Mental and emotional health can be a challenge during the winter months. Without the natural benefits of warmth and light, it’s easy to feel unmotivated or even depressed. Try these four tips to take good care of yourself even when it’s chilly and gray outside.

Exercise

You don’t have to bundle up and go for a run in the sleet, and you don’t have to take out a gym membership either. The truly important thing for mental health is to engage your body. Yoga can be a great indoor exercise technique for when it’s too cold to venture out, and simply paying attention to your body as you stretch, breathe, and balance can be therapeutic. Of course, if you want to jog up and down the stairs or do jumping jacks in the living room, we won’t stop you!

Eat Healthy

Comfort food is great in the winter, and it’s fine to indulge occasionally, but you’ll feel much better if you include a good variety of veggies, grains, and lean proteins in your diet instead of going heavy on the dairy and empty carbs. Cold weather can be a great excuse to try whipping up some healthy meals and hearty soups in your own kitchen.

Get Enough Rest

Nobody can function at full capacity all the time—not even Mother Nature. Just as the earth takes a break from growing and producing during the winter, it can be rejuvenating to make time to relax, unwind, and recommit to those eight hours!

Embrace the Season

Rather than wait anxiously for your summer vacation, why not explore what winter has to offer? The cold months after the holidays are over can be the perfect time for candles, hot baths, and cozy evenings. Why not choose a new book, or try your hand at a craft or hobby?

Winter can be the perfect time to try something new, nurture your creative side, and take time out to practice some much-needed self-care. Done right, it may become your favorite time of year!