5 simple ways to beat the winter blues
*This post is kindly sponsored by L’Occitane (which I’m so excited about!).
With the post-holiday excitement over and the days still short, this time of winter can get the better of us, so, it’s important to look after ourselves. Here are some really simple self-care tips that you can easily do to feel a bit better this time of year. From the obvious ‘get some sunlight’ I’ve picked some perfume for women which contain scents that can actually benefit your well-being. Yes, this means you’re allowed to treat yourself to a new fragrance! 😉
1. Get plenty of fresh air and daylight
Getting enough vitamin D is so important! But it can escape us in winter, given the long evenings and short days. It’s depressing to arrive to work in the dark and then leave work in the dark. I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in so long, that I may burst into flames when spring arrives.
Not getting enough sunlight and air can get you down. Make sure you take a break and go outside for some fresh air; the winter chill will refresh and perk you up if you’re feeling sleepy and getting a bit of exercise will release endorphins that will lift your mood.
2. Revitalise your senses
Like the cold air can make us feel refreshed, staying warm will ease general soreness. I always get achey joints and back pain in the cold, so nothing is better for me than a hot bath to sooth the muscles.
It’s quite well-known that the smell of lavender can help you sleep – but did you know how many benefits different scents have? Fragrances can energise us or relax us. I’ll take any excuse to light a scented candle and splash a bit perfume on!
Best for elevating your mood: vanilla
It’s been proven “that taking a whiff of vanilla bean elevated participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation”.
Top picks: Oud Rose Eau de Parfum and Ambre de Parfum both contain vanilla basenotes. These scents are so comforting and warming – perfect for winter.
Best for energising: citrus
“Scents like lemon and orange are not only well-known for their Vitamin C properties, but simply sniffing the fruit can help boost energy and alertness.”
Top picks: Citrus Verbena and Néroli Orchidée both have citrus top notes (Citrus Verbena has Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange and Néroli has orange and mandarin) which refreshes and awakens you – perfect for those early mornings.
Best for combatting stress: pine
According to a Japanese study, after indulging in the scent of pine people experience “significantly lower depression and stress levels”.
Top pick: Eau de 4 voleurs is has top notes of pine and woody base notes, making it a great winter to spring transition fragrance.
Best for concentration: cinnamon
If you’re need to focus a bit, research has shown “those who took a whiff of cinnamon improved in cognitive functions like visual-motor response, working memory and attention span”.
Top pick: Winter Forest Home Diffuser Set has a lovely wintery cinnamon smell; this diffuser will fill your house with this aroma and makes a nice decoration too.
3. Make plans
In November and December we have so much to occupy ourselves with: Christmas parties, New Year’s celebrations and general seasonal outings, suddenly we crash when we realise we’re strapped for cash and things to do. Having something to look forward to will give you motivation. So, make a plan no matter how small or trivial.
Go for a coffee with a friend.
Book that weekend away.
Pencil in that yoga class.
Whatever it is or no matter how far away in the future, creating anticipation by having plans will lift your spirits and give you focus.
4. Don’t overwhelm yourself
January is the month of resolutions. It can be tempting to set 101 goals for a ‘brand new you’, but that can become overwhelming. That’s why I decided on one New Year’s resolution only and that was to generally feel healthier in myself, starting with cutting back on alcohol. After all, January is already fairly miserable, so having the added pressure of cutting out every one of your guilty pleasures all at once can make it harder. You need a few of your comforts after all! If you focus on one thing, it’ll be more manageable.
Whether you make one, two or ten resolutions, whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t quite go as planned.
Decide to detox on one thing.
I’m doing Dry January; I’ve removed alcohol from my diet for this month, but I’ve got too many Christmas chocolates to get through, so I haven’t cut back on that. I also stopped using my personal Twitter account for a week, but checked in on Instagram. (Social Media is my full-time job, so if I completely quit it altogether, it wouldn’t go down very well!)
5. Indulge in ‘me-time’
This follows on from the last point. We need a pamper sesh occasionally so we don’t get run-down physically or mentally. Set aside an evening for yourself where you stop checking Facebook, focus on yourself; read a book, paint your nails, doodle or do whatever you like to relax.
Look after your skin
Keep cracked and dry skin at bay by keeping moisturised and staying hydrated. I always make sure I have a bottle of water and some hand cream in my bag. My two favourites are the Verbena – the piney smell has stress-relieving effects – and the *Shea Butter (the Standard’s no.1 hand cream for winter!).
It’s so important to de-stress and get a good sleep. Check out the NHS’ advice on getting through winter tiredness if you’re struggling to sleep.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for surviving the cold winter!
This is a sponsored post. Read here for more about disclaimers.