The changing seasons are inevitable. Every few months, you must adapt to cooler or warmer temperatures and shorter or longer days. Some welcome the change, while others dread it — particularly winter. However, embracing the season is better than agonizing over its cold and gray dreariness.
If you don’t have a mindfulness practice, adopting one during the winter can change your mood and perspective. After all, mindful living makes any season more manageable.
These six tips will help you generate happiness, relaxation and better health this winter.
Appreciate What The Season Offers
When Meik Wiking’s “The Little Book of Hygge” came out in 2017, everyone quickly jumped on the trend. Wiking defines it as “consciously cozy” — intentionally creating moments of bliss, warmth, intimacy and creativity. Is it possible Denmark — the happiest country worldwide — is onto something?
Winter delivers things no other season can — the breathtaking aesthetic of snow, wearing comforting layers of clothes, hot drinks and greater restfulness in the early evening. Now, consider ways you can purposefully create coziness for yourself.
Perhaps it’s a piping hot cup of cocoa, a knitted blanket or watching snow fall from the comfort of your recliner. It could also be a winter potluck with friends. Recognize what generates joyfulness this season and do more of it.
Eco-friendliness could become part of your mindfulness practice and keep you healthy during the cold months. Conduct an energy audit of your home and look for ways to cut back.
For instance, a programmable thermostat will enhance indoor comfort, and what’s more, you can see as much as 10% in energy savings. Other things you can do to improve energy efficiency and at-home living include changing the air filters, resealing around windows to prevent drafts and reversing your ceiling fan rotation to improve warm air circulation.
Lighting is another way to enhance energy efficiency at home, boost your mood and become more mindful. Days are shorter during the winter, which causes seasonal affective disorder in many people. Additionally, one study highlights how less sunlight increases cortisol production, inducing stress.
It’s essential to allow as much natural light into your home as possible during the day. To compensate, you can use bright, cool lights to illuminate dark spaces, and opt for neutral, warm lights in the afternoon and evening.
Begin A Meditation Regimen
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to adopt mindfulness, aid sleep and promote better mental health. According to researchers, eight weeks of 45-minute daily meditation and attending a weekly 2.5-hour mindfulness course can reduce anxiety by twenty percent.
You can try several meditation practices to see what works best, including transcendental meditation, loving-kindness meditation, body scans, movement meditation and visualizations. Visualizations can be effective if you want to immerse yourself in a warmer environment. For example, you can mentally transport yourself elsewhere to escape the cold temporarily.
Practice Mindful Eating
The winter months contain rich, creamy comfort foods and multi-course holiday dinners. By the start of the new year, you’ll want to feel lighter in your body. A study of female college students from Japan even showed a 0.5% weight increase during Christmas and New Year’s due to eating more and exercising less during the winter.
Mindful eating can help you start incorporating nutritious foods into your diet again. Eating smaller portions more slowly and pausing to enjoy textures is crucial. Here are other ways to eat more mindfully in the winter:
- Stock up on healthy snacks.
- Create shopping lists before heading to the store.
- Sit down to eat.
- Reduce distractions, such as phones or the television.
- Put your fork down occasionally.
- Recognize fullness.
Start A Gratitude Journal
If winter has you down, it can be hard to remember all you have to be grateful for. Starting a gratitude journal forces you to reflect on your days and find at least one thing to express your appreciation.
Gratitude helps reduce depression and anxiety by encouraging new perspectives on life events. It also promotes a favorable view of oneself with less criticism, and boosts relationships and life satisfaction.
Practice Mindfulness For A Calmer Winter Season
Mindfulness is the key to relaxation and wellbeing. If winter has you down and the season is dragging, becoming more mindful can change your outlook. Improve your mental, physical and emotional health with mindfulness techniques.