Here in PEI, daylight savings time just came to an end which means that the sun is setting before 5:00 p.m. I’m finding it hard to accomplish all the things I normally take care of in the daylight hours when darkness descends on us so early. The days just seem so short. And, I’m not alone. Sleep research in 2023 found that, during the winter months, we may need up to two more hours of sleep each night. It isn’t about being lazy or unmotivated. As we move into winter, our body also goes into winter mode, adjusting to cope with the seasonal shift.
November 1st was National Stress Awareness Day. During the month of November, I’ve dedicated every Sunday to be “Self Care Sunday”. Each and every one of us deals with stress on a daily basis. There are financial burdens, work deadlines, trying to achieve that elusive work/life balance. And then there is the approaching holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza or something else entirely, we each have a vision of that perfect holiday season. Add holiday prep to our daily stresses and our body’s need for extra rest due to the shorter days, it’s no surprise that winter can be a time that many experience the winter blues.
So – what’s the solution? We need to prioritize self-care. That may mean getting a little extra sleep if possible. Perhaps it is getting outside, breathing some fresh air, going for a walk. It can be creating a state of mindfulness – making note of those “glimmers”, those sweet moments that life presents us. Just the other day, my ginger fur beast decided to hide under the bed. Problem is – she put her head and shoulders under the bed but her haunches and tail were in full view. I just paused for a moment to thoroughly enjoy this ridiculous picture and to be thankful for all of the joy that my fur beasts bring to my life. And, of course, you can always participate in creative activities. Doing things like knitting, playing a musical instrument, drawing, or writing uses a different part of the brain to where the stress is occurring and can help you to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed.
We can also take a page from the Danish culture and create an atmosphere of “hygge” to balance the dark days of winter. It involves a sense of coziness – a nice woolly blanket, burning a scented beeswax candle, enjoying comfort food and the company of good friends. It’s a way of taking care of yourself by giving yourself a sense of control over your environment. This is especially helpful during a time when the world seems to be filled with negative news bytes.
Have you ever noticed that, when you have something on your mind, the universe will often present ideas and solutions if you are open to it. Or maybe you’re more aware of seeing an answer because the issue is foremost in your thoughts. I was giving some serious thought to self-care Sundays and spotted this post. I want to share it with you because it really spoke to me.
Live life luxuriously! Classic simplicity is what I enjoy the most - in clothing design, home decor and in life!