Winter Self-Care Ideas and Tips To Make Winter Easier
First, a question, is self-care different during the winter months?
Changing the type of self-care you do for the seasons is similar to how you make adjustments to what you wear each season. Winter self-care just requires a little bit of tweaking compared to summer self-care or other seasons. You need a little extra care taken during the winter months to equal a healthier you. So what are some of the best tips for how to survive the winter months with self-care?
Self-care can help you stay healthy and productive, but it can also give you energy to get through the day. Between work, errands, and all the other task, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.
That’s why it’s important to make self-care a priority during the winter months. Here are some winter self-care ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine to make sure you’re taking care of yourself this season.
To Thrive in the Winter, Focus on Your Mental Health
How can I protect my mental health in winter?
No other season has the ability to wreak as much potential havoc for our mental health than winter does with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression (aptly abbreviated SAD). If you want to know more about SAD, you can read more here: National Institute of Mental Health on Seasonal Affective Disorders.
The lack of sunlight and therefore less Vitamin D, can make you feel even worse. Cold, snowy weather can also mean you aren’t able to get together with your loved ones as much either. This can give you a hit in the social department too.
The gloomy winter months can leave people feeling like they are in a funk. If you have the winter blues, one of the best things you can do is talk to a mental health professional.
Getting Through Winter Unscathed Means You Need to Focus on Your Physical Health Too
The next thing you want to do is to make sure you are taking the best possible care of yourself physically too.
How can I take better care of myself in the winter?
Consider taking vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin D to help your immune system
Did you know a recent study found we have less protection from viruses in the winter due to cold air damaging our immune system’s response?
It has to do with our immune system (and our noses in particular) not being able to put up as coordinated a fight as they would under warmer circumstances. You have more of a possibility of getting sick with viruses in the winter cold air due to this.
I know I sound like your Mom – wear a scarf or you’ll catch a cold, but turns out she was mostly right after all. You can read more about this study here “Cold Air Damages Immune Response in Nose”.
Keep getting enough sleep
There is one plus side to it being dark for longer, more opportunity to sleep in your cozy bed! If you feel like your sleep hygiene needs a reboot, see “How to Sleep Well and Why it Matters”.
Continue to go to your physical check-ups
The beginning of the year and the winter months can mean a good opportunity to make sure you have all of your regular check-ups complete. This article, “Take Care of You – Physically” is a good place to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.
Make time for exercise
It can be so easy to want to abandon exercising during the winter months, but it is so important! The shorter hours of daylight can mean it is dark when you leave or return home from work or school, exacerbating the problem.
However, you don’t have to suffer from a lack of exercise because you can’t get outside as much or don’t want to brave the elements when the weather is bad. There are an abundance of options you can do from the comfort of your own home, like YouTube fitness videos in between tasks like helping the kids with their homework or doing loads of laundry. Or, you could go to your local fitness club for a swim or go for a walk in your neighborhood.
You can also do the things you can only do in the winter months like ski, ice skate, take a walk in the snow, etc. Not only does exercise keep your body healthy, but it also releases endorphins that will lift your mood and energy levels, and remember any physical activity counts.
Keep eating healthy
Just because it is sweater weather and we can cover up more of ourselves, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should over indulge in unhealthy food. See if you can find seasonal vegetables and fruits you can eat or get for a reasonable price.
If you can’t find fresh fruits and vegetables for a good price, you can always buy frozen. You can easily make a healthy smoothie from frozen fruit, yogurt, spinach, and whatever else you want to throw in (here is a great recipe for a smoothie you can make at home).
Soups are also a great way to incorporate a lot of vegetables into your diet. The main thing is to try to not have too much junk food and sugar with the cookies, cakes and other comfort foods that are so abundant around the holidays, although it is so tempting!
Get some fresh air outside
Try to get outside everyday even if it is just to get some fresh air and change your perspective. With temperatures dropping below zero in many areas during wintertime, venturing outside may seem like a daunting task — but it doesn’t have to be!
Bundle up in layers and head outdoors for a short walk or jog around the block—it doesn’t have to be more than 10 minutes if that’s all you have time for. Getting some fresh air will do wonders in boosting both your mood and energy levels.
While hibernating during the winter months may sound appealing at first, getting outside can actually do wonders for our mental health. Fresh air and sunshine are great natural mood boosters that can help alleviate feelings of stress or depression. So bundle up, go for a walk around your neighborhood, or take your kids sledding—whatever gets you out in nature!
For Winter Self-Care, Make the Most of the Time Indoors Too
Because you will be spending so much time inside, try to make your home as cozy as possible for the season. You want to surround yourself and those around you with as much light as possible from the outside during the shorter days daylight hours.
Enjoy more cozy time
If you enjoy “cozy” time, this is your season. Especially if you are an introverted type who likes to read or watch Netflix rather than going out. Try and make your home as cozy as possible by curling up in a soft blanket, pulling on your fuzzy socks, and drinking something warm like hot tea or coffee.
Spend more quality time with your loved ones
Self-care doesn’t always mean doing something alone—it can also involve spending quality time with those closest to you. Making the most of the long stretches of uninterrupted time indoors can be a great time to do a puzzle, play a board game, watch a movie or bake some cookies together.
What you do doesn’t matter as much as who you are doing it with in these instances. Spending time with your family and friends can be one of the best ways to lift your spirits during winter’s colder months.
Treat yourself to a relaxing, warm bath
Taking a hot bath is an easy way to relax your body and mind after a long day. Adding some essential oils (like Eucalyptus – a revitalizing scent for anytime but especially good in the winter) and Epsom salts can help reduce stress and promote better sleep.
If you can, try to give yourself at least 20 minutes in the bath so you can truly relax and unwind. If you want more ideas for ways to pamper yourself in the bath, check this out.
Take excellent care of your skin
The winter weather and heat indoors can do a number on our skin. One of the first things you want to do is to add more moisture to the air in your home by using a good humidifier, which work by increasing the humidity in your home.
If you are feeling dry and scaly, treat yourself to a moisturizing face mask. Not only is this an enjoyable activity, but it can also provide huge benefits for your skin. Find a mask that works best with your skin type, then take some time to kick back and enjoy your own mini spa treatment.
You also may want to switch up your usual lotion for one that is more hydrating and intensive for the winter months. My hands are washed so often they get really chapped, so I love the Ahava brand of hand lotion, Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream.
It gets used on repeat at my house in the winter months. I also use Burt’s Bees lip balm in Pomegranate multiple times a day as well.
And, last but not least, slather on the lotion and moisturizers. Another one to try, Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion with Almond Oil for the body.
Try Out A New Hobby or Craft
Winter is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby that you’ve been wanting to try out. Whether it’s painting, knitting or learning an instrument, if you can dedicate even just 15-30 minutes per day towards something creative it is sure to bring some joy into your life.
And while you are working on projects you enjoy, you will also be providing yourself some much needed stress relief. If you can’t think of anything you want to do, try reading “Bored, How to Find Your Next Hobby”.
Take Some Alone Time For Yourself Too
Don’t be afraid to take some time each day to focus on something solely for yourself—whether it’s reading a book, listening to music, or writing in your journal. Make sure that whatever activity you choose is something that brings you joy and peace.
And if you find yourself overwhelmed with stress and anxiety? Don’t forget the power of deep breathing exercises; they’re quick and easy ways to destress in minutes!
Try to Practice Gratitude for a Change in Mood
Learning to have an attitude of gratitude cannot be overstated. When life gets stressful, try to shift your focus away from the things going wrong and take a moment to appreciate what’s going right.
You can start by writing down three things everyday that make you happy or thankful. It doesn’t have to be big things, it can be small things too. For example, enjoying a cup of coffee alone in peace or petting your dog.
Practicing gratitude will help remind us to find our joy in the basic things of life.
For the best success, plan your self-care ahead
One of the best ways to make sure you prioritize your own needs is by planning ahead. Challenge yourself to set aside time each week for yourself and stick to it. If you need help in this area, check out the “My Self-Care Planner”.
Plan your days with the
An undated, yearly planner for all your self-care needs
Your self-care time as outlined above can be whatever you want. Ideas can range from reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or going for a walk outside in the snow.
Whatever activity you choose, make sure that it’s something that brings you joy and helps you relax. If possible, try to plan your activities around your family’s schedule in order to make sure you aren’t interrupted.
Why Winter Self-Care is So Important
Winter can be one of the most challenging times of year for people who have difficulty making time for themselves. However, prioritizing self-care can be essential during these cold months when we feel down more often than usual.
By making small changes in our daily routines, we can make sure we’re keeping ourselves healthy inside and out. You deserve it.
A little bit of self-care everyday goes a long way towards helping us stay energized and motivated. So, go ahead and plan some self-care for you today.
Winter Self Care Activities List
A summary list of self-care tips during winter you can try today:
- Consider taking vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin D to help your immune system
- Keep getting enough sleep
- Continue to go to your physical check-ups
- Make time for exercise
- Keep eating healthy
- Get some fresh air outside
- Enjoy more cozy time
- Spend quality time doing inside activities with family and friends
- Treat yourself to a relaxing warm bath
- Take excellent care of your skin
- Try a new hobby or craft
- Take time for alone time too
- Try to practice gratitude for a change in mood too
- For the best success, plan your self-care ahead of time
That’s the quick list of winter self care items you can try. What is your favorite way to practice self-care in the winter? Leave a comment below with your favorite ways.
Here are even more self-care ideas for all seasons!
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While you are here, make sure you grab your copy of the "Self-Care Mini-Guide" to help you figure out how to add self-care to your daily life. Just click the link Loveselfcare Self-Care Mini-Guide to download your guide!