By Sarah Offenberg, Staff Writer
As snow begins to fall and lights illuminate the city, Winter is arguably the most magical time of the year, especially in New York City. However, as the days get colder and shorter, winter can also be a time that evokes a feeling of being trapped or isolated. Here are a few ways that can help you stay a little more sane during this time.
1. Keep Your Space Clean and Organized
A well-maintained environment not only fosters a sense of order and efficiency, but also contributes significantly to your overall well-being. Amidst having to stay inside more often, a tidy and organized space will help minimize stress, enhance productivity and create a more relaxing atmosphere. According to Forbes Health, “The act of cleaning also requires us to slow down, which can offer a calming effect during overwhelming situations and help us explore and manage our emotions.” Additionally, adding cozy touches to your space like comfier blankets, candles, and warmer lighting can also be a great way to create a relaxing environment.
2. Take Care of Your Health
Yes, this is obvious. You are already aware of the benefits of exercising and eating healthy I am sure. However, to add to that, your mom is right, taking vitamins can be essential for your overall health, especially during this month when we are less exposed to sunlight and colds are rampant. When it comes to exercising, it can be tricky since the winter weather may throw off your walking or running routine. I would suggest trying out an indoor group yoga or exercise class. While this may seem intimidating it can be a great way to stay in shape and also be around other people, there are many places that offer free weeks or days where you can try it out to see how you like it.
3 Stay Connected With Friends and Family
Especially if you tend to be more introverted it may seem easy to slip into your own world during winter and avoid going out and seeing other people. However, while alone time is important, connection with others is an essential part of life and slipping into a habit of ignoring people can have negative effects on your mental health. Try to make it a point to call your friends and family regularly as well as doing in-person activities together a few times a week.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is always important, however, winter seems to always make you a bit more tired than usual. An article by Henry Ford Health discusses this “Winter Slump,” noting that “reduced sun exposure can dramatically affect your circadian rhythm, causing your body to produce more melatonin (a.k.a., the sleep hormone). The end result: You feel tired more often.” If getting an adequate amount of sleep is also a difficult task for you, set small goals to work up to your sleep goals and also make sure to limit screen time before bed.
5. Balance Media – Set Limits
While I won’t villainize social media or other media forms, excessively consuming negative media can heighten anxiety and make you feel more isolated. While staying informed is important, constantly checking news and social media can seriously impact your well-being. Instead, set clear limits and make time for neglected hobbies to maintain a healthier balance in your life.
I hope this holiday season brings nothing but joy and happiness to you. Hopefully these tips can help bring a bit more sanity and peace to your winter.