Ten Tips for End of Year Self-Care

Toe Art...Love & Care So, the year is winding down. You’re making your plans for 2014. Maybe you’ve made a list of 100 cool things to do or set yourself some terrifying yet enticing goals. But it’s also possible that you’re feeling a little anxious about the holidays or down thanks to cold days and long nights. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life now, and it’s always been harder in the winter, so I’ve come up with a few ways to help brighten my mood and keep the smile on my face even when navigating the toy section of Target among throngs shoppers. I hope these suggestions will help you get through the holidays with your spirit in tact!

  1. Talk to someone. It’s often tempting to hide your feelings because you don’t want to burden anyone or seem crazy, but sometimes keeping your problems to yourself only makes you feel worse. Meanwhile, the people who love you are wishing they knew how to help, so please let them!
  2. Get a normal amount of sleep. It’s tempting to stay in bed and take a lot of naps when it’s cold out, but don’t. Sleeping too much makes you feel more lethargic. If you’re already feeling depressed, this won’t help. 
  3. Indulge moderately. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the treats of the season, then it’s not the most wonderful time of the year. Go ahead and have desert, and furthermore, have the slice of pie for a midnight snack. Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying it.
  4. Stay hydrated. Being dehydrated has a bigger impact on your state of mind than you may realize, especially if you tend to drink coffee all day and booze at night as part of your strategy to fight off the cold. Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and consider curbing the other stuff.
  5. Schedule time with friends. You need to talk to someone who isn’t going to ask you when you’re having kids or whether you’ll ever move closer to home. Your friends are probably just as stressed out as you are and would love to see your face. Make a coffee date.
  6. Get your vitamins! Vitamin D in particular, but make sure you’re eating well-rounded meals and not just takeout and processed foods, which is for some reason really tempting to do when it’s cold out.
  7. Spoil yourself a little. Take hot baths, bundle up in your coziest clothes, sip on hot tea all day, moisturize your skin lavishly every damn day. Creature comforts help ease the physical discomforts of winter, which also helps boost your mood.
  8. Look for things to be grateful for. Even very little things can change your perspective and make the world seem brighter.
  9. Adjust your exercise routine. If you’re feeling anxious, consider a gentle vinyasa yoga practice which will be both warming and soothing. If you’re feeling depressed and lethargic, a more vigorous vinyasa or maybe Kundalini Yoga class may help lift the clouds.
  10. Look forward to something. Set yourself some little goals or make a list of fun things you hope to do in the new year. Plan your reading list or book a weekend getaway for spring — anything that reminds you sunnier days are on their way.

Take care of yourself, dear.

All the love~

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Other People Are Good For You

sisters

As the dregs of winter drag on, we’re so close to spring, yet it’s still cold and grey outside. I stay inside and just wait for sunny days.

Sometimes I get really down for no particular reason. It’s just part of life. I’m sitting around thinking too hard, and I start to feel bad about things. It’s usually because I need to get out of the house, get out of my own head for a while, cut out the navel gazing, etc. In other words, I am a depressive narcissist, and the cure is other people.

Some people are like lights, and thinking about them can brighten my mood in an instant. My sister is a very bright one. When I think of her, it’s like being back in the bedroom we shared as kids — a perfectly safe place where all the problems are simple ones, and Mom and Dad are just in the next room in case you need them. I had one of these moments the other day, and I called my sister just to hear a friendly voice. I could hear her baby laughing in the background, and everything seemed warm and bright.

There’s something special about a relationship with a sister. I tend to feel that I owe something to everyone on earth, even though I know that’s nonsense. Everyone’s got expectations or something they want from you — even people you love. But with my sister, it’s different. Neither one of us chose the other (as far as I can tell) or is responsible for the other in any way. Our loyalty stems from the pure love of siblings who are simply amazed at the miraculousness of one another. At least that’s how it seems to me, and I feel very thankful for it all.

Is there anyone like this in your life? Someone who’s unconditional love and support you can always count on? Who brightens your day with just a thought? When you get nostalgic for a simpler time, who do you imagine spending it with?

Today is a good day to call that person. Get outside yourself a little bit today. Spring is almost here. Spread the warmth!

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