It’s winter and we all know that this time of year can be really difficult. The cold weather, holidays, the lack of sunlight, the shorter days- they all combine to make a lot of us feel sad or down in some way. If you’re looking for ideas on how to take care of yourself in winter, this post is made just for you.
This article is about how practicing winter self-care can help you beat those feelings and get through this season with more happiness than sadness.
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Why Should You Practice Self-Care In Winter?
There are plenty of reasons why you should practice self-care in winter. The number one reason is that you should be practicing self-care all the time! Self-care is making sure that you are feeling happy and healthy in all areas of your life. That shouldn’t stop no matter what the season is.
You should also be taking care of yourself in the winter because as I stated above, winter can often cause feelings of sadness in a lot of us. And if you’re feeling sad, that means it’s hard for you to take care of yourself. Even just doing one or two of the activities below a day can increase your well-being.
Winter Self-Care Ideas
Light a Winter Scented Candle
My favorite candles are probably the ones that smell like *winter*. Cinnamon, apple, spruce…all of those scream winter to me. Bath and Body Works is my favorite place to get candles, but you can never go wrong with any candle you can get your hands on.
Start a Journaling Practice
Winter is a wonderful time to start a journaling practice. I think of winter as a time for reflection and journaling is a great way to reflect. This post is a great guide to how to start a journal (along with some free journaling prompts. If you’re super serious about your journaling you can even start a bullet journal.
Layer Up, But Still Get Outside
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love being outside during winter, but there is something special about playing outside in the snow. I’m still a kid at heart and even make snowpeople from time to time. But, don’t forget to bundle up! Winter boots, gloves, hats, and scarves are important to staying warm while you’re outside.
Enjoy A Hot Drink
Hot drinks are one of my favorite things about winter. It’s also the only time that I drink hot drinks other than tea. Hot chocolate, hot toddy’s, and coffee are all great winter must-haves.
If you’re like me, you probably also continue drinking hot apple cider from the fall.
Get Together with Family and Friends
Winter, and winter holidays, are the perfect time to get together with friends and family. My family and I get together twice a month (once for movie night and once for game night). This tradition started in the winter because we wanted to see each other more than just the occasional holiday or when we needed to borrow something.
Create a gathering tradition with your friends and/or family members like a game night, potluck, or movie night. My family and I have been playing Hunt A Killer (purchased as a Christmas present – use this link for 30% off your first box) on our game nights and it has been so much fun!
Create a Cozy Space in Your Home
The winter is a great time to make your home feel cozy and warm. Winter self-care ideas like these are helpful for feeling content in your own space.
Some of the best ways to create a cozy space in your room include adding candles or fairy lights, blankets, pillows, and of course lots of books. You can find some of my favorite self-care books in this post. Or you can use Audible if you like audiobooks.
Learn a New Recipe
I cook a lot more in winter than I do any other time of the year. There’s something about having the oven on and the smell of food cooking that is nostalgic.
One of my favorite things to cook in winter is chili. I add a lot of whatever I happen to have on hand, like beans, veggies, and lots of spices. I recently found this spice and honestly add it to everything.
Not sure what recipes to try? Pinterest is my go-to for new recipe ideas.
Re-Evaluate Your Skincare Routine
My skin feels like it is always permanently dry, but it gets even worse in the winter. The cold and dry air can really make skin feel itchy, flaky, and tight.
Experiment with different serums, oils, and cleansers to find which one is best for your winter skin.
Take a Long Luxurious Bath
I’m not a bath person, but when I do take baths, it is usually in winter. There’s something special about being completely covered up in warm water and bubbles that makes it extra fun. To add more luxury to your bath, you can mix in a few drops of your favorite bath oil or use bath bombs.
Along with re-evaluating your skincare routine, you might want to add dry brushing into the mix. Dry brushing is an all-natural and gentle way to exfoliate skin.
Dry brushing can help with circulation, the immune system, lymphatic drainage, muscle recovery, and toxin removal. It is a great winter activity because it gives your body what it needs when you’re feeling sluggish or run down from cold and dry air. This is the dry brushing set that I’ve been using for a few years now.
Start a Meditation Practice
Meditation is such a great way to get more in touch with yourself and the world around you. It’s also a great way to clear your mind and rest.
Try starting a meditation practice in winter with these three tips:
- Start by setting aside time for you, without distractions.
- Try your best to clear your mind OR you can focus on a single thought or affirmation
- Take as much or as little time as you like to focus on clearing your mind or your singular affirmation
It takes time to develop a good meditation practice. I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I still have a long way to go. I usually use apps for meditating because they are a great way for beginners to get into the practice. This post is full of apps that can help increase your well-being.
Detox Your Social Media
In the winter, you’re probably spending a lot more time inside and a lot more time on your phone or computer. So why not clean up your social media feed. Unfollow or unfriend anyone who makes you feel “less than”. Replace those accounts with people who help you feel inspired. Feel free to follow me on Instagram!
There’s something so comforting about winter. The cold temperatures, the cozy sweaters, and blankets, hot cocoa–it’s a season that encourages you to take care of yourself. This is why I wanted to share some of my favorite self-care activities for this time of year with you.
Whether it be staying active in your downtime or simply taking a few minutes each day to do something nice for yourself, these are all wonderful ways to look after yourself during the colder months ahead.
Of course, what you do for self-care is up to you. What’s your favorite winter self-care activity? Let me know in the comments!
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.