Winter can be a difficult time, both on our bodies and our minds. Cold temperatures and strong, chilly winds can dry out our skin and lips and the grey skies and short days can wreak havoc on our mental balance and Vitamin D levels. Just as we switch up our wardrobes and welcome the winter season, it might also be a good idea to switch up your self-care rituals with the seasons too.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of self-care for a while, now might just be the best time to finally embrace a wellness self-care routine, just in time for winter. As the seasons change so do our metabolisms, mood, hormones and even sleep patterns so it’s probably a good idea to change up our wellness routines too in order to truly embrace the new seasons. Switching up your self-care rituals can also provide balance and harmony with nature and our surroundings. Here are some wonderful winter self-care rituals in order to achieve optimum well-being during the colder months.
When it comes to choosing winter self-care rituals and sticking to them, make sure they suit you and your schedule and lifestyle. You don’t have to do everything in this post, just what you have time for and what makes you feel good. Remember that self-care is also about finding peace and not stressing out over trying to cram more into our day.
It’s said that having a morning routine has been shown to decrease stress levels and improve productivity but don’t worry if you’re not a morning person or simply don’t have time. Having a great evening routine can be just as beneficial. Make your winter self-care rituals YOURS.
WINTER SELF-CARE RITUALS
TAKE A WARM BATH
After a cold and perhaps rainy, grey day there’s nothing better than slipping into a warm bath right before bedtime. Taking a bath is both relaxing and it can enhance your sleep too. For added benefits, you can add essential oils to soothe the mind and Epsom salts which have healing and detox effects on the body. Moreover, running a bath provides an opportunity for you, a time for relaxation all to yourself. You can use this time to just forget about the stresses of the day or practise gratitude and deep breathing.
One of the best ways for the body to wake up is with some gentle yoga to slowly nudge it out of its stiffness and slumber. Practising yoga first thing in the morning means you start your day with movement with is critical to overall health. A great morning flow will also start to move blood around your body, warming you up from the inside- perfect for if you still haven’t put your heating on. Setting aside some time for morning yoga or a morning routine can also make you more productive throughout the day and gives you some peace in the morning to get centred and emotionally ready for the day.
START AN INDOOR GARDEN
Winter automatically means less time spent outside and especially now, in the grips of a global pandemic, there’s never been a better time to bring nature inside to you. Not only do house plants breathe in our carbon dioxide and purify the air with more oxygen, but they are also able to provide us with a feeling of peace and tranquillity similar to being in a forest. Just the sight of that deep green colour automatically adds an organic, calm element to the home which can help to promote peace and relaxation. Adding just a few plants to the main rooms in your home can make all the difference.
Morning meditation is something I personally swear by to feel more mindful, appreciative and grounded throughout the day. While meditation has its benefits throughout all seasons, our intentions might change with the winter months. If you already meditate you might think about shifting energy throughout your practice as the seasons change. Alternatively, there’s never been a better time to start and add it into your self-care rituals, mediation can help to reduce stress, improve mood and it can also help you become more positive and aware of how you react to certain situations. During the winter months, I personally love to add warmth to my meditation practice by lighting a few candles and popping some wintry, Christmasy essential oils in the diffuser.
SWITCH UP YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
The colder weather can have a profound effect on your skin often drying it out and leaving it cracked and chapped. While those light, oil-free serums may have worked wonders for your skin in the summer, you might find your needs changing in the winter. It might be a good idea to change up your winter skincare routine to include light yet more hydrating moisturisers, hydrating lip balms and using hydrating hair masks more frequently to protect hair from rain and icy winds. We all have different skin needs that vary throughout the changing seasons so consider this your reminder to look closely into yours as the months get colder.
LIGHT A CANDLE
Whether you have 30 minutes to relax or just five, the simple act of lighting a candle can transform your room and your mind. Focusing on the dancing, flickering flame is your cue to perhaps breathe deeply, meditate for a little while or just clear your head from the day’s events. With just this one simple winter self-care ritual you’ll have stolen a few peaceful moments for you.
By keeping well hydrated throughout the day, you’re helping your body to perform at its optimum. Being well hydrated will keep your energy levels up, headaches at bay and can also help with stomach issues. In the winter it’s often easy to forget about drinking water as we’re not as thirsty as in the summer however staying hydrated can improve our skin in the winter too, making it less dry and cracked.
If you still haven’t made the move to a plastic-free usable water bottle, I highly recommend this one from LARQ. Having a water bottle also means that you’ll also be able to keep track of your daily water intake.
COOK UP A HEALTHY FEAST
Winter for many means more hearty and warming fare and perhaps a few more calories too as the body needs more energy to keep warm. At this time it’s easy to start eating unhealthy but make sure you stick with warming yet natural and wholesome meals like stews, curries or soups. Spend some time in the kitchen this winter cooking up a healthy feast for a significant other or for your family. The process of preparing food is something everyone can join in with and focusing on chopping, tasting different flavours and stirring a soup for example can also be a very meditative experience.
PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE
Less time outdoors means more time indoors and on our devices but make sure you don’t let mindless scrolling eat up your day. Use social media consciously and when you have some free time without letting it consume your evening. Put down your phone, preferably far away out of your grasp and consciously use that time productively. Setting your phone down for a few hours each night and before you go to sleep can help improve sleep patterns and reduce stress as well as overall eye health. It will also provide you with some time to truly connect with your loved ones and establish other self-care rituals.
TAKE A SHORT, BRISK WALK
We naturally move less in the winter, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on exercise altogether. With the weather permitting, getting out daily for a brisk walk will fill the lungs with fresh cool air and it gets the heart rate going. Going for a walk can also better connect you with nature and what’s around you improving stress levels, productivity and general motivation. Connecting with nature can also greatly improve your mood, especially if you take yourself out for a walk on a lovely, sunny day.
Dry brushing might just be the newest wellness craze but this self-care ritual does carry countless of benefits so you might want to give it a try. Not only does it give you the opportunity to spend some quality downtime with yourself, but it also increases circulation, gives you softer and smoother skin, exfoliates the skins and leaves you feeling invigorated and energised- perfect for the upcoming colder months when your skin could do with a little more love than usual.
*This winter self care post contains affiliate links meaning I get a small commission on a sale at no extra cost to you. This goes towards the running of the blog and allows me to keep creating quality content like this for free.
Do you have any comments or questions about your winter self-care rituals or routine? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.
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