10 Tips for Winter Emotional Wellness

woman hiking in winter

Emotions are building blocks giving color, clarity, and depth to life!

Winter season seems more deeply connected to “heavier” negative feelings than other seasons in part due to shorter daylight hours along with colder, darker days. During Winter for some of us, our psyches take on a “weather-related” heaviness bringing change to our moods, energy levels, and physical health.

However, this “seasonal winter psyche” does not need to completely dampen your outlook nor act as a roadblock for the entirety of the season. At its core, emotional wellness is knowing you can change and choose how you respond to things that happen to you, your thoughts, and your feelings. Use these emotional well-being lifestyle tips that are listed below as a guide for being present with this season.

10 Emotional Winter Wellness Tips

  1. Exercise to Boost Feelings

Physical movement gets the oxygen and blood flowing and loosens up any tightness and stiffness. This opens up the feel-good hormones stimulated by physical activity! Exercising under bright lights indoors and in natural outdoor light serves as a mood improver!

  1. Cultivate Meditation

Sitting in intentional contemplative silence calms and centers emotions associated with Winter weather. Find a comfortable quiet space that welcomes your presence.

  1. Sleep with Intention

Studies show a good night’s sleep will boost your mood! Take advantage of earlier nightfall during the Winter months as a means to get to bed earlier!  Now is a great time to create a nourishing sleep routine. Put thought into this and make it simple so you will look forward to this end-of-day closing ritual.

  1. Eat Clean

Eating whole clean foods is deeply connected to emotional wellbeing. What we eat directs our emotional and physical energy and health. Eat a healthy mix of fruits, veggies, clean and lean meats, mono and polyunsaturated fats, nuts, legumes, and dairy. Notice what foods eaten resonate with you giving your energy.

  1. Connect Socially

Winter’s darker colder days at times create a stronghold against getting out with others which only increases loneliness and darker, heavier emotions. Connecting socially be it one-to-one or with a group increases our feel-good emotions which contributes to emotional well-being. We are meant to connect, share, and be with others!

  1. Practice Optimism

Optimism, which is seeking out what is good and life-affirming in day to day is a foundational component of emotional wellbeing. Being optimistic allows for heavier feelings while knowing that they do not need to define you nor are these feelings permanent.

  1. Cultivate Daily Gratitude

Making a note of what you have in life to be thankful for whether done daily or a few times during the week weighs the scales, balancing what may not feel great with the good you’ve brought to your attention!

  1. Enhance Emotional Regulation

This practice involves learning how to keep your darker emotions in check. You are aware of them and allow yourself to feel them without becoming them or being directed by them. Your thoughts and feelings are the fabric of your life and you are in the driver’s seat of deciding how to be with your emotions, not the other way around!

  1. Develop Self Awareness

The more we are aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, the more we can take charge of them and the less control they have over us in our day today!

  1. Accept Feelings

At any given moment we handle a depth of feelings about ourselves and the components of our lives. These run the range from joy to frustration and everything in between.  Give yourself permission to accept and own your emotions. In this place, give yourself permission to lead and direct how you will be/live with your noted emotions versus being led, defined, and directed by them.

Which of these tips did you find helpful? Do you have any Winter emotional wellness tips that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!

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*Originally published on January 15, 2019.

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