In winter time we are supposed to be full of cheer and merrymaking, celebrating with family and loved ones in warmly lit homes. The shorter days make it harder to really feel awake, and what little time you ay get outdoors is often marred by snow, rain or cold. In short, the winter blues can be a very real problem if you don’t prioritize taking care of yourself and attending to your emotional wellbeing.
We’ve outlined some of our favorite strategies to help lift you out of your funk and tend to your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing this season.
Prioritize You- Get Moving
While it might be difficult to exercise outdoors in inclement weather, it’s still worth the effort to get moving in some form. Winter is considered Vata season, which means it’s cold and dry. Anything you can do to get the blood pumping and make even work up a little sweat will help to combat this.
One of the best techniques for this is simply taking some time during the day to go for a brisk walk. You could do this on your lunch break, or maybe first thing when you get home for the day. The key is to get your body moving. Build some heat in your heart and legs, and increase your breath to shake off the blues.
If it’s too rainy or snowy to walk where you live, a heat-building yoga practice can also work wonders. Focus on poses that challenge you just a little bit, and get the blood flowing throughout your body. In particular, Sun Salutation, Warrior I and II and balancing poses like Tree and Eagle are great for this.
To really up your yoga game, try pairing it with various yogic breathing exercises. Utilizing pranayama will enhance your awareness and help sync your breath to your movement, while warming you up from the inside outl
Take Time for Yourself
While getting the blood pumping is a great way to shake off the chill physically, there’s no doubt that the winter blues run deeper than that. Short, dark days can lead to depression, and a Vata imbalance can leave us feeling adrift and unattached from those around us.
Normally, prioritize your well being also includes gathering in person with loved ones. Since that’s not advised during the pandemic, make sure you at least call and check in with your loved ones and community. Additionally, you should prioritize taking care of yourself, so you don’t get worn down by the season.
In particular, meditation and reflection can be key for this. You don’t need to practice for hours on end, or even sit upright on a cushion on the floor. You can meditate anywhere—at your desk, on your bed, or even in your car.
All you need to do to meditate successfully is take a moment to put the world on pause and breathe deep. Check in with your mental and emotional state. See where you may be holding tension in the body, and release it.
If you find yourself really struggling with the winter blues, you can try setting an alarm once an hour to remind you to pause, take a deep breath, and resume your day.
Finally, to keep yourself warmed up and cared for, don’t skip out on your daily abhyanga, or self-massage. Choose an appropriate essential oil, warm it up, and massage it deeply all over your body, from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. This ancient practice is known to be soothing and healing for the mind, while the warm massage relaxes your body and helps your forget any aches and pains.
Make the Most of the Season
As you find ways to prioritize your well being with Ayurveda this Winter, remember that everyone’s process looks different. What works for one person may not be right for you, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the routine that keeps you merry and bright.
To help you restore your emotional wellbeing, consider adding YouVeda’s My Healthy Mood supplement to your daily routine. This doctor-formulated and recommended kit is made with an organic blend of ashwagandha, saffron, bacopa, shilajeet and more to help lower stress, support healthy adrenals and calm an overactive mind.
Autor: Alexandria Baker (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)