self care

10 Self Care Tips To Combat The Winter Blues

Snow is pretty. And I love cozying up in my most comfy sweater & drinking warm beverages. But I’ll admit – the winter season can be rather dull with the shorter / darker days. Not to mention the cold weather has enticed me to hibernate until spring. To make the winter season less depressing, I’ve come up with 10 self care ways to combat those winter blues. They are not extraordinary tips & are probably ones you’ve read before – but I personally find these activities & routines to be very helpful during these cold months. And I hope it inspires you to add a few of these to your own routines.

📌 for later

add ambience & light in & outside your home

After the holidays, people tend to take down their holiday decor whether it’s outdoor lights or your Christmas tree [ if you celebrate ]. I’m not saying you need to keep the holly jolly atmosphere up until March – but I suggest you maybe string some white neutral lights around your apartment, bedroom or home to brighten your surroundings. I’ve noticed during those cold dark nights in the winter, when I have string lights or the fireplace going, I find myself more at ease. Another suggestion would be to simply open your blinds throughout the day & bring in that natural light when you can. And although we may want to save money on our electric bills, it’s important to keep your lights on if you are going about your home. Sitting in the dark can dampen your mood & can actually affect your circadian rhythm.

get outdoors & explore nature

I know what your thinking – it’s too cold to go for walks. But I say, bundle up & get moving even if it’s a few minutes a day. Getting outdoors & breathing in that fresh air is so good for our health. It provides us with a sense of clarity & can actually make us more productive when we return to our usual tasks. I personally love taking walks around the neighborhood or go window shopping at local towns during the winter. And if it’s snowing, at least we have pretty views to admire. When we do get the chance to visit the mountains during this season, I love hiking the local parks & taking in the iced over waterfalls & trudging in the snow.

escape in a good book

When you are looking to relax & shut your mind off I highly recommend getting lost in a book. As you may know, I have became an avid reader once again & love prioritizing a few hours in my evenings to reading a few chapters. Some of my favorite genres to have that proper escapism is fantasy or thrillers. If you are looking for some book recommendations, check out my favorite books & series of 2022.

take a warm shower or bath

For me, I’ve became a shower girl. Some of it has to do with the fact I found a giant spider in my tub a few months ago & I’m still not over it. But I digress. I love taking warm [ borderline hot] showers in the evenings. Sometimes I will literally sit on the floor of the shower & let the water fall on me. The warm water helps me get sleepy & for obvious reasons, warms me up from the frigid temperatures. On nights or weekends I’m able to, I enjoy doing a full self care routine with hair masks, exfoliation, shaving & using a nice smelling body wash. It sounds simple but I always feel so rejuvenated once I’m super clean.

declutter your space

Are we even surprised I mentioned this? I think a good decluttering session is always a good idea especially in winter when we are in our homes more often. When our space is organized chances are it will brighten our moods in the process. Go through your clothing, toiletries & even miscellaneous items. And if you are looking for decluttering inspiration in all areas of your life, browse through my entire decluttering section on the blog.

play videos games or old school board games

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with friends, your significant other or family – board games are a fun way to spend your time. I love going / hosting game nights especially in the winter. We tend to order takeout & just catch up as well. Video games are also a great way to occupy your time whether alone or connected with friends. It’s a great way to connect with friends from a distance. During the pandemic especially, we loved playing Fall Guys & Animal Crossing. I’ve even considered re-purchasing The Sims as it was a favorite of mine back in the day. These activities are nice ways to unwind & relax after long days.

start a blog or get to writing

This is a rather specific idea & one that has been a great hobby. I think if you are looking for a way to express yourself creativity or feel connected to other fellow writers, starting a blog is a wonderful option. I started my blog during the pandemic in 2020. I have always had a passion for writing & I love how blogging allows creative freedom. It’s a wonderful outlet for those who are interested. If you don’t necessarily want to write publicly, you can always opt to start a journal of some kind. For instance, I kept a gratitude journal in the past & it was a fun way to practice positive psychology & develop more grateful outlook of life. Especially if the winter season brings on seasonal depression or a general sadness for whatever reason – writing down your thoughts & getting them out of your head is a healthy form of expression.

deep clean your home

Cleaning your home isn’t just a spring time routine. I think the winter time is a great season to really cleanse your home & organize it. Not only does a clean home improves your mood, it can also be a healthy & productive distraction when you are having an off day or have a lot on your mind. And since we are in our homes a lot more during the colder months, we tend to analyze & take in our surroundings a lot harder.

enjoy a winter activity

Sometimes if we are ones to dislike the cold weather, it’s important to consider a different perspective & find ways to enjoy it. There are tons of fun winter activities to choose from including iceskating, skiing or tubing, weekend escape to a cabin [ bonus points if it snows] or shopping around town [ which isn’t winter specific].

book a warmer destination

If you are someone who really dislikes the winter weather, why not just book a trip to a warmer climate? I’m sure there are places you would love to visit & I think this time of year it’s a great time to take some time off, get a tan & soak up that sunshine. I few places I would love to visit at some point is The Caribbean, Greece or California again.

The key to combat the winter blues is to find simple [ or somewhat extravagant] ways to make it better. Outside the travel suggestion, a lot of these are rather easy ways to incorporate in our routines. And to those who absolutely thrive in the winter season, definitely comment down below some of your suggestions.

Stay warm!

-B

self care

How To Have a Mindful Self Care Day

It took me a long time to realize how important self care is to our mind, body & soul. In a world where society preaches “the grind never stops” & “sleep is for the weak”, we almost get in the habit of thinking when we slow down & make time for ourselves it means we are being lazy & unproductive. As I’ve been adapting intentional living in my routines, I’ve learned it’s completely ok to take a breather for a while & just be. Slowing down & taking time for myself has helped me manage feelings of burnout & fatigue. I have gained a sense of balance. Here are 10 Mindful Self Care Techniques I Do Regularly:

  1. Morning Stretches: I have found as someone who is not a morning person whatsoever, taking the time to do some slow morning stretches or a short yoga practice helps me wake up & become energized for my day. I can feel rather stiff as soon as I wake up & this light movement & meditation grounds myself for the tasks ahead. It’s so important to stretch as it promotes proper blood flow & loosens up those tight joints after being asleep for 7 to 8 hours. This practice has also helped me with any feelings of anxiety or stress I may be having in the moment. Focusing on my breath & just intentionally slowing down teaches me to let go of these feelings of needing to always rush.

2. Make Your Bed: I am someone who wouldn’t make their bed in the past because I had the mindset it was pointless since I’d be getting right back in it later. But as I’ve developed the habit of making my bed in the morning, it immediately makes me feel like I have my life on track. And when I return to it in the evening, it’s nice to see a tidy bed awaiting me. The idea of appreciating slow living & properly doing my tasks has helped me let go of the notion of feeling like I never had time for such a small task. Before, I would always rush out of bed & let the sheets go haphazard & return to the mess later. It seems like such a silly change but I’m telling you it shifts your entire mindset for the rest of the day.

3. Wash Your Face: Would you believe if I told you I have a one step skin care routine? I’ve learned the more products you use on the skin, the more clogged it can be. Not to mention, I have rather sensitive skin, so experimenting with products is usually the wrong way to go. I simply use a gentle facial cleaner & wipe away with water. And somedays, I’ll just use water. To some of you, that may sound insane. But I’m telling you, my skin has been the most clear in years. Even though my skincare routine is fairly simple, it is still a vital step in self care. The feeling of clean face is underrated.

4. Fuel Your Body: Be mindful what you put into your body. But also be attuned to what your body may need. I’m someone who doesn’t like the concept of diet culture & more so someone who is striving for a balanced yet healthy lifestyle. If you feel you need more carbs one day, go ahead & eat that pasta. Having a sense of balance & understanding of properly fueling the body is a form of self care not a lot of us consider. Lately, I’ve been loving starting my day with a strawberry & banana smoothie. I’ll sit down at the kitchen table & savor each drop.

5. Rest: When we are in the swing of life & on the road to accomplishing goals, we forget burnout can creep up on us all of a sudden. I learned taking a break, resting & getting proper sleep are key components to staying productive & creative. A few months ago, I took a break from my blogging passion & that hiatus gave me the fuel to come back more creative than ever. If you want to hear more about this, click here. Make sure you get proper sleep. No one really thinks you are more successful if you pull all nighters on the regular. Sleep is in & burnout is out.

6. Vitamin D: Sunlight is the ultimate self care ingredient. I can’t even describe the feeling I get when I go outside even for just 15 minutes. Being cooped up in a house can be detrimental to the psyche. I’ve made the habit of getting outside more often whether it’s writing a blog post on our back deck or taking a walk in the early evenings. You can take vitamins to help boost these levels but there is something about getting it from its nature source that seems so much better.

7. Spending Time With Quality People: I guard my energy like it’s a piece of gold. I no longer try to waste time on people who drain it from me. Especially when I’m in the need of proper self care, I make sure to spend time with people who lift me up like my closest friends, boyfriend & family. Self care doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. I’m looking forward to seeing friends & family more often this summer & have proper get togethers. I’ve realized how much I need that to maintain happiness.

8. Cry it Out: I think society preaches the idea of positivity too hard. Instead, we need to be more acceptant of all emotions even if it’s negative ones. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s ok to cry & that release is actually rather therapeutic. Anytime I am at this breaking point, I will either go to a room & lock the door or take a shower. But allowing myself to get those feelings out, as intense as it may feel, always relieves the pain I was holding in at the time.

9. Laugh it Out: Whenever I’m feeling down or just need some quality me time, I always find myself looking for funny videos or tv shows to watch. Some of my best moments are scrolling through TikToks with my boyfriend in the evenings. We catch ourselves laughing our asses off & honestly that feeling is magic to the soul.

10. Collecting Experiences: One of the best feelings is discovering a new place or learning a new activity. I think we all have the right to immerse ourselves in all kinds of experiences – new & old. Making memories & truly living in the moment is something we all need to do more often. I new outfit or a new makeup product doesn’t give me the amount of joy adventures do. It enriches the soul & brings a sense of happiness that is priceless.

Self care can mean a lot of things. It’s not just a pampering day at the spa or even a luxury trip. It’s something only you can define for yourself. It’s what brings you joy & rejuvenates your entire existence. Honestly, my self care list is never ending. Each day, I discover something new that helps keep the balance. Having a mindset of prioritizing such a need is something we all should get in the habit of doing. There is no shame in taking care of yourself.

What have you been doing for self care lately? I’d like to add more to my list.

-B

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self care

Guest Post: 5 Self Care Habits For Living A Healthy Life Daily

Today we have a guest post from Riyah Speaks! She is a lifestyle blogger who talks about the importances of self care & our mental / physical wellbeing. I hope you enjoy reading her post & to check out her blog!

Our lives are so jam-packed with business and chaos that we tend to put ourselves on the back burner sometimes. Regardless of who you are, you should always put yourself first. As I mentioned in my post about the dimensions of self-care, not practicing self-care can lead to mental health issues, sickness, and even death. 

Self-Care isn’t a chore that must be completed at all times of the day. There are simple and quick ways that you can practice self-car without interrupting your daily routines or work schedule. Here are 05 self-care habits for living a healthy life daily. 

Daily Self-Care Habits To Use 

Practice Deep Breathing 

When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax, and this message is sent to the body.  It also comes with major health benefits such as pain relief, improved immunity, lower blood pressure, posture correction, and increased energy.

Here are a few deep breathing exercises to try

  • Focus on positive imagery
  • Slow down your breathing 
  • Alternate breathing from nose and mouth 

Practice Gratitude

Being grateful means that you focus on the positive aspects of your life without contempt. Gratitude celebrates what you can do now, and avoids dwelling on decisions you could have made previously. The point of practicing gratitude is to get in the habit of changing your mindset, blocking negative energy, and gaining a higher sense of self-worth. There are many ways to cultivate gratitude, and my favorite way is with a gratitude journal. 

Take Breaks 

Taking breaks is important for maintaining your emotional and mental wellbeing. It allows your brain to recover from being overworked and stressed. It’s important to take breaks as necessary to avoid experiencing mood swings, lack of motivation, and extreme exhaustion. Taking breaks regularly increases productivity, boosts mood and energy, and helps to maintain your body’s performance throughout the day. Take about 10-15 minutes a day to be with yourself and to do nothing. Trust me, it’ll help you in the long run. 

Journal

For the sake of mental health, everyone should journal. Journaling helps with clearing up scrambled thoughts and ideas, boosts creativity, and comprehends your emotions. 

Take some time before and at the end of the day to reflect on your mood, mental state, and health. Think about why you’re feeling a particular way and what you can do to address those emotions. There are many different styles of journaling such as: bullet journals, art journals, diaries..etc. Find the format that works best for you and your wellbeing needs. 

Eat Healthy and Drink Water 

It’s important to eat healthy and drink water whenever you can. Healthy eating and drinking water leads to an overall healthier lifestyle and decreases your chances of developing obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure later in life. Also, studies have found that making healthier drinking and eating choices boosts self-confidence, self-love, and self-worth. 

Why is Self Care Important?

Self-care is important because it helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It helps you to produce feelings of happiness and transmit those feelings to the people around you. With our daily schedules becoming jam-packed with school, work, and family, it’s even more important now to make sure that you take time off to practice self-care and to be alone. 

I get it. Sometimes you just don’t want to or don’t have time. That’s why you must find small and convenient ways you can incorporate it into your daily routine. Self-care isn’t meant to be disruptive or inconvenient to your life. It’s there to relieve the pressure off your back and to make being active easier. 

AUTHOR BIO

Hi! I’m Seriah Sargenton, but my friends call me Riyah. I’m the writer behind riyahspeaks.com, a self-care and wellness blog dedicated to helping women to healthier and more fulfilling lives by practicing self-care, self-love, positivity. I have a degree in Journalism and have a strong passion for helping others. I hope you enjoy my perspective on life and find the strength to overcome life’s obstacles.