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

blogmas, Lifestyle

How To Have a Stress Free Holiday Season

Does the holiday season stress you out? Do you tend to place far more expectations on yourself to please the people in your life? Maybe the trick behind easing that stress & worry is to think more like a minimalist. Here are 6 Ways on How To Have A Stress Free Holiday Season

Plan Ahead

I personally love getting most of my holiday shopping done 2 months before December. Why? So I can enjoy the holiday season & not feel stressed out. I’m not a procrastinator whatsoever, so I love planning early. I make a list of who I’m gifting, who we are sending cards to (if any) & the budget around everything else. Having a game plan like this can help you see what is necessary & what can be nixed.

Talk to Family Early

Along with this game plan, you need to discuss with family about gifts early & expectations. If you have a huge family, maybe suggest Secret Santas or White Elephant gift exchanges. Sometimes, you need to openly & honestly discuss your budget & thoughts around the holiday. The earlier you discuss this, the easier and less caught off guard people would be later on.

Have a Spending / Gift Limit

I think gift giving can become rather overwhelming and out of hand if you let it. I know when I’m shopping for a loved one, I tend to find tons of ideas. But I’ve learned I need to limit the amount to save money. And if there are people you can leave out of gift exchanges, do it. Instead of giving material items, you can simply spend more time with the person or surprise them with a future event. If you need gift ideas, check out my previous blogmas post on my Minimalist Gift Guide.

Focus on the Experiences More

You don’t always have to spend money on material items to show people you care about them. Christmas to me, is about spending time with the people you care about. And with it being pandemic times, seeing family & friends may be difficult. So plan a phone call or zoom get together. I remember around Easter, we had a zoom dinner with my boyfriend’s family & it was a great way to see everyone at a safe distance.

Be Intentional With Your Time & Energy

Like everything in life, you have to prioritize what matters to you. And remember, if you make everything important, nothing truly is. Make time for what YOU want to do for the holiday, not what other people think you should do. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time of year. Don’t stress yourself out with too much on your plate.

Listen To Your Heart

Along with being intentional, you also have to be true to yourself. I feel like the holidays can revolve around pleasing your family. And although it is important to honor your family members & loved ones & make time for them, you still need to follow your instinct of how you wish to celebrate. And this doesn’t make you selfish, you are simply honoring yourself as well as others. There’s a give and take with the holidays. But always remember, you can’t please everyone.

-B

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Self Growth

Lets Celebrate Our Small Victories For Once

Why is it we tend to only pride ourselves of the big accomplishments? Do we feel like our small wins are not worth to brag about? I’m here to tell you, THEY ARE worth it & here’s why.

Burn out is a real problem in today’s day & age. I’ve talked about the importance of self care & slowing down your routines, but I haven’t yet discussed the importance of celebrating every achievement in your life, especially those little ones. And to prevent this so called burn out, we MUST take the time to acknowledge these small victories as they are the parachutes to our bigger destinations. It’s so important to enjoy the journey if you will & take in those small ounces of growth. Because once you do make it big or get to the top of the mountain so to speak, you’ll be proud of how you got there.

Take social media for instance, I feel like most people wait to announce their biggest accomplishments on there. Whether its an engagement, marriage, new job, promotion or travel opportunity, people are quick to announce those things. It’s a braggers right, isn’t it? But I guess posting a photo of your coffee mug with the caption, “tasty brew today” isn’t quite enough to be brag worthy.

But I’m saying, maybe we should do that! Maybe if we focused our attention on smaller accomplishments, our feeds wouldn’t be bombarded by highlight reels of amazing opportunities. Not so say we shouldn’t be proud of those moments. Maybe we should celebrate those small victories to be more relatable & show others that small hints of gratitude are something to be proud of too. I think for the sake of society, we would all benefit from this.

I know for a fact, if I posted a picture of me just getting out bed in the morning with the caption, “actually got my ass out of bed this morning, win win for me” it wouldn’t get that much praise. I honestly wish it would though because for some people, that’s a huge accomplishment. But I get it. Those victories don’t compare to those who have bought a house or won a Nobel prize. But it shouldn’t mean you should feel any less for your small victories. No wonder people struggle with self esteem. The world makes the little things seem pointless.

Taking pride in those small wins helps maintain proper mental health. To achieve in this life, I feel like the main characteristic to have is a good attitude. I love the quote, “when you focus on the good, the good gets better” & I think that half of the reason we have tough times, is not thinking every aspect of our lives are wins. Just being alive another day should be enough, you know?

I also feel like we are always looking for the next best things in life. And my biggest fear of mine, is waiting for this so called “big accomplishment” & never feeling like I really get there. And the reason for this is the notion of always wanting something bigger & better. Once you accomplish one thing, you are off to the next one. And it’s this big endless cycle of never really measuring up. So, why not look at your entire life as one big painting. Each little paint stroke leads you to the final masterpiece. An artist doesn’t wisk through a project & just say it simply appeared there. They acknowledge the time it took to get there, every mark & line, & every color used to get to the finished product. And I think we should treat our lives the same way.

What are some of your small wins today? Comment down below.

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-B