AD| Most of us have heard of the term self-care, but how many of us stop and think about what it means to us, especially winter self-care when we need to be in tune with ourselves and our moods more than any other time of the year.
Self Care and Why it Matters
Self-care is planned and intentional activities that you do to help you relax, unwind and take a break from the stresses of life. The most important thing to remember about self-care is that it should always be pleasurable and relaxing. You should never force oneself to do something you don’t want to do, even if you think it will be beneficial in the long run.
Self-care can consist of anything, but the most common forms are exercise, relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga, breathing exercises or hobbies that give joy or meaning. Self-care can also include things like seeing a therapist or taking care of one’s physical health by eating right and getting enough sleep.
It’s just being honest with yourself about what you need and allowing yourself time to do that without guilt
What is Winter Self Care?
During the winter season, it is easy for people to feel in a lower mood than the rest of the year. This is because when the temperature drops people have less energy, they are less active and get less daylight. There is a lot of focus on food that is high in sugar and drinking over the festive period which can also contribute to a low mood. Winter self care is about overcoming these obstacles and working towards a healthier lifestyle.
It may seem easier said than done but making these simple changes will help you feel much more energized and happier all year round!
What are Some Essential Elements of Winter Self Care?
Unlike summer, when we can spend much of the day outdoors and soak in the sun, in winter we need to take care of ourselves indoors. And while this can be a challenge in itself, there are many things we can do to make life more bearable during the winter months.
Here are some essentials for self-care during winter:
1) Light candles – There’s something about candles that makes the atmosphere feel warm and comfortable. Lighting some candles before you start your night routine will help you unwind.
2) Put on your favourite pyjamas – There’s nothing like lounging around in your favourite pyjama set to make you feel cosy and relaxed. Choose ones that make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
3) Watch movies – for me, the perfect movie to watch on a cold winters day is the Harry Potter films! I could watch them over and over again and they bring me so much joy! Think about movies that make you happy and watch them! I don’t often allow myself much time to sit back and indulge in TV, so this is a great way for me to switch off and relax.
4) Eat well – I love treats. Chocolates, treats, a glass of red wine! But these things should be moderation. For me, food really does make or break my mood. Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg makes me feel so much better about myself! I know it feels harder in the winter as a salad isn’t as appealing, and cold fruit doesn’t always hit the spot on a freezing day, but find a way around it with stir fry or oven roasted veg.
5) Move your body. Get outside and go for a walk! Or something else that gets you moving! Although spending a day inside relaxing is sometimes a great way to do a bit of self-care, if you are always stuck inside it can make you feel suggest and tired. A refreshing walk on a cold winters morning might be just what you need.
6) Shave your legs and get into fresh bedding. How amazing is that feeling of getting into a clean bed when you’ve just shaved your legs? I often neglect to shave my legs in winter when I do shave, I feel so much better about myself! You could even look for some clinics that offer laser hair removal in London (or wherever you live!) then every time you get into bed you’ll have that fresh feeling, plus you’ll save time and money in the long run as you’ll no longer need to shave! I swear, every Thursday morning before I take Leo swimming I’m rushing around trying to shave my legs because I’ve forgotten.
7) Involve others. A lot of the time we think of self-care as a solitary act. Saying no to an invite out because you need to spend a day alone. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Catching up with friends and family might be an act of self-care. Or a date night with your partner, or some one-on-one time with one of your children. It could be a family trip to pick a Christmas tree or a trip to the movies. Involving others in your self-care plan is a great way to strengthen bonds and remind yourself how many special people you have in your life.
8) Be honest with yourself about your needs. There’s no ‘wrong’ when it comes to winter self-care. If it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it helps you feel better mentally and physically. For some people that might be a bath in a locked bathroom away from the kids for an hour. For others, it might be going out for a meal at a high-end restaurant.
I’d love to hear about how you practise self-care?