Winter Wellness: Your Guide to Self-Love, Self-Growth, and Everything in Between

Winter Wellness: Your Guide to Self-Love, Self-Growth, and Everything in Between

Emily Jedell, Assistant Editor/Social Media/ Schoology

Winter has brought cold weather, quarterlies, and many other daily stresses into our lives. High school is the time to figure out ways we can incorporate self-care into our routines and discover specific rituals that fit within our busy schedules. Self-care is an abstract term that may mean one thing to one person and another to somebody else. Whether you are using the day to practice an instrument, cuddling up with blankets to binge your favorite show, or even just eating a favorite meal, you are feeding your soul in a way that is right for you. There are also other ways to relax, relieve stress, and acknowledge the amazing elements of your life that you can learn about as you keep reading. Along with some key facts on wellness, the insight from Ramapo’s student assistance counselor Ms. Mantashian and Mrs. Perry, our supervisor of guidance, will be sure to advise you on how to lift some of your daily qualms. 

 

Below, you will find some information on how to start improving your life and the way you view it.

 

  • Food and Drinks

Green Tea (Science of Skin)

What we choose to eat and drink on a daily basis impacts our energy, our brain, and our mood. Something as simple as opting for the healthier snack option can be such a small action with a lasting effect. Food can have benefits relating to concentration, reducing anxiety, and energy. Ms. Mantashian advises that “eating refined carbs leads to eating more refined carbs,” so you should try avoiding them as your first meal of the day. Instead of refined carbs for breakfast, head towards yogurt with fruit or oats to ensure your energy won’t crash mid-day. When you are lacking concentration during the school day, Ms. Mantashian says to try eating “…blueberries, dark chocolate, and nuts.” Snacking is important for giving our bodies some extra fuel, and the choices we make should be smart ones. Like Mrs. Perry suggests, try some avocado and sliced veggies for your next snack. Avocados are packed with fiber, potassium, and they prevent diseases, so why not eat them? (Healthline) Tea is a big life-changer, as well. Teas such as green tea are a great alternative to coffee. It won’t make you feel jittery first thing in the morning. Green tea has short and long-term effects: calming anxiety and promoting an extended life with healthier brain function (Healthline). When you are starting a long assignment, make a cup of green tea and take a deep breath.

 

  • Mindfulness 

Person meditating (iStock)

 

Mindfulness comes in many forms. Whether you decide that your daily dose of mindfulness is meditation, a yoga session, or just being in the moment, you are in a mindful state. In terms of meditation, apps like Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer are great because of the variety. For example, Insight Timer is the perfect way to start meditating because one day you might be in the mood for a guided meditation with music, another day you may want a guide without music, and on other days, you may not want a guided meditation at all. The app gives access to all different types depending on the kind of day you are having. Yoga, like many other forms of mindfulness, allows for you to be present but with your body’s movement. Ms. Mantashian has been practicing and says that she “learned that yoga poses improve blood flow, lower cortisol levels, increase immunities, and release tension both physically and emotionally.” Youtube videos, along with the app Yoga for Beginners, have a large range of videos that make starting yoga easy. Picking the time of day that you want to practice is important. If you don’t have a super hectic morning, try incorporating a quick mediation and sun salutation yoga into your routine. If you prefer using mindfulness to wind down before going to bed, try a bedtime yoga paired with a possible gratitude, body scan, or sleep meditation (Health and Yoga). If neither of these options appeal to you, Mrs. Perry would advise that you “connect to Ramapo Relax as well as the Yoga offerings being posted on Schoology.” There are so many ways to be mindful and calm down that will change your overall mood.

 

  • Write it Down 

Bullet journal (Evydraws)

 

Stressed with the assignments you have to complete by the end of the night? Want to share your feelings in a non-judgmental way? Write! Whether your version of writing is in a bullet journal, a diary, or even a sticky note, go for it! Ms. Mantashian recommends journaling for “students who report increased sadness or racing thoughts at night.” This is important because “the nighttime quiet can sometimes make the noise in our heads a little louder,” she says. The act of writing can be turned into a fun hobby. The highlighter and pen choices can be something creative to think about to personalize the journal to your liking. A different, yet alternative way you can make writing part of your daily routine is to manifest. The practice of manifestation is a tricky one that requires belief and patience in your thoughts. A common method is the 3-6-9 method. This means that you come up with something you want in your life and you put it out in the open for yourself (Refinery 29). This manifestation can be written three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine times at night in a way that makes it as if it has already happened in your life. A video better discussing the concept of the method and significance of the numbers is linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsISzs2oNy4&t=2s 

  • Decompress

Relaxing bath (The Tempest)

 

Shutting out the world around us to relax is important to refueling ourselves for the next day ahead of us. Simple tasks like taking a technology break to get some reading in are important to our minds. To step up your reading game, try to start a book that you will enjoy. Some thought-provoking book topics are philosophy, the meaning of life, and even a book filled with many relatable poems. Taking a bath, along with a skincare routine, is a simple way to allow your outer body to match how you feel on the inside. If the time is appropropriate, a great way to wind down is to binge a favorite show with a family member or alone, or watch a new movie you have waited to see. Basically, the message here is to do anything that makes you happy and relaxes you. Try baking, painting, or even writing a song or poem because it will let yourself incorporate your creativity into an activity that is therapeutic.

 

  • Essentials 

Essential oils (About Her)

 

Essential oils are easy to diffuse scents into the air or roller essential oils are great to keep on-hand to put on your wrists,” says Mrs. Perry. Some popular options include lavender, which promotes a relaxing sleep, grapefruit, which is refreshing and detoxifying, lemon, which is uplifting, and ylang ylang, which is great for stress relief (Performance Health). Along with many other essential oil scents, these oils can be used in a variety of ways. Before you lay your head down on your pillow, spritz a lavender pillow mist, and the scent will be sure to prepare you for sleep. Diffuser bracelets or room diffusers are other options as well. The numerous ways these oils can enhance your mood makes it a good idea to keep one handy at all times. The quickest and most direct usage is on your wrists (Healthline). Eucalyptus and peppermint roll-on oils are great for on-the-go because of the benefits such as easing any tension you may have. If essential oils interest you, begin experimenting with scents to learn which ones uplift you personally, so you can figure out how you want to use them. 

 

  • Maintenance 

Clock (Unsplash)

 

You have all these ways to turn your day around, but how do you keep it up? Setting times for waking up and going to bed that are near identical every day makes a routine successful. It allows your body to adjust and feel more prepared to be productive. Mrs. Perry also suggests to “build in time to exercise” daily, but it is also okay to allow yourself at least one rest day per week. Routines will be changed and molded to fit the events of the day and inconveniences that will possibly occur. Even if there have to be adjustments made to a day, Ms. Mantashian says, “Maintaining a routine allows us to feel like we have some control.” Once you have mapped out your routine, see how you feel after a week and continue to tweak it. It will start to become more natural and the benefits will become very transparent.