11 Ways to Practice Self-Care This Winter
Is anyone else feeling the weight of 2017 already? January is often met with a sense of urgency to improve oneself by setting goals, resolutions or themes for the year ahead. The cold and flu circulates and chooses its victims mercilessly. Going outside requires layering in preparation, and winter driving makes you feel like you're rolling the dice every time you get into the car. Before you know it, you are feeling completely exhausted and have lost sight of the things you wanted to achieve at the beginning of the year.
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you experiencing this winter fatigue?
Self-care is something that most of us pay too little attention to. As many wise writers (and fashion designers) have stated, "The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself."
That said, shouldn't we spend more time caring for and nurturing this relationship? If you don't know where to start, here are 11 ways to practice self-care this winter:
1. Schedule regular 'you' time into your planner or calendar that doesn't get moved or bumped for anything aside from emergencies. It's easy to allow other obligations (work, family, friends, errands)get in the way of the time we need for ourselves. What you choose to do with this 'you' time is entirely up to, well, you.
2. Create a 30-minute playlist of songs that give you energy and lift you up. Music has the power to move us and tap into our emotions. When you're having a bad day, simply listening to music that elevates your mood can do wonders.
3. Get in the habit of adopting an 'attitude of gratitude' in your daily life. Some find it helpful to keep a journal or logbook to notate the things, people and experiences in your life that you are grateful for. Sometimes all you need to do is remind yourself of the positivity and love that surrounds us all.
4. Go for a float in a sensory deprivation chamber. Said to be one of the most effective ways to induce stress relief and relaxation, it's no wonder this technique is gaining popularity. "Floatation therapy, also known as Floating, floatation, sensory deprivation, or R.E.S.T (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) involves lying in a salt-water solution in a spacious tank."
5. Binge watch funny animal YouTube videos (and better yet share them with a friend). "A new study has found doing so could boost energy levels and increase feelings of happiness. “
6. Cook a healthy meal to nourish your body instead of reaching for something that's quick and easy. Good food is fuel and can do wonders for your body, mind, and soul.
7. 'Taking the waters' is not just an old-timey saying used in Victorian dramas. It's an ancient practice that women of various cultures and histories have partaken in involving a series of water therapies. The circuit series of hot and cold water based activities (saltwater pool, cold dip pool, hot mineral water, sauna and steam room) pull toxins out of the body allowing for optimal relaxation.
9. Book a massage or body treatment for yourself at the spa. A professional can bust through the tension and stress that accumulates in the body in a targeted and efficient way. It works.
10. Have a heart-to-heart with a friend or family member that makes you feel good. Pick up that one thousand pound phone. Isolation, although sometimes comforting, is not always good for the soul. Sometimes talking to someone who loves you can help put things into perspective and give you the motivation to carry on through the challenging times. Or, take it one step further and ask for an update on their life. Getting out of ourselves can be incredibly grounding and can bring us back down to earth.
11. Get creative and embrace your artistic side. It could mean coloring in an adult coloring book or making a DIY project you saw on Pinterest. Sometimes the act of creating something, no matter how simple or complex, can give your confidence a much-needed boost.