Let’s be honest – most people don’t really look forward to winter. While the holidays can be exciting, the days are short, and the temperatures are cold, which can make it hard to find the motivation to get through the week. It’s important to take extra care of yourself during the colder months and incorporate some self-care practices into your routine. From indulging in your favorite seasonal beverages to embracing the cold as an excuse to stay indoors, there are plenty of ways to show yourself some kindness and practice self-care this winter when you’re feeling down or stressed out.
Not sure how to shake off the winter blues? Here are fifteen self-care ideas to embrace this winter:
1 – GET A MASSAGE. There are few things more relaxing than a trip to the day spa. Book an appointment for a therapeutic massage at your favorite local spa and pamper yourself a bit!
2 – REREAD YOUR FAVORITE BOOK. Winter is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a warm beverage, and a great book. For an extra dose of comfort, revisit an old favorite.
3 – DRINK MULLED WINE. This warm, spiced red wine is an excellent accompaniment to cold weather and holiday cheer. Make a batch for your holiday potluck, or heat a couple of glasses before you head outside to enjoy a bonfire.
4 – FIND A WAY TO VOLUNTEER. There are plenty of opportunities to get out and give back to those in need during the winter months. Sign up to donate your time at a nearby food bank, donation center or homeless shelter and spend a few hours helping out in your community. If you’d rather give back from the comfort of your home, you can do that, too. Consider writing letters or making cards for kids in hospitals or making blankets to donate to Project Linus.
5 – TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING SMALL. The cold winter months can be harsh on our skin. Splurge on an extra-effective hand cream or moisturizer. When it’s time to apply it, slow down and focus on appreciating the experience.
6 – MAKE A PLAYLIST OF YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY SONGS. The holidays only roll around once a year. Take advantage of it and build a playlist that consists of your favorite holiday tunes. You’ll lift your spirits with every listen.
7 – BUNDLE UP. When the temperatures are low, it’s important to take care of yourself when it’s time to go outside. Make sure you’re sufficiently warm by dressing in layers and choosing the appropriate gear for the conditions. You’ll thank yourself when you aren’t freezing outside!
8 – DO YOGA. Yoga can be a great way to lift your spirits and shake off stress, and it’s something that can be done indoors when it’s too cold to exercise outside. There are plenty of apps and Youtube videos that will walk you through a quick fifteen-minute flow to relax, or you can test yourself with a more extended, more intensive class.
9 – SLEEP IN. You’ll find some of the shortest days of the year fall during the winter months. Embrace the darkness and allow yourself to squeeze in an hour or so extra sleep once in a while.
10 – BUY A HOUSEPLANT. When you’re stuck in the middle of the cold, dead winter, a splash of color and life in your living room might be just what you need to brighten your mood. Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, odds are you can keep bamboo or a succulent alive.
11 – LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of learning how to paint, or build websites? Take a few minutes and treat yourself to a little learning break.
12 – WARM UP WITH A BOWL OF YOUR FAVORITE SOUP. There’s no better time than the winter to treat yourself to a bowl of warm, nourishing soup. Take the time to make your favorite from scratch and enjoy the aromas that fill your kitchen.
13 – MAKE A HOMEMADE GIFT. The holidays typically involve some element of gift-giving, and there’s no better way to show you care than to create something by hand. You’ll have fun and melt away stress as you assemble hot chocolate kits, design coasters, or try your hand at another craft suitable to give as a present.
14 – JOURNAL. Reflecting with a pen and paper can be a great way to embrace self-care, especially if you don’t have a ton of time to spend on yourself. Even a few minutes of writing can help you clear your mind, work through your problems or find your focus.
15 – GET OUTSIDE. This one is especially important if you live somewhere very cold or snowy. Take time to get outside whenever the weather’s acceptable and enjoy some fresh air and sunlight. Spending too much time cooped up inside can make anyone go crazy, so let yourself experience a change of scenery once in a while.
Whether you choose to read a good book, learn something new, or indulge in your favorite cold-weather treats, there are plenty of ways to restore your spirit and replenish your energy. Give some of these self-care tips a try this winter, and you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free season.