Winter Time Self Care
In the winter, limited sunshine changes our metabolism and can significantly affect our state of wellbeing. This means that during the winter months, we’re likely to feel a little more irritable, sleepy, and sometimes sad.
Winter time can be the best time to learn about yourself and practice some self care while you’re spending more time indoors. So let's learn about what in the world we can do to take care of ourselves for the rest of the winter season.
There are many dimensions of wellness!
At the core of wellness is Physical Self-Care. If you can manage to have good hygiene, eat well, and get some regular exercise, you are on your way to physical wellbeing. Taking time out of your day to wear clothes you like and to make yourself feel good physically (even if superficial) is also a great way to take care of ourselves physically.
Emotional Self-Care is caring for your needs by identifying and taking care of your feelings. You can try:
Allowing yourself to feel your emotions with no judgement
Finding things that make you laugh
Complimenting yourself when you look in the mirror
Allowing yourself to cry when you feel sad
Spending time with loved ones
Reading or watching your favorite book or movie
Psychological Self-Care is anything that is good for your brain. We often neglect this type of self care even though it can make us feel a substantial amount of wellbeing. Psychological self-care can mean learning that it’s OK to say “no” to extra responsibilities in your life or to just take a break at times.
On the opposite end, try engaging your intelligence in unfamiliar topics. You can try anything from going to an art exhibit or history museum, practicing getting compliments from others, or try being extremely curious for a day.
To further your psychological self-care, pay attention to your inner experiences like your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, etc. Make time for reflection regularly as it can make a big difference for our emotional wellness.
Spiritual Self-Care is the act of getting in touch with your inner human spirit and soul. My favorite ways to take care of myself spiritually are contributing donations and volunteer hours to causes I care about, meditating (online resources), spending time appreciating nature, watching educational videos that inspire me, and highlighting the nonmaterial aspects of my life.
It’s up to you to experiment and find the most fulfilling way for you to engage in your own type of spiritual self care!
Lastly, Professional Self-Care can be overlooked or difficult to attain for many of us. But whether you’re working or in school, when you’re able to give your professional life a bit of balance, you may find yourself more successful in other areas too. Professional self care can mean:
Making time to chat with coworkers and peers
Decorating your workspace to your liking
Balancing your workload and taking more breaks as needed
Developing an outside hobby or area of interest
Creating a quiet and reserved area to get your work done
Self Care Tips & Tricks:
We all have our own ways of coping and taking care of ourselves, but here are a few self care tips you may not already have in your self-care toolbox:
Have preset radio stations that play relaxing music.
Keep coloring books and art supplies near for easy creative self-expression.
Use the simple art of moving and stretching to awaken and soothe your body.
Sun is what we’re lacking in the winter time. Get out in the sun even if it’s only on your lunch break.
If you can’t get any sunlight, try Light Therapy or purchasing a light therapy box.
You can also take Vitamin D, but consult a doctor first.
Keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude can improve your mood, your self-esteem, and your all-around positivity (Benefits of Gratitude Journals).
Drink enough water each day and use lotions or moisturizers on dry skin.
Add a humidifier to your home to combat sleep issues and dryness associated with wintertime.
Treat yourself to hot cocoa after a long day of shivering. It can do more good for your body than you think!
Slow down: wrap yourself up in a blanket and wind down. Simply be in the moment and reset your brain.
Surround yourself with good people. Whatever goodness looks like to you, prioritize quality time with those that bring you joy, whether it’s friends, family, or pets.
Invest your time into your passions. Winter can be a great time to pursue new hobbies and discover things you enjoy.
Play Some Self Care Bingo!
In light of winter wellness, we here at the Parks Foundation have been participating in self care bingo! Try out the self care bingo below or create your own variation if you aren’t a fan of ours.
Winter Self Care Kit:
Again, when it comes to the cold we’re just a little less energetic and excited to get out to the store for every little thing. Some of us may even get snowed in. Try creating a winter self care kit in preparation for winter. Here are some things to consider including:
Comfort foods and baking items
Candles or essential oils with relaxing scents
A special or comforting mug
Honey, tea, hot cocoa
Lip balm, lotion, sugar scrub
Daily vitamins and probiotics
Bath bombs, epsom salt
Shower fizzies and face masks
Balance is the Key:
Life feels like standing on a tightrope while also trying to make sure to catch every little thing that’s coming our way. Our perception is our reality and that matters a whole lot. No matter what you’re balancing upon, it’s easy for everyday life to become unbalanced, stressful, and unmanageable. If you’re feeling that way, you are not alone!
Remind yourself that self care can make things a little easier, maybe even a lot easier in the winter time depending on how much you practice self care. Take your own self care journey, one step at a time and at your own pace. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed.
About the Author: Kristina Lee
Kristina has been a Naturalist Educator for the Parks Foundation since September of 2020 and she's on her second term of AmeriCorps service here at our organization. When she's not teaching and packing supplies for classes, Kristina likes to spend her time making arts and crafts as well as exploring all that Reno has to offer.