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Winter is such an interesting time of the year. After giving thanks in November, we’re flanked on all sides with endless marketing and advertising, persuading us to spend our hard-earned money and time on things we likely don’t need or didn’t even think of buying.
It’s my favorite time of the year, but I consciously choose to steer clear of the madness that comes with the season as best as I can by prioritizing self-care and the things that matter the most. In my case, that’s friends, loved ones, experiences, and moments rather than things and stuff.
Here are 27+ winter self-care tips to get you through the cold months and inspire you to do the things that matter to you most.
27+ winter self-care tips to get you through the cold months
Do some holiday baking.
Baking during the holidays is actually one of my favorite past-times. It makes your home or apartment smell warm and really gets you in the Christmas spirit. I love making eggnog pound cake and I swear by this classic pumpkin bread recipe… it’s like 70 years old so you know it’s a good one.
Take a warm bath.
If you have this option, you should totally take advantage of it. Baths are luxurious, indulgent, soothing, and cleansing for the body and soul. Try an oatmeal bath bomb to take things to the next level. For the traditionalist, here’s an easy how-to for drawing the perfect bath.
Go on a day trip or weekend getaway.
This is probably my favorite thing to do any time of the year, but especially during the winter. I used to live in the Sacramento valley where snow is uncommon, so day or weekend trips up to the Sierra Mountains were a must. There’s something about taking in the scenery of pure snow, so white that it’s almost blue.
Stuck in a wintry region? Consider a weekend getaway or micro vacay to get some sunshine.
Have a holiday movie marathon.
Binge-watching holiday movies is a totally acceptable form of self-care during the winter. Some of my favorites include Home Alone 1 and 2 (3’s not bad, 4’s not worth mentioning) and Love Actually. Harry Potter isn’t exactly Christmas-themed, but it always fits the bill this time of year as far as I’m concerned.
This tip is included on a few of my list posts already like my morning self-care post and this recent post about not overindulging during the holidays. That’s because drinking water is that important though, especially during the winter. We tend to drink less water (and more eggnog and holiday cocktails) when the temps drop.
You can stay hydrated by keeping a (preferably reusable) water bottle nearby. I got this one on Amazon and fill it twice a day. Try water that’s room temperature or warm if that helps. The following tip is helpful too.
Drink a soothing or calming tea.
I’m one of those who enjoys a cup of cream with sugar and some Earl Grey tea. I’ve been drinking more herbal or soothing teas lately with ginger, lemon, and just a touch of honey, and am so glad I’ve finally reached adulthood. Tea is great.
Bundle up and stay warm.
There’s nothing more comforting than wrapping yourself in a big, soft blanket or throw and cozying up in front of a fireplace or heater. Winter’s a good time to whip out the weighted blanket and just be.
Get enough rest.
Winter season is also cold and flu season. Germs are rampant and you’re likely to catch a cold or two yourself. Keep your immune system strong by staying on top of your zzz’s. Should you get sick, getting enough rest helps you heal faster and can shorten your cold or flu.
Go to bed and wake up earlier.
Daylight savings throws a lot of us off as the season transitions, especially when the solstice starts approaching in December. It’s pitch black outside and you look at the time thinking it’s super late. Nah, it’s 4:37 pm.
Follow the rhythm of nature and consider going to bed earlier to wake up more refreshed. If you’re not used to getting six to eight hours of sleep, strive for that amount during the winter to wake up feeling better.
Get zen and meditate.
Meditating during the winter helps combat the gloom and low mood that can follow this time of year. If you’re into mindful apps, I recommend giving Calm a try. I have an annual subscription with them and use it to meditate first thing in the morning and sometimes throughout the day as needed. I’m a huge fan of their sleep Soundscapes as well.
Start a journal.
Journaling is a great way to stay mindful, be more productive, feel happier, and more fulfilled. Try journaling every day for one month and reflect on how you feel afterward. I’ve been eyeing The 6-Minute Diary and can’t wait to give it a go.
Keep winter essentials in your handbag.
Combatting dry skin is never fun times. It doesn’t take long for your hands to get dry, cracked, and scaly, especially during frequent handwashing due to cold, flu, and COVID-19 season.
I always keep a thick hand lotion or cream in my bag during the cold months; I’m a germaphobe so frequent handwashing dries out my hands. This L’occitane En Provence hand cream is made for dry hands and is thick enough to keep my hands hydrated, yet has a light scent and doesn’t feel greasy. I also keep something on my lips and spare mittens or gloves just in case.
Create a cozy corner or sanctuary.
I’m all about creating corners or sanctuaries in the home to get away from it all, de-stress, and decompress. If I’m not enjoying the snowy outdoors or wintry events, I’m probably in my room and sanctuary, catching up on some reading under a blanket with a diffuser or lit candles. Create your own safe space to be calm, comfortable, and at peace during the holiday madness.
Reduce your social media use.
Too much social media definitely has its drawbacks, but especially so during the holidays. Everyone is pushing a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal and it gets to be too much, even for me. Tempering down and using your time for mindful practices or things that matter to you can help you maintain a positive mood.
Spend quality time with friends and loved ones.
Some of that time saved by decreasing social media use definitely goes to friends and family. While the holidays are a notorious time for arguments and political debates when everyone congregates, I actually look forward to it and use it as a time to remind everyone of what’s truly important. 2020, especially,
Tell people you care about what they mean to you.
Tell your friends how much they mean to you and how lucky you are to have them. Tell your family how much you love them. If you have strained relationships or toxic people in your life, this time of year can be a good time to let them know how you truly feel and how their actions affect you. And if reaching out to them is too much, write a letter to them, but instead of sending it, throw it away.
Keep a positive attitude.
The cold months get a bad wrap and understandably so. It’s frigid. The heavy rain and/or snow can be discouraging or an outright pain in the ass. Considering that winters can be long depending on where you are, maybe changing your attitude this time of year can make it all the difference.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a snowy region, think of all the cool winter activities you can do, like ice skating, skiing, and sledding. If you don’t live in the snow, then you can watch funny snow fail videos.
Move your body.
With the weather and all the comfort foods, it’s easy to slack on your fitness or health routine during this time of year. Make it a goal to get up and/or get out 3-5 times a week to keep the body warm and active.
Find ways to embrace the cold.
Get creative during the winter season and try new things to enjoy the colder months. Participate in holiday parties and lighting events in the city or neighborhood. Go to local holiday concerts to get in the spirit. Give your time and attention to those in need by volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating to charity.
Light holiday or winter-themed candles.
One of my favorite self-care go-to’s during the cold season is lighting candles. I’m a huge fan of Voluspa candles and love that they carry scents for the holidays too.
Try a new home workout.
Running or walking outside gets difficult when the temperatures drop and nature’s elements take over. Some of my go-to home workouts have been Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (commonly known as BBG) and Brittne Babe’s 21-Day Challenge. Yoga w/ Adriene’s also a staple of mine.
Diffuse essential oils in your room or home.
I finally jumped on the essential oils wagon and am loving the effects so far. My sister introduced me to it and now I have essential oils for the daytime, as well as a CBD essential oil to help me sleep soundly at night. Definitely consider adding this to your self-care routine if you’re late to the game like me.
Soak up the sun as much as you can.
This is hardly a problem during the summer and that’s why we have higher energy levels in the warmer months. While it’s harder to maintain this in the winter, just 15-30 minutes of sunshine a day can make all the difference. If you have this option, take advantage of it.
Carve out dedicated me time.
With the busyness that comes with this time of year, dedicated me-time should be a non-negotiable of yours in the winter. Be intentional with your self-care and create a routine or have time that’s just for you and don’t compromise it.
Experiment with outdoor winter sports.
Embrace winter to its fullest by trying new outdoor sports. Take advantage of ski and snowboard deals and hit the slopes. Not into the extreme? Tubing and sledding are also great. No snow? Find a local ice-skating rink!
Wear soft comfortable clothes.
There’s no greater feeling than pulling your comfy winter clothes out of their hibernation. I literally enjoy putting on soft fluffy sweaters and leggings, and the comfort my onesie provides. It brightens my mood.
Give your feet some lovin’.
With nail salons still being closed, for the most part, many of us are missing our mani-pedis and all-around pampering. Bring the spa experience home with this bubbling foot spa with massage rollers and a built-in pumice stone. Add spa salts with essential oils to get some aromatherapy benefits.
Make a winter or holiday playlist.
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” will inevitably remain as one of the most popular holiday songs in history and should be on every holiday playlist, but “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is one of my faves. I also enjoy BandAid (“Do They Know It’s Christmas?”), Wham! (“Last Christmas”), and the Beach Boys (“Little Saint Nick”).
Practice these winter self-care tips to make your season special.
Winter is a sacred season and time for me and it takes deliberate and intentional action for me to block out the noise and enjoy this time of year on my terms. Try some of these self-care tips to make it through winter and come out feeling good as new!
What are some of your favorite self-care ideas for this time of year?
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