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With winter officially here, it can be easier than ever to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and even depressed. About 5% of adults experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), making this time of year hard enough to deal with, already.
On top of the typical pitfalls of the winter season, this year has truly been unlike any other, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still going strong for many people across the country.
Between the aftermath of the holidays, the cold, dark days, the endless negative news cycle, and feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s easy to experience burnout. That can leave you feeling tired, gloomy, and unmotivated.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to avoid burning out both at work and at home. Giving your mental and emotional health a boost can help you to get through this season, and even learn to enjoy it. Let’s look at a few ways to accomplish that this year.
Learn to Manage Your Stress
Everyone deals with stress. So, it might feel impossible to get rid of it, completely. But, too much stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health, contributing to everything from heart disease to high blood pressure. Excessive stress can also lead to mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
While you may not be able to eliminate stress and anxiety from your life this season, there are ways to reduce them. One of the best things you can do is to avoid as many triggers as possible. Determine what it is that causes you to feel stressed and anxious. Some common causes include:
- World issues
- Money problems
- Health problems
Problems with work or even the death of a loved one can also contribute to stress and anxiety. This year, more than ever, many people have experienced multiple triggers on that list, as well as more personal factors that have contributed to higher stress levels.
If you can’t completely avoid these triggers, finding ways to reduce your stress levels is important. Keeping your home clean and organized can help, as well as spending time with family members and other people you love (safely). Being able to talk about how you’re feeling can make a big difference, so don’t hesitate to create a plan of action when it comes to directly battling stress.
Make Your Home a Sanctuary
Many people have had to combine their work and home lives this year. You may have had to start working remotely for the first time. While that can sound appealing at first, it can be difficult to achieve a healthy work-life balance when your office is in your living room. One way to spark creativity and make you feel more motivated about working, whether you’re home or in your actual office, is to make a few simple upgrades. Get a standing desk to keep you moving throughout the day, or decorate your office in a way that inspires you and makes you feel more energetic.
If you’re working out in the field, or you’re a frontline worker of any kind, it’s extremely important to be able to separate your work life from your home life. Many frontline workers, like nurses, have to deal with immense amounts of daily stress as they see the firsthand effects of this pandemic. One of the ways to manage that stress is to get a full night’s sleep.
Whether you need to separate your remote working life from your free time or you’re an essential worker who needs to feel relaxed at home, taking the time to turn your living space into a sanctuary can be worth it!
You don’t have to make major changes to your home or routine to achieve a spa-like experience. If you’re trying to find more ways to relax and pamper yourself, consider:
- Aromatherapy and bath oils
- Body scrubs
- Clay masks
- Hand and foot care
Turn on some soothing music, draw a warm bath, and light some candles. By creating an environment of pure relaxation, you can almost immediately reduce your stress, feel more energized, and get better sleep, which can keep you going throughout the day no matter what career path you’re on.
Self-care has become a popular buzzword over the last few years. Unfortunately, because of its popularity, it’s lost some of the true meaning. Self-care is more than just an idea, it’s something that needs to be put into practice. It also might look different for everyone, since we all enjoy different things.
Taking care of yourself can help to reduce stress levels and promote mental and emotional wellbeing. Again, it’s different for everyone, but there are a few common threads of self-care that can benefit almost anyone, including:
- Eating well
- Getting enough sleep
- Drinking plenty of water (yes, you still need it in the winter!)
- Keeping up an exercise routine
- Being aware of any deficiencies in your diet
By taking care of your mind and body throughout the winter, you can beat the fatigue and exhaustion that sometimes tries to pull you down.
All of these solutions are beneficial when it comes to managing the winter blues and feeling as though you could burn out at any moment. While this year has been harder than most, these tips can still help you to get through the snowy season, so you can feel more energetic, motivated, and upbeat.