As 2018 starts and memories of Christmas fade fast, now can be a good time to think about how you will support your well-being during the rest of winter.
So just as we physically fill our pencil case or work-bag with equipment that will help us in our school or work day, putting together a list of tools, techniques and activities that might help us in looking after ourselves can be helpful.
Like all toolboxes though, there is no ‘one size fits all’.
What follows is a list of ideas of things to try or think about. If they don’t all resonate with you that’s OK - try writing your own list of 5 things that you think might be helpful in keeping you steady.
connect with others
The summer months can feel like a hectic time in which routines and schedules often go out of the window with either you, family, friends or colleagues being away at various points throughout. Although it can feel tempting to hibernate in winter and stay inside with a box-set, take the time to connect with friends and family who have a positive influence on your well-being.
spend time outside
Being outdoors and connecting with nature can have a positive effect on our well-being. Although the days in winter are shorter, how about planning some weekend walks, or scheduling 10 minutes at lunchtime to take a brisk walk somewhere outside so that you aren’t simply arriving at and leaving work in the dark
Even if you’re not in school, learning something new can have a positive effect on mood and provide you with a focus in the week. So how about learning a language, or joining that yoga class that you’re interested in?
Are there particular forms of exercise that you tend to find help you not only physically but also with reducing stress and managing your overall well-being? Our energy levels can drop in winter, so think about taking the time now to plan and schedule what exercise you might do and when in the winter months. Or you could link this to the point above and try something new to keep you motivated.
spend some time on you
At times when we are busy or stressed, we can neglect or downgrade the importance of looking after ourselves, or make what seems like a logical intention to park it until we are less busy. But this is usually the time when we need to look after ourselves the most! Even if it is just 5 minutes, taking some time each day to do something which sustains and nourishes you can be really beneficial. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not write down a list of your favourite things that help you relax (such as listening to your favourite piece of music, having a soak in the bath, doing some stretching) and have it to handsomewhere so that if you are busy, you don’t spend time being indecisive about how you are going to treat yourself.
Last but by no means least, taking some time to notice the present, non-judgmentally, can be very valuable if you find your mind is rushing ahead or in planning mode all the time. Mindfulness is a tool that has the potential to help people manage their well-being. It needn’t be complicated or take any special equipment. Practising mindfulness throughout your day (including with everyday activities) can be a great way of fostering awareness of how you are feeling right now – which means you can check in with yourself and see how you’re doing mentally and physically throughout the coming months.
What hints and tips do you have for managing your well-being? I’d love to hear them – tweet #wellbeingaudit to share them with others.