms (yikes, who wants pretend symptoms this time of year...especially this year) like vomiting, diarrhea (cute that this is now on my blog), sweating...but it can also lead to mental fatigue. And we all know by now when we are dealing with mental fatigue, that can leads us straight into an array of emotions we could have avoided: anger, anxiety, depression. I'm tellin' ya, water is LIFE. Drink. It. Up.
2) Set clear boundaries with family + friends. Yes, it's really great this is the time of the year we most want to see each other. We feel pressured to gifting the most luxurious items, or at least cough up a pretty penny of our bank accounts, to prove to others that we care for them. The problem is that every family has it's set of challenges, and this time of the year can be very triggering for folks. Seeing family isn't always rainbows and butterflies. So, know that it's ok to say NO to a gathering or two (I know with this global sitch, that's going to be fairly easy for the physicality of it all, but this goes for 'zoom invites' too). Know that it's normal to set yourself an allotted amount of time for a hang out. And for the love of all things holy, know it's ok to say you can't do a secret santa this year. Gifting others is great and all, and so is the receiving...but if you know it's going to give you more anxiety to see that money go to a gift than your food or bills, you need to put your foot down (and work on your root, solar and throat chakras LOL).
1) Know how much time you need with just yourself each day. I have 3 different amounts of time I set for myself each day, depending on how I'm feeling. You read that right. Depending on how I'm FEELING, not what my schedule is like. Create a small list of just 3 different amounts of time that you think you might have, or may want to have to help lift your spirit (if you can, this list will be for you to just be with yourself). No partner. No kids. No social. That means you'll have to tell your partner no, or 'later'. That means you will have to ask someone else will watch the kids (or if they have a favourite show, do your self-care practice while they're distracted). That means phone OFF...not on silent. Not on airplane mode.OFF. Slow down on the screen time - get in more 'me' time.
- Example: I have a strenuously long routine for when I am down and really need a pick-me-up. It's about a 2-hour routine from start to finish, and includes movement, meditation, and manifesting (journaling/vision work, etc). I have an 'easier' routine that's anywhere from half an hour to an hour, for the days I'm just feeling 'off', but no apparent emotion attached. I pick 2 of the three things listed above, and really focus on them, splitting the time in half, or focusing more on another if I'm feeling it. My third routine is actually just for every other day; these are the days I'm feeling good. You'd think if I'm already in a good mood I'd be happy to do anything from my list of practices...but I find those are the days I have to trick myself into keeping up with them, to keep up with my mental health (I don't want to crash and wonder "WTF? I was doing so good! What happened?!"). At the end of the day, as long as I get in SOMETHING from my list, it makes it easier to stay afloat and not trip up throughout the day. Sometimes, it's just enough to listen to a good podcast, or sing out loud to the music in my truck on my way in to work...but sometimes I need to put myself in bootcamp and work on my 'errything.
There you have it folks, a non-exhaustive (or maybe it was reading it), of my top 5 things to keep you sane this winter, alongside a crazy global sitch. I'm not sure if you were hoping for a more chakra related list, but I can always throw up some spiritual hacks to keep you mentally sound, if that's something you'd like to get into!
Wishing you all the best as we leave this chapter and enter the next. With Yule comes a fresh new energy, and I think we can all say we are ready for it.
...nothin but heart chakra love,