As the days draw in and the weather becomes greyer and colder, you might wonder what self-care ideas could see you through the colder months. Or are you so busy with work, family and life that it seems you barely get 5 minutes to yourself? The ideas listed below are great since they are budget-friendly, can be adapted to your preferences and are accessible to even the most time-poor. So whether you have 10 minutes, 1 hour or a whole afternoon to indulge yourself, remember to make time for your self-care journey.
What is self-care? Self-care is the practice of looking after and prioritising your own mental and physical wellbeing, taking time for yourself, and balancing work and personal life. If you are juggling work, family, kids, life problems, and everything in between, it may seem impossible to prioritise yourself!
We hope this list of wintry self-care ideas will inspire you:
- Our personal favourite – indulge in a nourishing face mask or relax with a heated eye mask. Lie back and allow your thoughts to float away.
- Light a candle or two to create a relaxing atmosphere and let the therapeutic flicker of low light relax and calm your mind.
- Make an indulgent hot chocolate treat - let yourself sip and unwind, allowing chocolate's mood boosting properties to relax and refresh you (try a dark chocolate fix).
- Try a new creative activity using YouTube tutorials for inspiration – e.g. drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, baking, or even collaging your favourite photos into a keepsake album.
- Write some snail mail to a friend or relative you haven't spoken to in a while. Detox from technology and try your hand at an old-school note.
- Try a new recipe or bake something yummy. The best bit is you can also share with family, friends or a neighbour. Doing something kind for someone else helps boost our own mood.
- Open that book you've been meaning to start. Take some time to read and let your imagination run free.
- Set the scene and run an indulgent bath. Or, can't be bothered for the full works, fill a bowl large enough for a relaxing foot soak. If you have these to hand – light a candle, add some dried rose petals to water for effect and use some mineral bath salts, oils or bubbles. Lie back and let yourself unwind.
- Pamper your nails and paint fingernails or toenails. Experiment with a new colour to match your mood.
- Leave your phone at home and take an uninterrupted walk in nature. Wrap up warm, stick on those boots or wellies and let the crisp winter air revive your mind and body.
- Do some morning or evening stretches to extend the body and stretch muscles which may feel tight. Add in a few Yoga or Pilate poses to warm up the body and let your thoughts flow through you.
- Moment of gratitude – take a few moments to focus on three things you are grateful for today. Notice and absorb that feeling of true genuine gratitude.
- Deep breathing - we rarely focus on the vital action of breathing. Yet, this simple act can help clear your mind, connect with yourself and create a soothing sensation. Deep breathing lowers the heart rate, allows the body to take in more oxygen and finally signals the brain to wind down. It also balances your hormones- reducing cortisol levels and increasing endorphin levels in the body to increase feelings of wellbeing. To guarantee better sleep, use the simple '5-4-3-2-1' deep breathing routine.
- Self-massage - light a massaging candle and relax the senses with the aromatic fragrances. Massage the natural oils and butters into the skin to release tension and relax the muscles. Taking a little extra time to practice self-massage will uplift and invigorate your body, leaving you feeling moisturised, pampered and smelling delicious.
- Pick some seasonal herbs or flowers growing in your garden and arrange a sweet-smelling bouquet, allowing the aromas to reduce anxiety and enhance your mood.
- Have a bath or shower and use a salt scrub to improve blood circulation and reinvigorate your skin. A scrub which uses Dead Sea Salts is renowned for its therapeutic effects since ancient times – filled with magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, and bromides to boost skin health. Steam inhalation will allow you to breathe in the salts relaxing aromas.
- Spend some quality time with a pet or a friend's pet. Stroking an animal lowers the stress hormone cortisol, while the social interaction between people and pets increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies). Allow the therapeutic effects to relax you and increase that 'feel good' feeling.
- Popcorn & movie night – take the time to enjoy a movie night just for you! No being outnumbered by kids or housemates. Set a cosy, relaxing atmosphere (think candles, low lighting, blankets, cushions, snacks), get comfy on the sofa, and enjoy your favourite old-school movie.
- Sit back with a soothing herbal tea and listen to some calming acoustic music to stimulate your imagination.
- Watch the clouds go by or listen to the rain on the windows – when did you last take the time to switch off and notice the small things in life?
We hope you love these ideas!
Make a goal to work through all 20 of these suggestions to get you through winter and see how relaxed you can feel.