Although self-care is important year-round, it’s especially important during the cold winter months. Wintertime self-care can be rough, especially for those of us who live in the north or Midwest. Frigid temperatures, gray skies, and early nighttime can take a toll.
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Many people get excited when autumn hits. They love the idea of cooler temps, sweater weather, pumpkin-spiced everything, and the upcoming holidays. By the time the winter holidays arrive, though, the excitement is usually gone, and we still have months of winter to go.
It’s important to find ways to de-stress and relax, especially if you’ve been run ragged with holiday prep. Moms spend a ton of time making this season special for everyone else, but it's easy to forget about yourself.
The holidays can add an extra layer of stress to your life, so you want to keep in mind ways to relax and de-stress during this time of year. Let’s take a look at some wintertime self-care for these long, cold months.
Regardless of what it’s like outside, find ways to be cozy warm inside. Take a hot shower or bath and put on your fuzzy, comfy clothes. Grab a hot drink like hot chocolate or coffee. Curl up under a blanket and watch TV, read, or take a nap. Being warm is a great way to care for yourself when the temperature dips below freezing.
Create a bedroom oasis
Your bedroom is an excellent place to plan for coziness. Fluffy blankets and pillows and flannel pajamas go hand in hand to keeping you cozy and warm. After the holidays you can hit sales for a new mattress if you need one, but it’s also a good time to replace linens and comforters.
Maintain your schedule
The holidays are brutal on schedules and routines. The kids don’t have school and extra-curricular activities. Your work schedule might be different. Everyone gets days off. While you’re grateful for the additional time with family, it’s hard to keep up with your routines. Maintaining your regular routines as much as possible will help you feel better. Go to bed and wake at the usual time, even though you might not need to. Use the extra time to do some other wintertime self-care things like write in a journal or meditate.
Go for a walk if it’s safe to do so without worrying about frostbite. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block, the crisp, cold air can be invigorating (plus, you’ll have a reason to warm up again). But if going outside is not for you, you should still try to get some movement in your day. Find a video on YouTube of a workout that looks like fun or just put on some music and dance around. Exercise (regardless of the shape it takes) gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing so your mood is better.
Change your diet
I am not about the make a resolution to lose weight kind of person. However, we all tend to indulge in many things over the holidays. While you should monitor what you eat, it might make more sense to enjoy yourself, but make plans to change things once life gets back to normal. Create a new meal plan. Try some new recipes. A menu plan will help you control your portions and what you consume to make it easier to avoid junk.
If you decide that now is a good time to try to lose weight, I strongly urge you to find a system that will work for your personality and lifestyle so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Try a day spa
For many of us visiting a day spa is a luxury. Between the cost and arranging time away from the house and kids, it’s something that we have a hard time justifying for ourselves. But maybe think of it as a gift to yourself for the holidays. Whether you just go in for a facial and manicure or you are able to spend a whole day getting treatments, it’s a nice escape after the hectic holiday weeks.
Skincare is paramount
I am a very white Irish girl. My skin hates the winter. Cold air and wind are harsh on your skin. Make sure you use moisturizer daily to keep your skin from becoming itchy and irritated. You don’t need to use something fancy, and if you have sensitive skin like I do, the fancy stuff is irritating. Keep it simple. Your skin will thank you.
Keep a positive mindset
Instead of thinking about how dark and dreary it is, think about positive things. The snow is beautiful. The nights are quiet and peaceful, which makes it easier to rest. You can use the silence as a time for reflection. In addition, since it’s so cold, your family and kids might be around more and you can use that time to be with them.
Winter comes every year and it often becomes a season for us to retreat from everything. Instead of hiding out for a few months, consider using this time to nurture yourself. Practice wintertime self-care as a means to get ready for the new year. It’s time to start fresh, but it all begins with taking care of ourselves.
Free Self-Care Journal
Here’s a free journal to help you work on getting over the guilt for practicing self-care. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you will get a free downloadable journal.