Let’s talk about our Winter self-care! Winter has always been my least favorite season. I used to dread all of the brown gloominess (we barely get snow here). Being stuck indoors, that killer wind and freezing temperatures, it’s just always so sad. I’ve learned to like it though. It took me a long time to realize that the reason that I hated it was because it made me face myself. Winter is by nature, isolating, and when you don’t like yourself that isolation feels like agony.
And when you’re a shy introvert who finds it difficult to make friends? All the holiday stuff just makes it feel even lonelier. Winter and I have come to a place of peace, a place of tentative friendship, and over the last few years, I’ve learned that there are a lot of ways to love it and to love myself.
Here are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care while honoring the themes of winter.
1. Use towels right out of the dryer after a shower. There is nothing worse than climbing out of the nice warm shower and into the cold, freezing, air. Pop your bathrobe or towels into the dryer so they’re all warm and toasty when you get out.
2. Invest in (or make!) a good moisturizer. Dry skin is no joke. I use a recipe similar to this one and I add lavender essential oil to it.
3. Find a good winter hobby. I love reading in bed but one of my other favorites are jigsaw puzzles. I can get lost for hours and it’s a great stress reliever, especially if you’re having a day of high anxiety.
4. Watch a fireplace ASMR video. We all know the fireplace in the log video. There are also so many more. I really adore the Christmas at Hogwarts ones!
5. Make your home smell more festive. Cinnamon is a wonderfully warm scent!
6. Embrace hibernation. Have a day of hygge.
7. Treat yourself to a new pair of slippers, sweaters, socks, scarves or pajamas! Fuzzy socks are my favorite!
8. Go for a nature walk. Extra points if you have a delicious warm beverage in a travel mug.
9. Give yourself a massage or use a heating pad on sore muscles.
10. Do a comfy yoga routine. You don’t have to do yoga like you see on tv or in magazines or on Instagram. Light some candles, put some blankets on the floor and just lay there being present. Try “Yoga for the Winter Blues”. There are also tons of other great videos for anxiety and stress on the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel!
11. Read a book while curled up in bed.
12. Drink something warm like tea or make a mug of fancy hot chocolate.
13. Make a playlist of holiday music and listen to it as you drift off to sleep.
14. Have a lazy day where you spend the whole day doing a whole lot of nothing.
15. Bake cookies and hand them out in cute little bags to the ones you love.
16. Make a cozy nest. I love pushing my couch and loveseat together so they’re facing each other and creating one gigantic couch full of blankets and pillows. It’s super comfy!
17. Look at Christmas lights. Drive around or take a walk around your neighborhood and just enjoy the effort people took to create something pretty for you to look at!
18. Face an inner shadow. Is there something that you’re struggling with? Something you don’t like about yourself? Winter is a time for introspection. Go within and take some time to process and deal with what’s going on inside of you.
19. Get more sleep. Take advantage of the darkening days. See if you can make it to bed 30 minutes earlier. You can also try out this fancy alarm clock which will simulate sunrise if you have to wake up early in the morning!
20. Make peace with your body.
This season, we tend to be harder on ourselves about our bodies. Practice body acceptance. Love every inch of yourself.
21. Change your scenery! Do a little bit of redecorating. Add brighter lighting or maybe you’re in the mood for something softer and more relaxing like candles? Warmer colors? Brighter colors? What are you in the mood for?
22. Make a get-well-kit! ‘Tis also the season for colds and the flu. Make yourself a little box of things that will make you feel better so that in the event you do get sick you won’t have to go out for the things you need and you can stay home and rest.
23. Start a blog or write a new blog post. This is a great time to just reflect on where you are right now and writing is a great way to do that.
24. Check in with where your stress and overwhelm levels are. What situations do you need to step away from or where can you shift or share some of your responsibilities?
25. Get a birdfeeder or put a dish of bird food outside and see how many different types of birds come to visit you.
26. Write your own holiday story or if you’re an artist (or even if you aren’t!) draw, doodle, or paint something winter themed!
27. Do something that you enjoyed doing as a kid. Snow angels, crafts, cookie decorating! Do something fun!
28. Get a heated blanket or make your own foot warmer. Put it where your feet go right before bed so there’s no freezing toes!