Lots of us really suffer with low mood during the winter months. Bringing in these simple additions to your day can have a big impact on your mental wellbeing.
These little actions help uplift me without fail......
One of the biggest benefits of Mantra’s are their ability to shift your mindset away from negative thoughts and emotions towards more positive, uplifting thoughts (and mindset).
There are 2 different ways of using mantra’s.
One way is finding a statement that resonates and helps to lift you - such as these from Roxie Nafousi .....
Finding a mantra that resonates and then repeating it several times throughout the day helps to switch up the mind to a different state and helps to add more hope and positivity.
The other way to use mantras is via a mantra meditation - repeating/chanting a phrase over and over again. It has been scientifically proven to help calm the nervous system by doing this.
There are lots of options on you tube for mantra meditations.
5) Creating a solid bedtime routine
In our busy modern lives, it's easy to overlook the significance of a bedtime routine.
A solid bedtime routine isn't just about tucking yourself in at night - it provides an opportunity for the mind to clear itself of the worries of the day and helps us to wind down, so we feel ready for sleep. Something which doesn’t happen easily when we are stressed, anxious or depressed.
Your bedtime routine can begin anywhere from 15 - 60 minutes before you would like to be asleep.
See Fiona's Personal Tips for a Bedtime Routine Below
This time between the end of our busy day and sleep, can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to feel calmer and more relaxed and therefore ready for a restful sleep, which leads to a brighter mood the following day.
Regulating Circadian Rhythms:
Our bodies are wired to follow a natural circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that influences various physiological processes, including sleep-wake patterns. A consistent bedtime routine helps synchronise our internal clock, making it easier for us to fall asleep and wake up at the right times.
Set The Stage
Have a look at your bedroom, your bedside table and what you can see from your bed. What we see before we close our eyes at night has a big effect on our ability to switch off and relax.
Ideally have as little on show as possible and try to create calm with softer lighting. Himalayan salt lamps are perfect as the light is soothing plus they give off negative ions (the good ones!) which help to calm us.
Have a journal and pen beside the bed too (see more below).
Create a sanctuary so that you look forward to going to bed plus enjoy the actual wind down process.
Mindfulness and Reflection:
Incorporating mindfulness practices into your bedtime routine, such as meditation or journaling (especially gratitude journaling), provides an opportunity for the mind to clear itself of the worries of the day and helps us to wind down, so we feel ready for sleep. Something which doesn’t happen easily when we are stressed, anxious or depressed.
Fiona's Personal Tips For A Bedtime Routine
Having had chronic insomnia for over 30 years, I am so relieved to have found a solid bed time routine, as it stops the pre-bed worries about whether I will sleep or not.
I now swear by audio books. Ideally a calming story or something that I can learn from.
I usually reduce the audio speed so it’s more meditative (Unless it’s a soothing voice like Monty Don!).
Audible is great (from Amazon) but I also use the Books app on my iPhone. I set a timer and most of the time I don’t make it to the 30 or 45 minutes. Sometimes I end up listening all night, if the insomnia is bad. But now that I have a routine I don't worry about whether I will sleep or not.
If I have felt anxious before bed or am worrying about things, then a warm shower or aromatherapy bath helps start the wind down routine, obviously doing a double cleanse before!
I then take time to massage the Rosa Face Oil in, making sure to breathe in the uplifting aromas of Rose, Neroli & Frankincense (which naturally help calm the nervous system). Next I massage the Blue Chamomile Soothe Balm into my hands and the Blue Chamomile Soothe Oil onto my chest - then breathe in the aromas.
The benefits of a solid bedtime routine show up across every aspect of our lives, and effect our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
That time before you close your eyes to sleep is pivotal to calming your nervous system and then energising, and sustaining that calmness, the next day.
6) Embracing Hibernate Mode
The desire to get cosy indoors and minimise social interactions can be a natural response to the season.
Rest and Restoration:
Winter hibernation helps us to rest and restore.
By allowing ourselves to indulge in extra sleep, cosy nights in, and leisurely activities, we give our bodies the chance to recharge and rejuvenate.
Choosing to hibernate during the winter months allows us to step back from the chaos, reduce external pressures, and create a calming sanctuary within our own homes.
Practices such as lighting candles and surrounding ourselves with a dozen fluffy blankets, helps create a feeling of warmth plus the calm and nurturing that we often crave when we have low mood or depression.
Whilst fully hibernating or avoiding going out entirely is not advisable (see Part 1 on the importance of Fresh Air!); incorporating elements of hibernation into our lives can be so good for our mental health.
Whether it's creating moments of solitude, prioritising self-care practices, or simply allowing ourselves to rest when needed, honouring our body's cues and embracing hibernate mode can help us deal with the winter blues much better.
We need to give ourselves permission to slow down, recharge, and embrace the cosiness of hibernation.
Spring will soon be on its way, but until then, we can follow nature and enjoy a little hibernation of our own.
I hope the tips in this blog offer some support if you are struggling with low mood and/or anxiety.
Remember to reach out if you are worried about your mental health.
Here are some support services, below, but feel free to email or DM if you need a little boost or virtual hug.
SAMARITANS - Link Here or Call 116 123 from the UK
CALM - Link Here or Call 0800 58 58 58
MIND Charity for mental health - Link Here