Vital Signs: Commit to self-care during the winter months – The Daily Progress

Posted: December 30, 2019 at 8:52 pm

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As we continue through the holiday season, it is good to remember that experiencing the holiday blues can be normal especially after the Christmas season is over. There is so much excitement around the holidays, and after all of the anticipation, it feels like Christmas Day flies by in the blink of an eye. It is common to feel down after the holidays, but there are some self-care strategies you can use to combat it.

Self-care is defined as the deliberate engagement in an activity that promotes your own mental, emotional and physical wellness. Below are a few viable self-care tactics to use as we continue through the holiday season.

Spend time in nature

During winter, it can be hard to find the motivation or even the means to get outside as a result of cold, ice and snow but there are other ways to stay in touch with nature through the season. For instance, listening to nature sounds on your computer, such as the sounds of chirping birds or a running creek, can have a positive effect on your mood. Other ideas for incorporating the outdoors into your daily life include keeping plants in your home or office, displaying pictures of nature in your home or office, or even creating a personal sandbox full of texturized items that remind you of the outdoors.


Another way to promote self-care is practicing mindfulness. A useful and more readily available mindfulness technique is the grounding technique that taps into the five senses. For instance, this could be spending a few extra minutes noticing the way your coffee looks, tastes, smells, feels and sounds as you drink it on your way to work. The primary goal is to remain present in the moment.


Acudetox (auricular acupuncture) is a method of self-care that is rooted in Chinese medicine. There are five specific points in the ear that are needled, each point corresponding to a different emotion and a different part of the body. Sessions generally last about 45 minutes, during which individuals are able to sit quietly without having to speak or listen. Some people draw, journal, sleep, meditate, pray or whatever quiet activity is preferable. Acudetox is proven to be effective for anxiety, cravings (drugs, alcohol, nicotine) and insomnia, as well as symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Region Ten offers Acudetox free to the public from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at 800 Preston Ave.

Saying no

It seems easier said than done sometimes, especially when there is a holiday event around every corner and just not enough time. But it is important to remember that it is OK to say no. Setting limits with family and friends is completely acceptable. Checking in with yourself and knowing when you are feeling overwhelmed is a great skill to learn, and it only gets better with practice.

Be kind to yourself

Finally, as we approach a new year, we are inevitably approaching resolution season. This is the time of year when people promise to diet, exercise, quit smoking, etc. Resolutions tend to carry an all-or-nothing ideology, as in, If I dont lose the weight, Ive failed. Instead of setting resolutions, try setting intentions for yourself. For instance, set an intention to practice patience with others, or to be open to new experiences. The reality is that we are all doing the best we can, so, please, be kind to yourself.

Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling to the point that theres a concern about safety, please contact Region Ten Emergency Services at (434) 972-1800.

Colleen Hoover is an engagement specialist with Region Tens BOOST Wellness Program.

Vital Signs: Commit to self-care during the winter months - The Daily Progress

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December 30th, 2019 at 8:52 pm

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