Beat the February BLAHS
Is this month getting you down? You’re not alone. We all know that Blue Monday is supposedly the darkest day of the year, but studies show February is even worse—because it’s a whole month long. The days are dark and cold, with little to look forward to. Stats show that nearly 25% of the population here in Canada suffers from some form of seasonal affective disorder. So I thought, why not share some of my best tips to get yourself through these bleary days and brighten your mind, body and soul? Slap on a sheet mask while you read through my tips.
B – Blues
Let’s start with tackling those February blues. A key way you can lift your mood is by writing down a goal — something you can look forward to, that only YOU can make happen. I love a cute notebook, especially the ones at Indigo that are so pretty you can’t help but want to jot down thoughts or a goal-setting book. Every day, take a few minutes to write down your goal, and how you’re getting one step closer to it. You can do this in the bath! Baths are so important this month, for keeping warm. Warm body, happier head.
Believe it or not, research has proven that if you smell a pleasant scent your mood improves about 40%. Which – if you are feeling really low that can swing you in the opposite direction. I love my Sage atomizer, as well as roll-on scents. Lavender is my favourite, but you should worry less about what the scent is “supposed” to do, and choose one that you love.
Finally meditation can help lift your mood – ten minutes is the ideal length of time but even just a few minutes with your eyes closed, focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind can help with anxiety, worry and stress. Having some visual reminders like this meditation pillow to meditate can really help inspire you to spend a few minutes meditating.
L – Lips
Back during the second world war, women started wearing liptick as a way to radiate optimism and it’s still true that a pop of colour can brighten our skintone and our moods. I love a lip balm this time of year. Right now I’m obsessed with these Dior Lip Glow Reviver Balms that interact with your own pH level to complement your skin tone.
A – Aging skin
With the cold weather and dry indoor heating, cozy fireplaces and hot showers - our skin gets really dehydrated in the winter, and our fine lines and wrinkles end up being exaggerated. Even when you're cleansing your skin you want to look for a cleanser that hydrates. The key is to look for a creamy cleanser because it's going to cleanse without stripping your skin. I really like Dermalogica’s Intensive Moisure Cleanser, which is light and creamy and removes impurities while nourishing dry skin. It contains coconut and murumuru seed butter which help lock in moisture. When you're moisturizing your skin you want to look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, since it's an excellent way to hydrate. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I love a sheet mask. The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth masks are one of my favourites for a few reasons – the concentrate is infused with three plant stem cells to enhance your own skin cell renewal. My skin always feels so soft and radiant after using a sheet mask. Also these ones are biodegradeable so you can toss them in your compost bin, which is nice because I know that there’s a concern with waste in these type of single-use products.
H – Hair
Our hair can get really dried out in winter from being exposed to the cold outside and dry indoor heating. The best remedy? Leave-in conditioner and hair masks. I also like adding a scoop of collagen powder to my coffee in the morning — it boosts hydration and I’ve really seen a difference in my hair, as well as my skin and nails.
S – Sleep
We know how important sleep is – especially for how we feel but also for the physical cues that we’re tired like dark undereye circles. In winter there’s a tendency to want to hibernate but actually you want to get the same amount of sleep in winter as you do in summer so that you don’t feel too sluggish. The best way to get a better night’s sleep is to put your phone away at least an hour before bed (buh-bye, Instagram!) and to spritz a pillow spray on your pillow in a soothing scent like lavender, which will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.