The dreary winter season can bring about all sorts of challenges, from dry skin to seasonal affective disorders. The good news is that you can confront these challenges with a regular self-care routine and sometimes even prevent them from occurring. Need help getting through the winter? Here are 10 self-care tips for winter to keep your mind engaged and your body active.
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1. Prioritize Skincare and Oral Health
The winter season can leave your skin feeling a bit dry, so be sure to prioritize skincare. Try dry brushing before jumping in the shower and hydrate skin with a moisturizing lotion.
You can also prioritize your oral health as well. Use a teeth whitening toothbrush with bacteria-killing blue light technology to not only improve your smile but to get a fresher, healthier mouth. Want to make your smile a few shades whiter really fast? Take advantage of a full teeth whitening kit.
2. Step Outside for Some Sun
During the winter season, we tend to stay indoors, which means less sunlight. Ultimately, this can decrease the sun’s many benefits, including a natural source of immune-boosting vitamin D3 and the mood-boosting and calming serotonin hormone. The sun’s rays can also help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, which can rear its ugly head in the darker, long winter months. So it goes without saying, but take some time to step outside for some sun every now and then. Even if you can’t get outside, many devices, such as light boxes, are designed to improve your health and keep SAD away.
3. Take Soothing Hot Baths
Another self-care tip for winter months is to take a dip in a soothing hot bath. A deep soak can offer just the perfect amount of pampering and relax you after a long, stressful day. Light a few scented candles in the bathroom and transform it into your private spa. You can add extra touches to the water like bath salts that can help relax tense muscles and put your mind at ease. Plus, it’s just another great way to moisturize your dry winter skin.
4. Keep a Consistent Workout Routine
Yes, it’s hard to convince yourself to crawl from a warm bed and engage in physical activity. But this is one self-care tip we highly recommend, especially since the winter season brings holiday indulgences. Whether you choose to hit the gym or enjoy some yoga stretches at home with online video tutorials, make sure to keep a consistent workout routine to keep your body moving and in-shape while also maintaining stress and addressing your mental health.
5. Try a New Winter Sport
If you’re one to embrace the colder winter season and enjoy being outside, try a new winter sport. Choose anything from skiing or snowboarding to hockey or ice-skating––whatever gets your body moving and allows you to take in the cold, crisp air. Join a league or meet up with others interested in the same activities and sports to engage in more social activities. If you can manage to get away for a more active retreat at a ski resort or winter camping, even better!
6. Take a Breather and Get Cozy
The holiday season can be a stressful time. It’s important not to get too overwhelmed and take a breather every once in a while. Otherwise, you might burn yourself out rather quickly. While this self-care tip can take on many forms, sometimes just unwinding with a good book and sipping some tea under a cozy, warm blanket works perfectly fine.
7. Meditate with Guided Visualization Exercises
Studies have proven the effectiveness of meditation in reducing stress. But when you combine it with guided visualizations, it can genuinely help you manage seasonal depression. What are guided visualizations, exactly? Basically, this practice involves imagining a sensation, physical like warmth or emotional like the support of a close friend, and taking it in throughout the body. You stay with the image, allowing the sensations to deepen and offer support for your well-being.
8. Appreciate the Beauty of Winter
With winter comes gray skies, which are not very pleasant to look at. However, there are many other beautiful winter displays to appreciate. Twinkling holiday lights and delightful snow days can make you appreciate the winter that much more. So instead of getting down every time you look out at a gloomy sky, take the opportunity to remind yourself of winter’s fleeting beauty by snapping photos of something each day that inspires you or gives you pleasant, cozy winter feelings.
9. Get Creative and Connect with Others
Creating art is a wonderful self-care activity. But why not do it with your closest friends and loved ones or even get out to meet new ones? This way, you’re engaging your artistic side while also decreasing any feelings of loneliness. You don’t even have to leave home. These days, there are many ways to hold a virtual art class, painting a winter scene or baking Christmas cookies. Whatever creative activity you enjoy doing, there’s bound to be an online version of a Facebook meetup group where you can connect with others who share in the same appreciations and artistic expressions.
10. Prioritize Your Self-Care
All of the above tips are great for a winter self-care routine. However, one of the most essential self-care tips for winter is prioritizing and making time for self-care. Don’t get so overwhelmed creating endless New Year’s resolutions that you convince yourself there’s no time left in the day. Make a point to schedule in an hour without the kids or get out of the cramped house. You’ll be happier for it!
Reach Out for Help
Hopefully, these 10 self-care tips for winter can help you maintain negative emotions and keep a positive outlook. However, while every winter is hard for some, 2020 has compounded these challenges even more. If you struggle this time of year, make sure there is someone to whom you can reach out. Whether it’s a close friend or a therapist, having someone to talk to can improve your mental health and keep underlying anxieties and seasonal depression in check.