I believe in the winter, even more than any other time of year, it’s important to care for ourselves a little extra. It’s cold, we’re stuck inside a lot more, and the shorter days can be draining. We need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others so we can be at our best too. And man, we are in the depths of winter here in the PNW! Our climate doesn’t change too much from a windy and wet winter to an icy and snowy winter wonderland. Guess which one we got this year?! NOT the latter. I don’t prefer the cold much this time of year, but in the summer I flip flop. I guess I’m glad we have even a few seasons here though.
The things I enjoy doing the most are the ones I try to incorporate into my week regularly, but especially in the winter. Here are some of the self-care I like to incorporate:
Drinking hot tea
Hot drinks are more popular in the winter, but I’m really loving hot tea. I love drinking it at night. Hot tea is also great when I have a headache or just want to relax. Try different kinds of tea and find one you like. Not all teas are the same.
Reading a good book
I go through phases of reading a lot, and then not really reading much. This month, I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. The wonderful thing about reading is that there are so many different types of books. If you’re reading a novel or other kind of story, be present with it and allow yourself to escape reality for a little while. Choose a book in a warm setting during the winter to take it one step further.
Napping with big blankets
Luxuriously big blankets are great for naps. When the weather isn’t great, taking a nap can make things better. Getting rest, especially when you need it, is a great way to feel refreshed again when it’s cold outside.
Treating yourself to spa like activities at home
This could be face masks, scrubs, moisturizers, hair masks, taking a bath with bath salts or bath bombs, taking a shower or doing your nails at home. Whatever it is you like to do for your body, skin or nails can be an awesome way to care for yourself in the winter.
Making homemade meals or comfort food
Taking the time to make a hot meal or my favorite comfort food is another great thing to do. Mac n cheese, tacos, chicken divan casserole, soups and meatloaf are a few things I love. If you love to bake, bake some goodies. It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe either! Try mug cakes that you can make in the microwave for something quick and easy.
Watching your favorite movies
We have so many streaming options these days, it’s crazy! There is always something that you can sit down and enjoy. Make an event of it by popping some popcorn or a healthy treat to eat while watching.
Connecting with friends (or disconnecting when needed)
Feeling alone is easy right now, so making the effort to connect with friends is one of the biggest forms of self-care you can do. Get on the phone with them or connect on Zoom. Sometimes you need to disconnect from friends too. Do whichever one you need at the moment.
Listening to music
With music apps at your fingertips, you can create playlists for every mood or just random ones too. Have a dance party, learn the lyrics and sing along (those can be found online too), or lay back and allow yourself to get lost in the music you love.
Time with pets
Playing with your pets is also a refreshing way to care for yourself in the winter. They will love it and so will you. Cuddling with them is extra cozy when it’s cold outside too.
What is your favorite way to practice self-care in the winter? I would love to hear what you do in the comments below.