The white blanket I can see from my window every day feels like therapy. It makes me think about my winter self-care as all the life is covered hibernating under the frozen beauty. All the incentives for my botanical drawings are hiding now and making me long for the visual inspiration even more intensively.
I realize we go day by day, sometimes on autopilot adapting to what nature prepares for us. This way, we reach for what is on offer. I was wondering where I can improve my winter self-care without limiting my body nourishment. I want to take better care without hiding my body under layers of insulated clothing, even if that is just for a couple of months. These months can make a big difference in my wellness for the rest of the year.
Nature is a form of therapy and healing on its own. But when I am busy and skip my outdoor walk or my spa session for longer, it is easy to forget about the power it holds. Without the winter self-care practices, it would feel to me like wintering on scattered places comforting my body here and there to unfreeze. Our bodies need sunlight and its warmth to get relaxed. It is the rawest energy given to us that excites me to look for those winter-specific natural ways to nourish my body.
Self-care is a set of holistic practices for improving wellness. With seasonal variations in temperatures, length of daylight and other weather conditions, we need to adapt our everyday routines consciously to these changes in nature. Our bodies balance along with the cycles anyway. It becomes hard to keep up with our mood, sleep patterns or metabolism needs. Having a customized list of ideas makes me feel comfortable and looking forward to the cold days being mindful of what joyful moments the season brings to me.
I believe everyone should deal with the winter months in their way, adapt to own environment. On the following lines, I cover those things that help me overcome the cold and short daylight portions of my every day here in the middle of Europe when the holiday season full of creative ideas pass by and the spring is yet far enough.
Routines generally are great for times when your mood works against your need to move on : ) Winter is actually a very good time to practice your routines’ endeavours because the cold season doesn’t make it easy on you but the effect is the most rewarding. You can leverage all the rejuvenating tips on winter self-care during the morning to kickstart the day, every day. Or take your time in the evening to enjoy the atmosphere of lights in the darkness.
Spending time outdoors
After spending several years in Ireland, I can only agree with the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes”. In the winter here in the middle of Europe, it counts twice with the minus temperatures. The beauty of snowy winter scenery in its details of frozen nature is so calming. Watch the original design of each snowflake or the sparkles on the freshly fallen powder snow. Everything is much quieter that is for those of us highly sensitive like a caress.
Warm yourself up. When its cold outside for several months it gets harder and harder to keep our habits on-the-level as we would like to. But absorbing as much warmth as we can in every meal, drink and volume up the room heating is exhausting for the body.
Creating a special occasion in the form of a rejuvenating bath or even spending a few hours in a spa is a feel-good experience as well as preventing.
Light up your mood
The light is scarce during the wintertime. I wish I could enjoy the cosy feeling of a fireplace in my current living. I am glad for evenings spent with my friends or visiting restaurants, especially to enjoy the atmosphere of firelight and sounds of wood cracks in the room. I never get discouraged though bringing the power of firelight with candles enhanced with the natural scents for an even more relaxing moment. Also, never forget to switch your phone off not to distract the natural vibe.
The winter season is somewhat specific to different places. For the inclusive feeling of the cold, people tend to turn back to traditions. Nature has an integral role in us, recognizing what we need to do for our sustainability.
When our environment thrives, we thrive too. Being grateful is one of those ways to enhance self-care.
As with the traditions we remind ourselves, thinking about my last year clarifies what is good to keep doing the next year. Make a note of those for your next year’s goals to build upon the good stuff.
Body Nutrition, activation, flexibility
Hands and face are the most often exposed to the cold when outside. I have naturally, very-dry skin. That’s why paying attention to my body nutrition in the winter months is my on-top-of-the-list concern.
Vitamins help me nurture the skin when I can’t get enough nourishment from eating the seasonal produce.
I feel it’s also vital to keep my body flexible and activate my energy, knowing I have reserves to use. Stepping on the mat every day, even for short yoga practice, is what helps me to reconnect with my body and let go of unnecessary tensions.
Have you ever tried a body hardening in any form? Can you imagine yourself in a swimsuit dipping yourself in a hole in the middle of ice-covered lake…? This one is still on my to-do list. But I have some practice from the Irish sea while I was living on the coast.
In central Europe, it gets a little more extreme. It is always good to start practicing before the cold weather begins. But it’s never too late even in the middle of the winter season. When you feel like exercising walk in cold with less insulated clothes or wind shielded jackets is enough to start your body hardening practice. I would make sure to stay safe. In the beginning, you have to be more mindful about the time you spend outside and the weather forecast, so you don’t catch a cold.
While keeping cosy with hot chocolate or other hot drinks specialities, I pay attention to add plain water to my daily liquid intake. It is not only due to my prevention as an asthmatic. Spending time in overheated rooms besides the skin it dries vocal cords so why adding to your discomfort and exhaustion… Regularly hydrating from inside is very simple. I keep a glass jar with pure or infused water on a kitchen counter to sit there for whenever I feel like a sip or when I pass by.
Screen detox for a day or evening is another form to switching your nature connected senses on and purify from never-ending hindrances of the social media and screen ads.
Finish your long hot shower with a short burst of cold water to shock the organism and activate detoxication. Repeat this a few times, finishing with mild warm to balance the temperature enough to feel comfortable. Or book your place in a sauna with cold water pools to experience a deep detox. I usually take a lemon fused water that I drink during the session. It feels so good… I can’t wait the restrictions on saunas will end ; )
Dryness is my body skin concern no. 1 as with my facial skin, especially in the winter. Dry brushing, as well as face gentle exfoliating with oil application aftermath, is what brings relief and smooths my skin like magic. When moisturizing, I make sure to find 100% natural solutions.
Practice for a night of beauty sleep. I never had a problem sleeping for 8 hours. 2020 showed me one thing I would never find without spending most of my time at home. I developed a sustainable regime for my bedtime. I make sure to stick to a fixed time every day with a little evening routine before bed to wake up feeling beautiful.
Keeping moisture in the air. As I mentioned above, dry air from the heating, together with my sensitive and dry prone skin, are the reasons to add moist diffusing to this list. I love using humidifiers that can also add some aroma-therapeutic benefits to my environment using essential oils.
I am working on improving my self-care practices all the time. This list will improve with them. If you like, I would appreciate you letting me know about your self-care tips below.