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.

đź“Ś 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

organization, Self Growth

5 Reasons Letting Go Is So Damn Difficult!

Wanting a more simple life starts with letting go of what no longer serves us. Easier said than done am I right? I feel like I say this, but always end up saving tons of questionable items. Why is it so hard to let go in the first place? I wish I could just turn my feelings off for one second.

Recently, I helped my husband downsize his childhood belongings from six large storage containers to only one. It was quite the project but one we both knew was something to tackle. It got me thinking about why we hold onto certain things & also why it can be so hard to finally let go. It’s almost like the longer you own something, you start to believe whatever that something is, must be special & worth holding onto. And we discovered even though he forgot most of what was in these containers, the memories started flooding back. And this is why sentimental item can be the MOST difficult to let go. But any type of belongings, if we place too much meaning on said item can become difficult to throw away. Here are 5 reasons why letting go can be so damn difficult.

You Are Still Living in the Past

Nostalgia can be a precious thing. Whether it’s a smell, an object or even a single thought , these things tie us to what we once were. We almost hold onto things for the sole purpose of trying to preserve our memories.

Especially with physical objects, we almost keep these things with the fear of forgetting. We must remember the most powerful aspect of our memories are ourselves. We must let go of said fear & trust we will remember things in our minds. Again, don’t let your objects hold so much credit. You are far more than what you own.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but sentimental items are very difficult for me to declutter. I have been biting the bullet though & challenging myself to go through these items brutally. And through this process, I’ve learned a lot about myself & the things I hold near & dear to my heart. In my 5 Things To Keep In Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items, I pinpointed key factors that helped me downsize my keepsakes in half!

I felt like I was holding onto too many past memories that ultimately made me feel stuck & less likely to move forward in my life. Although I still have plenty of sentimental items to look back on & cherish, I allowed myself to be rid of the pointless emotional baggage that was taking up space in my home. You need to remember life is constantly moving & you will have far more memories & keepsakes ahead. Make room for the future by narrowing down your past.

You Feel Guilty Giving It Up

Maybe you have a pit in your stomach for purchasing something so expensive you never use. Or perhaps you were gifted something & although the gesture is always sweet, you just don’t use it. These feelings of guilt should not become a burden to your mind.

If you feel guilty over whether you should get rid of something, you should always be rid of that item. That mental turmoil will only make matters worse. I always believe it is better to let go of something you don’t use so it can be treasured by someone else.

And if you are having difficulty letting go an item because it was either passed down to you by a family member or given to you as a gift, ideally the person shouldn’t be upset if you no longer want something. Either return it to the sender or give it to someone who would better appreciate it. Material items should rarely have such pressures of value. And if they do hold lots of value, finds ways to use it or display it. Otherwise, let it go.

Fear of Needing it in the Future

This concept reminds me of everyone buying tons of toilet paper in the beginning of the pandemic. Fear & consumerism when tied together, create chaos. You can’t go walking around with the mindset of the world is ending or “I’ll never be able to find this again.” That’s when hoarding develops. And we really don’t want that. In today’s world, it is rather easy to find certain items online. If at any point you are missing an item or need it again, you can always repurchase it later.

This is why when shopping I don’t purchase just incase items or bulk items. To me, it just seems like a waste of space, money & product. Save some for the rest of us please. I think a lot of people have this notion that if you hold onto something for those just in case moments, it saves them money in the long run. I have noticed this is a wrong way of thinking.

Rarely do I feel grateful for having kept certain things for those just in case items. For example, I’ve had this Christmas sweater I wore one time but have held onto it JUST IN CASE we have an ugly christmas sweater party to go to. The future is always questionable & who truly new we wouldn’t be having large get togethers with friends for a year. By the time we actually have a party, I’m going to want a brand new outfit!

What Will People Think?

Repeat after me, stop caring what people think of you! If a person truly cares if you get rid of something, maybe you should gift it to them. This is your life to live so if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, don’t waste anymore time.

I’ll be honest, I probably still own plenty of things other people told us we HAD to have when owning a home. But slowly I will even downsize these items because most MUST HAVE items are useless in my opinion. And if there comes a time we truly need something, we will buy it. Simple as that.

It Hints You Were Wrong

Whatever it may be, it’s ok to admit it wasn’t right & it’s healthy to finally let it go. Life is too short to be living with things & people that don’t serve you. And if anything else, these wrongdoings can be seen as lessons leading us to our correct path.

Admitting you were wrong about something can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s also extremely human & liberating. Maybe you were wrong about a certain style of clothing working for you. Or in a more deep sense, maybe a certain person in your life is wrong for you. These mistakes & lessons are normal & a part of life.

I truly hope these tips help you have more clarity with the idea of having a clutter free life. Comment down below what holds you back from letting go.

-B

Self Growth

Why Rebranding Doesn’t Stop At Your Blog: How To Reinvent Yourself

I’ve gone through personal “rebrands” throughout my life – from switching what sport I was playing, to becoming a dancer in high school [ with no prior dance experience ]. I would change my clothing styles or hair color & hope those small tweaks would lead to a new life for myself. And as I’m in my 30’s now, that rebranding or reinventing myself hasn’t stop & I’ve been itchy for a change. The rebranding process is so crucial in the blogging world & sometimes makes the biggest difference in stats & popularity. It got me thinking, the same results could happen if I continued this with my personal life.

For me personally – going through an extreme loss this past year has changed me a lot. In a grief standpoint, it is quite normal & I’ve spent some time focusing on my healing process & being extra kind to myself. Although they say you don’t want the trauma to change you a ton – I’m actually really happy with the person I am today, regardless that the heartbreak of a loved one passing [ my dad ] was the cause. I’ve became quite the reader these days, I am trying to balance a more realistic lifestyle when it comes to living with intention & I’ve gained a much needed backbone.

If you are also looking to reinvent yourself in some shape or form, here’s where you should start:

Determine Your Why

Why are you looking to make a change in your life? Are you striving for better routines? Are you wanting to cut a bad habit out? Or are you just wanting to help yourself reach specific goals? Determining your why will initiate this game plan for your life. For me, my interest in a rebrand was looking in my closet, & not liking anything I had in my wardrobe. Since the pandemic, I became lazy when it comes to my style & now – I’m looking to rediscover that love for fashion & beauty. And then from there, I wanted to make some personality changes without losing the essence of who I am. I can honestly say, I’m the most sure of myself than I have ever been.

Change Up Your Habits

Are there certain lifestyle habits that are holding you back? For me, I am striving to be the healthiest version of myself, so four months ago, I decided to venture into living an alcohol free life. And ever since than, I’ve been able to take back control of my personality. If you are interested, I can definitely go more in depth on why I choose to live an alcohol free life going into my 30’s. Another habit I’m striving to break is spending far too much time starring at a phone screen. To replace that time & energy, I’ve been spending more time reading actual books which in term, helps me relax & maintain a more calm presence.

Create a Morning / Evening Routine

Morning & evening routines are so popular these days – usually filled with aesthetic concepts. But there is truth in having routines & how they can help ground us. Now, I tend to think of routines in a more simpler way. For instance, setting your morning alarm for a set time, making some form of beverage [ my favorite being chai tea lattes ] & in the evenings – setting aside time to read. Slowing down & creating these rituals can really transform how you take on the busier ends of the week. If you are interested, I can go more in depth on my morning / evening routines lately.

Appearance Can Make a Difference

As superficial as it sounds, changing up your outer appearance can actually make you change internally as well. I’ve been looking through my fall wardrobe & have decided I want to expand my style & add a few new pieces. At the moment, I’m loving neutral shades with mixes of textures. As much as I love athleisure wear, I’ve also fell into a rut where I want to dress much cuter.

Determine Your Goals

These can be short term or more long term goals – but I love planning out goals for myself [ especially with the new year approaching ]. Whether it’s wanting to start a family, adding a pet into the mix or looking to purchase a new home – it’s fun & inspiring to brainstorm on our lives. I think sometimes we tend to just go with the flow & let time pass us by, when there is always something to strive for. Even if it’s a small goal of waking up a little earlier during the week, or trying out a new workout class. Not only do goals make us feel accomplished, but it also allows us to romanticize our lives again.

-B