We can all agree that winter presents some unique challenges that can make self-care harder to prioritise.
The colder temperatures, shorter daylight hours, and limited sunlight exposure can affect our mood and motivation, making it harder to stay on track with our wellbeing routines.
It's tempting to succumb to a sedentary lifestyle and indulge in comfort food during this time. However, we're here with 15 ideas to help you navigate through winter and emerge feeling revitalised and in tune with yourself come springtime.
1. Hygge-inspired living Adopt the concept of hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah"), a Danish term for cosy and comfortable living. You could create a cosy nook where you can relax and unwind. Use anything you have on hand like soft blankets, pillows and candles to create an inviting space.
2. Make a spa at home Use essential oils in the shower or bath for a spa-like experience. To boost your energy, try peppermint. To increase your mood, use orange or lemon. For a calming effect, go for lavender.
3. Jump for joy If your office is cold and you feel sluggish in the day, a quick round of 100 jumping jacks will help you warm up and wake up. If jumping jacks aren't possible, Google how to do seated jumping jacks. It's a quick and easy way to boost your energy, get warm and help you save on that energy bill!
4. Do some intuitive body stretches Consider the stretches you do before a class or at the gym and incorporate them into your morning or evening routine. Or Google some qigong movements for a gentle and easy way to strengthen and stretch your body. They're both excellent options to try when you've had a sedentary day.
5. Create a feel-good morning playlist It can be so hard to climb out of bed in the morning when it's cold and wet outside. But pressing play on an energising playlist may help boost your mood and motivation.
6. Embrace the winter sun Seeking out the sun's rays can stimulate vitamin D production, bolstering your immune system and nurturing your bones. It can also boost your serotonin level, essential for combating the winter blues and regulating appetite, memory and sleep.
7. Microwave minutes and kettle time The beauty of this particular ritual is that you don't need to schedule it. Instead, the kettle and the microwave are your cues to pause for a deep, cleansing breath. If you're prone to shallow breathing or holding your breath, a deep breath while waiting is often the best thing you can do for your body.
8. Winter Reading List Curate a selection of books that are perfect for curling up during winter. Mix it with some light, easy reads, inspiring autobiographies, or thought-provoking books to ignite imagination and encourage personal development. Add these books to your Bucket List in your Curation planner.
9. Gratitude for Winter Foster an attitude of gratitude for the unique beauty and opportunities that winter brings. Appreciate the cosy moments, the stillness, and the chance to slow down and reflect during this season.
10. Winter clean-out Take time to declutter and organise your living space for a fresh start to the season. Focus on one area at a time, such as the pantry or the closet. With each item, consider if it serves a practical purpose or brings value to your life. Then create a system like donate, discard or digitalise to help you decide what to do with each item.
11. Bundle up and go for a scenic walk Connect with nature and clear your mind. A scenic walk in nature can have a calming effect and help reduce stress and anxiety. The combination of exercise, fresh air, and the beauty of winter scenery can improve your mood and provide a sense of tranquillity and relaxation.
12. Make warm, nourishing recipes Research and make delicious recipes such as hearty soups, nourishing stews, or healthy baked treats. Set a mission to only use seasonal fruit and vegetables and immunity-boosting ingredients.
13. Send snail mail Take time out to send a handwritten letter of gratitude to a dear friend or a relative. Add small treats like tea bags or a bookmark that are personalised and flat, so they're cheap to post.
14. Get creative Being creative can be therapeutic and bring out your inner childlike joy. Things like painting, drawing, knitting, or scrapbooking can also be social activities you and your friends can bond over. They're terrific for a rainy day indoor activity too. Grab your iPhone or camera for outdoor creativity and experiment with different angles, lighting, and subjects.
15. Review and reflect in your journal Set aside time for introspection and self-reflection on how the year has been so far. Review your goals, gain clarity on your intentions, and see where you may need to realign.
We hope these ideas keep these challenges from hindering your self-care efforts and instead embrace the change of season and find new ways to care for yourself.