As we gear up for shorter days, colder months, and the inevitable chaos of the holidays, it’s time to think about how we take care of ourselves. It can be tough to get going when it’s darker and colder, and you may find yourself wanting to drift into hibernation mode. While winter is a good chance to get caught up on some sleep, there are more ways to take care of yourself. Here are five simple, realistic ways to invest in all areas of your health.
Hibernation instinct is strong, but you’re stronger! Winter is a perfect time to focus on your physical health and press on with your exercise goals. Go outside for a brisk run, or if that seems too daunting, stay indoors and run on a treadmill, do weight training, or some other workout that you can at least enjoy in the warmth of your own home or gym.
Eat Healthy (Mostly)
I know, cookies are amazing. But just because you’re not out and about as much doesn’t mean eating habits need to change drastically. Consistently eating healthy improves your physical and mental health. You are worthy of care, take care of yourself even if the winter blues encourage other eating habits.
That said, sneak a cookie or two. Physical health isn’t the only thing you need to take care of; mental health is equally important. Give yourself a sweet as a reward for doing something good, even if that something was making it through the day.
Start a New Hobby
If you don’t want to be outside, start a new hobby indoors! You could start knitting a winter scarf, test a new recipe, try your hand at painting, or just start whatever you’ve been putting off for the past months/years/decades. It’s important to step away from the familiar habits of plopping yourself in front of the TV and wasting the hours away until it’s time for bed. Time keeps flying by even during the winter, use your time to better yourself by learning something new. You’ll not only feel better, you’ll have a new skill to show for it!
Take Some Quiet Time
This world is a crazy, busy place, but everything seems to go slower when it’s colder. That makes winter a great time to take some time to yourself, breathe deeply, and re-center yourself. Do some yoga, read a book, listen to some soft music--do what you need to do to find some kind of peace with yourself and the world around you.
It’s easy to isolate yourself during the winter months. A lot of your friends and family are probably in the same boat, so reach out to your loved ones. Send a quick “hello” over text, make that phone call, or even send that letter in the mail (who doesn’t love getting snail mail these days??)
In a day of more mental health awareness, self care is something society is finally recognizing as not only valid, but necessary. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself, and you’ll be better equipped to pursue your goals during those months and into the next year.