As pretty as snowfall might be, the winter months can wear a person down. When added to the already glum mix of cold weather and limited daylight, mobility issues can make winter difficult to get through.
We can empathize! That’s why we’ve put together our favorite methods and tips for coping with winter blues. Spend a week or two getting to know these practices, just a little time each day, and spring will arrive in no time.
Silent and Guided Meditation
There is perhaps no simpler, more calming way to transport one’s self than through meditation. People around the world rely on meditation to reduce stress, calm the soul, and clear the mind.
During a guided meditation, a speaker (live or recorded) will walk participants through each step, using verbal cues to induce a relaxed state and encourage peaceful visualizations. Silent meditation is usually done on one’s own, and requires little more than a quiet, uninterrupted space and a commitment to the practice.
The best approach to meditation is to try it, unfettered and unconcerned with “getting it right.” For more information about silent meditation, check out the beginner’s guide to silent meditation from Zen Habits. For guided meditations, try searching YouTube, where you can specify the length and style you prefer.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day. But, because breathing is involuntary and so commonplace, many of us take it for granted.
Question is, do we really know how to breathe?
As it turns out, there are a variety of breathing techniques that can help during meditation, to reduce stress, or to stem the onset of acute anxiety attacks. According to the American Institute of Stress, a single or series of deep breaths can activate the body’s “natural relaxation response.”
Here are a few other breathing techniques to start your winter days with:
Let There Be Light
Though it might not seem like it, the sun is out there, even if it’s hiding behind a thick layer of grey clouds. Apart from supplying the body with an important vitamin, maximizing one’s exposure to daylight helps keep the winter blues at bay, while giving your body and mind a noticeable boost.
To get ample light exposure each day:
- Keep the curtains open until nightfall
- Position yourself near windows that let in light
- At night, light candles around the room
- Swap out old bulbs for bright, energy efficient bulbs
On the rare occasion that the winter sun does rear is radiant head, commit to getting outside any way you can! Even brief exposure to the sunshine can do wonders.