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

intentional living, Lifestyle

15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life for the New Year

It’s the start of a new year, which commonly stands for a fresh start. And one of the best & sure fire ways to see change is to simplify life. And from personal experience, I’ve discovered simplifying can be done in a multitude of categories. Last year, I shared 15 Ways to Simplify Your Life & it received so much praise that I wanted to share 15 more ways for this new year.

pin it for later

Here are 15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life in 2023

1. Create a Vision Board

I find vision boards & collages to be a creative & visual representation of my goals & aspirations. It takes me back to the days where I would spend hours cutting out magazines & making collages that I would hang on my bedroom door or closet. Back then, it was usually photos of the Jonas Brothers or Zac Efron, but I digress. Whether it’s digitally on Pinterest or done the old fashion way, I think vision boards are a fun way to really ask yourself what you want to accomplish or strive for & the new year is one of the perfect times to do that.

2. Downsize Your Digital Footprint

We tend to focus on the physical clutter when we are simplifying our lives & tend to neglect our digital space. In the new year, look through your social media platforms & let go of the ones you aren’t using or ones that aren’t benefiting you. Go through your followers & mute or unfollow those who aren’t inspiring you or are providing a negative pool. I also recommend cleaning up your devices, desktops, files, photos etc to make space for new memories & projects in 2023. If you are looking for specific decluttering tips in the digital space, click here to read 15 Ways To Downsize Your Digital Space.

3. Let Go of Clothing You Don’t Love or Use

I love closet declutters! As we know by the countless blog posts I have about said topic like 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe I find it so refreshing to let go of clothing that doesn’t fit, is worn out, or has simply met it’s expiration date. Make space for new items, a fresh style & one that works with your lifestyle in the present moment.

4. Prioritize Relationships That Lift You Up

Life is too short to place your time & energy on people who don’t deserve it. Focus on the ones who lift you up, encourage & help you grow into the person you wish to be. When we waste time on those who bring us down, we are only hurting ourselves.

5. Let Go Of Habits You No Longer Want to Entertain

Every time I think about this point, I picture people rushing for that gym membership on January 1st. And then by March, they are back to their usual routines. My biggest suggestion with letting go of old habits & striving for new ones, is to be realistic. Take baby steps if possible in the direction you want to be in. Habits are better formed this way then going full force all at once. Whether it’s adding a few healthier options on the grocery list or carving out a few hours in your day being active – these small changes will keep the enjoyment alive.

6. Say No More Often

I talked about this concept in my 11 Things I Intentionally Say No To blog post & I’m reiterating this fact because saying no is so powerful. I used to be quite the people pleaser & thought I had to accept every invitation or request that was presented to me. News flash, saying yes to everything simply causes intense burn out. So, in the new year say no more often & put your self care & rest time above certain things. Pleasing people won’t give you more friends, it only hurts yourself.

7. Learn to Gift More Practically

Living a simple life means not allowing excess clutter to enter your home or someone else’s. I’ve learned to gift & shop more practically by choosing clutter free alternatives. During the holidays, I shared 50 Clutter Free Gift Ideas that can inspire any gift related holiday in the future. I’ve learned gifting practically saves you money & allows you to shop smarter.

8. Shop Smarter

When we feed into consumerism & trends of society, we tend to over shop which can become detrimental to our bank accounts. By living a more minimalist life, I’ve learned I can live without so many things society tells us we should have. I prioritize the essentials & even find cheaper & more efficient alternatives. Not to mention when we shop smarter, we are helping the environment as well [ especially if it’s sustainable alternatives]. Check out this blog post on sustainable alternatives & plastic free swaps here.

9. Slow Down Your Routines

Society makes us feel like we need to be busy all the time. We need to be doing more & productively become faster. This is not the case. It’s actually more productive when we slow down some & take our time. Allow ourselves those breaks so burn out doesn’t fester. One of my favorite things to do is have slow mornings on the weekend or whenever I can. I’ll make a warm beverage & just sit in silence for a few minutes before my day really starts. Instead of rushing through our tasks, we should learn to savor them.

10. Stop Keeping Up With The Trends

You don’t need the new Ugg ultra minis or flair leggings. You don’t need to the newest iPhone if yours is still working great. Only buy trends if you genuinely love it. Otherwise, you are wasting your money on items that will go out of style in a few months or you’ll just get tired of. Stick with classics & buy items that make you happy & fit your style. If certain trends do that for you, great!

11. Lessen Your Screen Time

Downsizing my social media & intentionally choosing other activities other than looking at my phone or laptop screen has helped me stay grounded & relax more often. As a blogger, it’s tough because I’m always in front of my laptop typing away. But I try& schedule in time for reading a good book or spending quality time with family & my husband. Getting lost in good conversation is one of my favorite things & sometimes we can forget that act of connection when we are starring at our phones all the time.

12. Get Outdoors

I want to take more walks in the new year & get outdoors more often. I love going on hikes or just walking through the neighborhood. It’s so healthy to get that fresh air & vitamin d. And I think it’s something we tend to forget. In the dark winters especially, I find short walks to be so relaxing & help me get through the season depression that tends to creep in when it gets darker earlier.

13. Focus on Experiences

Focusing on experiences over material items opens yourself up to making new memories, stepping outside your comfort zone & evolving as a person. I love spending money on experiences & trips over new clothing or makeup now a days. In my honeymoon blog post to Maui, I talked about how the best money to spend in with traveling. And it’s so true. When you let go of the notion to add more clutter into your home & instead venture out and see the world, you are expanding your horizons & getting a taste of what else is out there. And you aren’t creating physical baggage for yourself that will weigh you down.

14. Downsize Your Products

I love simple routines for the efficiency & the quickness. As someone who has rather sensitive skin, I rarely like to experiment with new products & have an array of items to choose from. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stands true with my lifestyle & my wallet also has thanked me. The concept of decision fatigue can really wear at us & so when we have less to choose from, it becomes easier for us to then focus on the parts of life that matter even more.

15. Live in the Moment

A habit I’m trying to enforce more in the new year is being more present & living in the moment. I think we all tend to live in the mindset of “what’s next?” when we really need to be focusing on the “right now.” How many times do you find yourself scrolling your phone mindlessly instead of engaging in heartfelt conversation? All of a sudden the voices around you sound like the adults in the Peanut specials & you missed every word someone said. Not only is that rude, but you are doing yourself a disservice of escaping from the present moment. Stop rushing your life & worrying about the future so hard. It’s good to plan & have goals, but I think we tend to forget that our future is based on what we do in the present.

How do you plan to simplify your life this year?

-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