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5 Self-Care Ideas to Lift Your Mood

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for self-care and turning inward. Here's how to keep yourself well in winter and really any time of year.

Person holding hand around water in a white mug with lemon and ginger
If you’ve got that wintertime sadness, try these self-care strategies.

As soon as December sets in, as much as I may resist it, my inner clock knows that winter is the most wonderful time of the year to turn inward. Winter is practically beckoning me to do less. It’s is a natural time to pause, absorb and reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new year. Most of us could really use more rest and reflection instead of zipping and zooming through our daily to-dos.

Those of us who keep our extraordinarily fast-paced schedules can easily miss the magic and joy of the essence of the holiday season.

So how do you go from busy person to more being, less doing? Self-care, of course, which doesn’t stop being important just because you’re busy. Your self-care practices can help keep you present and energized, especially during the holidays and end-of-year festivities.

Try the lifestyle practices below to lift some of the inertia from seeing the sun less often. These are things that you can do any time of year but especially during the holidays.

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Practice It: 5 Self-Care Practices to Lift Your Spirits

  • Go to bed as soon as you feel tired. Even if it’s 9 p.m. and there is still a load of laundry to do and a mountain of dishes in the sink that need washing, just sleep. Wake up early (by 6 a.m.) to start your day off on a bright note.

  • Exercise every day—preferably in the morning to give yourself a mood boost. Even 20 minutes matters.

  • Eat more cooked nutrient-dense foods and healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado. Think slow cooker recipes, soups and stews—foods that warm you from the inside out.

  • Drink water throughout the day—not just in the morning or at night. I look forward to drinking warm water, often with lemon, in the morning.

  • Socialize and connect more with others. Share a meal, schedule a tea date, take a yoga class, or go on a walk with a friend.

I also incorporate at least a few minutes of meditation into my morning routine and journaling every evening. Check out my award-winning books 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas and How to Stay Calm in Chaos: An Everyday Self-Care Guide for journaling prompts and meditation ideas.

Bonus practice: Many yogis flow through 108 sun salutations on the winter solstice (and summer solstice, too). This takes about an hour or more, depending on your pace. If you try it, let me know how it goes on Instagram @JulieGtheYogi!

Note that if you’re practicing all of these things and you’re still experiencing a consistently low mood, please contact someone who can help, such as your primary care doctor or mental health professional.

Pay a little extra attention to yourself. Just like your children, your mind, body and spirit depend on you to take care of them.

Note that this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or wellness plan.

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