I’m sharing #Advil in my life as part of an Advil sponsored series for Socialstars™
I’ll be honest with you – winter is hard for me. I’m what you would call a seasonal depressant. It’s grey, cold and other than that very first magical snowfall, winter can take a toll on my body, mind and overall routine.
And I know I’m not alone.
Are friends/family always telling you that you’re a little too hard on yourself? To give yourself a break? Do you always feel tired, overworked and find yourself becoming increasingly sensitive to the little things?
For years, I prioritized everything else before my own health and happiness. And when I started to feel my body break down from the VERY real stresses of life, I knew I had to make a change.
But I am now feeling the healthiest I’ve felt in a very, very long time. I feel wiser, more energetic, more positive and physically stronger. And it started with changing a few things across my everyday life.
Maybe you’re in a bit of a funk. Maybe you’ve just experienced a life change. Maybe you’re currently going through a transformation. Whatever it is, it’s time to start taking better care of yourself.
1. Be kind to yourself.
If you’ve been through something difficult recently, it’s easy to get caught up in a negative cycle of thinking. Whether you’re not feeling accomplished enough, or have just been in a bit of a funk, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself.
Recognize that what you’re feeling is temporary — that life will always be a series of up’s and down’s — and that whatever negative feeling you’re experiencing will eventually pass.
We have heard advice from various places telling us to be kind to others. But it’s vital that you include yourself in the mix. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, realize that there are lessons to be learned there, and focus on all of the wonderful things you HAVE done and accomplished.
Positive thinking is the first step to living a healthier life. Tell yourself that things are going to work out (even if you don’t happen to believe that at the time), surround yourself with people who uplift you, and make the effort to remember all of the things you are grateful for.
Love yourself enough to prioritize your happiness and health in both body and mind.
2. Get to work. Do something creative.
Now is the time to channel all this negative energy into creating something magical. Get your creative juices flowing.
As great as good weather is, it can also be more distracting. When it’s nice outside, I don’t want to stay inside and work. So I’ve been using this cold, grey weather to my advantage. And I’ve been working my little ars off.
Think about what makes you happy. What do you actually enjoy doing? Figure out how you can use your talents, your passions and your ambition/work ethic to help make the world a more positive place. It will instill a sense of purpose — and make the world bigger than your problems make it appear to be.
I usually start off with a list of small, actionable next steps that will get me closer to where I want to be. It’s easy to get caught up in the grand plan, but sometimes that just makes it all seem further away, or unattainable. Think rationally, think next steps, think about what you can do tomorrow, next week, next month – to eventually make those goals happen.
Pick up a new hobby or project that you’ve been putting off for months or years. Use this opportunity to pursue your passions, and turn this negative energy into motivation.
Keep yourself busy, yes – but don’t just keep yourself busy doing random things that aren’t helping build your future and/or happiness. Use this time wisely. Do things that make sense. Start creating the life that you want to live.
3. Be responsible to your body.
Put good things into your body, and you’d be amazed at how much good will come out.
This isn’t about being a crazy health nut and preventing yourself from indulging in things every once in a while. It’s about being mindful about your body, and focusing on becoming stronger — mentally AND physically.
I remember when food used to be an outlet for me. Whenever I was feeling stressed, I’d eat food (and probably drink too much alcohol) that I knew was bad for me. Not because it didn’t taste like heaven in a spoonful (or bowl-ful), but because it was excessive and full of junk.
And I’d wake up the next day feeling sluggish, heavy, tired and unmotivated to get out of bed.
I’ve come to acknowledge the signs that my body was giving me — realizing that the things I put into my body also affect me emotionally. Do you think I felt better after binging on late night pizza and too many tacos? No one feels good hungover. And food coma is a real thing. I’d wake up feeling guilty for having all of that food, and then feel worse about myself after it all.
When I eat better, I feel better. And when I feel better, I’m happier and healthier.
During the winter, your body is obviously more susceptible to getting sick. And there’s nothing worse than dealing with cold and flu symptoms when you’re trying to get out there and maintain your life.
Now if you DO get sick, stay prepared. Here are a few of my cold weather self-care necessities:
- Advil Cold & Sinus — Trusted for cold and sinus symptom relief if/when I get sick. (Always use as directed, obviously — feel better, then get back out there!)
- Lemon + Ginger — I slice both and put them in a pot, pour hot water and steep for homemade tea.
- Scented Candles — Lavender for relaxation + eucalyptus for stress relief.
- Clementines — Easy to peel and full of Vitamin C. Plus they’re cute.
- Face Masks — To keep my skin hydrated + fresh-looking even though I probably feel like death (I’m in bed anyway, so why not take advantage?).
4. Stay physically active.
Get your blood pumping and find ways to stay as physically active as possible. I’m not going to spit out a whole bunch of facts talking about the health benefits of physically activity. We’re all adults here, we know it’s good for you. We just don’t always make time for it.
I never used to work out all the time. I was never an athlete. And I think that’s because I hadn’t developed those habits when I was younger.
But I hadn’t been giving exercise/physical activity a real shot at making me feel better. It’s almost like I thought it would make me feel worse for some weird reason. This is because I didn’t prioritize myself.
Physical activity doesn’t just help your body look great in whatever you’re wearing. It is proven to help your mind. Whenever I feel stressed or worried about something, I do something physically active. I go to the gym to exercise, go skateboarding or do some yoga in my room.
I’ve also recently dedicated a lot more of my time to yoga. In just the past few weeks, I’ve felt a change in my body, and my mind.
And the best part about it is that it’s time well spent – not only because it gets me fit, it also prevents me from over-thinking about my problems. For the time you’re engaging your body in some calorie-burning, strengthening activity, you’re less consumed in the stresses of your life.
Your head starts to clear, you notice your body getting stronger, and you’ve discovered a healthy outlet for the negative energy you’ve been experiencing.
5. Embrace the down time.
I think the most important part about all of this, though — is the down time. It’s the time when we finally give ourselves a break. It’s the time that we learn to cherish because we’ve worked so hard to get here.
It’s about finding balance in work, love and life. It’s patting yourself on the back for a job well done. It’s the extra piece of dark chocolate you get because you’ve been at it so hard this week. This is the time when you get to feel freedom.
What does freedom feel like to you?
Is it an escape from the cold? Booking a short trip to a warm weather destination? Is it meditating outside by the sea, or hiking your favorite trail on the weekend? Maybe it’s curling up and reading a nice book, or going to the spa just ’cause you feel like you deserve it. Learn to embrace the time you have alone. And prioritize it.
Because no matter how much yoga, work, physical exercise and healthy eating you do — if you don’t give yourself the time to relax and unwind — you’ll just become a super high-energy (or low-energy) health nut workaholic who still doesn’t know how to RELAX.
So let’s get balanced. Let’s get healthier — mentally AND physically — and let’s not ever forget to love ourselves.
Thank you so much for reading this post. Follow @projectinspo on facebook and instagram for more motivational + uplifting posts.