I want to start by saying you should practice self care year round and not just during the winter season. However, since it's winter here in Michigan I saw this as the perfect time to discuss self care for this season.
I love self care, I love to practice my self care routine and I love the way I feel during and when I'm done spending some time loving on myself.
These days my self care has slightly shifted with the season so I wanted to share some of my winter self care practices with you. I hope you can find some inspiration from my list and this post.
Please feel free to share your self care practices and suggestions with me in the comments. I'm always looking for new ways to care for myself. I'm sure the possibilities are endless.
Winter Self Care:
Read a Book
For the record, I'm always reading a book but that just speaks to how much I love the act. It brings me so much joy that I honestly want to do it all the time. Is there such a career as a professional book reader? I know I can review books, which I wouldn't mind, but I'm not sure how to make that a full time gig just yet.
My perfect reading environment is me in solitude, lounging in comfy clothes, with music or tv playing in the background. Though I'm not paying attention to the words around me, I keep the volume low when reading, I don't enjoy reading in silence. Am I capable of reading in silence? Absolutely.
Growing up, I actually preferred to read in silence, oddly annoyed by the sound of music or movies playing in the background.
My favorite genre is suspense/mystery. I've read other genres and am open to them but suspense/mystery has a special place in my heart.
During these colder months, you can find me alone in my room, murder mystery in hand, music or tv playing in the background, cozy pjs and fuzzy socks, warm blankets, snacks (occasionally) and a cup of hot cocoa (not often enough).
Speaking of hot cocoa, it's my favorite thing to drink during winter time. It's actually the only hot beverage I like to drink. Similar to books, I indulge in this year round but there is a significant increase in my consumption during this time of year.
The perfect cup of cocoa for me is made with warm milk. If the cocoa has marshmallows, that's really a treat but it's not a requirement. The only thing about hot cocoa, once I have one cup I immediately want another.
I lounge in sweatshirts and hoodies regularly, but even more during this time of year. These oversized, warm clothing items are great to bundle up in. They make me feel extra cozy and give me the holiday feels. This isn't complete without some fuzzy socks, and extra blankets for the bed.
Light Some Candles
Anyone who knows me knows I love candles and light them throughout every season. I like to buy a holiday-scented candle or two during this season to enhance the holiday vibes.
I should specify what I mean when I say bake. I'm not a baker but I've baked a few things in the past, but not sugar cookies. I like to buy my sugar cookies from the store and bake them at home. I like the ones that have little designs and characters on them.
My friend recently treated us to some homemade chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies and they were way better than my store bought cookies. We got to them when they were still warm from the over and that was the icing on the cake for me. Warm, soft cookies with a glass of milk = pure joy.
This is one of my faves and something I probably do a little too much, but I recommend everyone treat themselves every now and then. The treat is customized to you and can be whatever you want. I usually treat myself to new clothes and accessories rather than an expensive purchase or food treats and desserts, for instance.
Also, December is my birthday month so I was going to receive a gift from myself this month regardless. 😊
As you may know, self care is the act of promoting your own our mental, physical, and emotional health. While the concept of self care is a simple one, it's something we oftentimes overlook. You should view your self care as a priority rather than a luxury you have no time to invest in.
If you have a self care plan, please continue to follow it. Follow it on a regular basis, whatever that looks like for you rather it's weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Review your self care plan, add to it or tweak it as need be. As your situation changes, your self care needs may shift as well.
If you don't have a self care plan, you should create one. Develop your plan by assessing the areas of your life that need more care and attention. Self care isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. Customize your self care plan and activities based on your needs.
I've been focusing on my self care for a while now. I began to focus on it around the time I gained some confidence and learned to love myself. Once I started loving myself I began doing any and everything I could to show myself some love. Part of my self care back in those days consisted of a mantra or two about being beautiful, being a badass, and not caring about other's opinions. I would repeat said kind words to myself daily, and multiple times a day, until I truly believed them.
Check out my post Kind Words for Your Body for some body positivity and inspiration on kind words to use on yourself.