We all know that we are living through an extraordinarily challenging time. Our life circumstances can be completely different, but we are all experiencing the challenges and obstacles of the past year in profound ways. And as we head into the winter season in the northern hemisphere, and as public officials underscore that it will be a difficult season, it may be easy to fall into an uncomfortable pattern of thinking or being.
So as we head into this winter together, we pulled together eight winter self-care tips to remind you to take care and take comfort. Sometimes it feels like we need to do something big to feel better, but often, feeling good and taking care of ourselves happens in the smallest moments imaginable. Those moments are about bringing your feet back down to the ground, giving you a sense of calm, and reminding you that you deserve to feel good about yourself. So this week, take a moment to try one or two of these suggestions and remind yourself to take this winter.
It sounds too simple, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself: drink water! So often we become dehydrated and that snowballs into making choices that may not make us feel great. A wonderful way to make sure you’re taking care of yourself is starting the day off on the right foot. While you’re still draped in your long kimono robe, wander into the kitchen and fill up a big glass of water. Before your coffee or tea or smoothie, drink that big glass of water and start the day off on the right (hydrated) foot. It’s a small way to wake your body up, give it the support it needs, and remind yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day.
One of the most challenging things about this time has been the lack of space. There are limited places to go and limited things to do. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to find and cultivate some of that space when you need it. It can be taking a five minute break on the porch, going for a walk around the block, or simply slipping into your favorite kimono fabric to feel something soft and luxurious against your skin. Creating space for your own thoughts and feelings is an important part of taking good care of yourself, during good and bad times.
This may be the year to devote a little more attention to your morning! So many folks have sworn by morning routines for years, but if you’ve fallen off track this year, it’s completely understandable. This winter, bring back a little light to your mornings with a routine you can fall in love with. Maybe it’s as simple as wearing your favorite winter kimono robe as you fix your coffee; maybe it’s as ambitious as going for a run before you start your day. Find something that makes you feel grounded and good to start of the day on the right foot.
If you’ve had any trouble sleeping this past year, now is the time to focus back in on it. Sleeping is so important for our mental and physical health. Create an evening routine that helps you wind down. We recommend reading a book (without a screen if possible!) and a delicious cup of tea. Drape yourself in kimono fabric that is soft and luxurious to help set the mood. Or perhaps try to meditate for a few minutes before laying down to rest. Bring your heart rate down and calm your thoughts at the end of the day each winter.
We are all about journaling. Whether it’s writing out your thoughts and feelings first thing in the morning, or jotting notes to yourself as you go, writing is a great tool for reconnecting with yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to express ourselves without slowing down, and writing is the perfect way to slow down your mind to catch up with your feelings.
It may sound funny, but any mother will tell you: it’s very easy to forget to eat! As you’re moving through your day, monitor your mood and if you’re not feeling quite yourself, consider a snack. Winter is a beautiful time of hibernation, coziness, and warmth. Choose foods that make you feel nourished and fortified. Wrap up in your winter kimono robe, enjoy a beautiful stew or soup, and cozy up indoors to really feel the effects of a good meal.
You are allowed to rest! It can be so easy to forget that. When you’re caring for school aged children and working full time, it can be super difficult to remember that your rest is essential, too. Sometimes that means hitting the hay on the earlier side. Sometimes that means taking a nap. If you’re not so easily lulled into sleep, draping yourself in a kimono robe could be a quick way to find rest. Or, simply pull the shades closed, light a candle, and turn on some soft music to relax you into a state of rest. Whether you sleep or not, try to find some time to take a break each day.
The people in our lives are so important. That’s why this year has been particularly difficult. So that’s why it’s so important to connect with your truest friends. Find the people you can count on, who are there for you and those for whom you are there for, and try to reach out every day or every other day. Those connections can create a sense of well-being that is deeper and richer than perhaps anything else.
No matter how you take care of yourself this winter, make sure you find something that gives you the deepest sense of peace possible. Even if it’s a difficult season, it can also be a great reminder to take the care you need when you need it.