The fall and winter months usher in colder temperatures and shorter days. So it’s no surprise that our mood and energy are also affected during this time.
But the colder months have a lot of comforting aspects as well. Sure, it gets pitch black at 4 PM and our teeth are always chattering, but it’s true. The fall and winter seasons give us a much needed break from the hectic pace of our everyday lives. Instead of forcing ourselves to hustle and bustle, we can take a cue from Mother Nature and use this period to slow down, reset, and take care of ourselves.
While self-care is good for us any time of the year, it’s especially beneficial during the fall and winter months. Self-care can help relieve the stress of holiday gatherings and lift our spirits during the coldest days of the year.
Here are some self-care ideas that will help you have a restorative fall and winter.
1. Create a cozy environment
The colder months are a good excuse to create a cozy and soothing environment in your home. Here are some ways to turn your home into a fall and winter haven.
- Soft textures. When the temperatures drop, you’ll want to embrace yourself in soft and inviting textures. Think fleece blankets, flannel pajamas, and buttery slippers. Soft textures will have you feeling like you're enveloped in a warm hug all season.
- Warm lighting. Is the lighting too harsh in your home? Swap the overhead lighting for lamps and add candles all around your space. The softer lighting will add a warm, soothing energy to any room.
- Tranquil sounds. Whether it’s a relaxing Spotify playlist or the soothing hum of a room diffuser, peaceful sounds can transform your environment into a calm and serene one.
2. Create a cozy workspace
You can create cozy vibes in your workspace too. Office lighting is notorious for its harsh glares but maybe you can bring in a desk lamp with a warm bulb. Is work getting stressful and overwhelming? Sometimes an organized desk can help refresh your mind. Do a quick decluttering session to tidy your space. Recycle paper clutter, store documents in a tray, and add a cute desk organizer to make your office look clean and inviting.
3. Reflect and recalibrate
The colder months are a good time to reflect and write in your journal. Light a candle, make a cup of tea, and try writing free-writing for twenty minutes. You can also use prompts to help guide your journaling practice. A journaling session will help you relax, reconnect with yourself, and identify all the things you appreciate right now.
4. Add citrus
Another great thing about winter? Citrus fruit is in season. The vitamin C will do you good and the fresh fruit will smell and taste amazing. Set a bowl of oranges, lemons, or tangerines to brighten up your senses and your space.
5. Let go of things that don’t support you
The changing of the season can serve as a symbolic time to let go of things that no longer support you. This could mean donating clothes or household items you no longer use. Or letting go of routines that don’t make you feel good, like reading the news before bed or checking work emails on the weekend. A physical and mental decluttering session can help you recharge.
6. Set new goals
Most of the year is so fast-paced and deadline driven, but the rhythm starts to slow down by the time winter arrives. Use this quiet period to start thinking about your new goals. A new goal can help shape our lives to be more purposeful and rewarding. Thinking about your future and all the possibilities can recharge your mind and spirit.
Ask yourself: what would I like to pursue next year? What new hobbies, interests, or projects would be really fulfilling? You don’t have to commit to these goals just yet, but take the time to daydream, brainstorm, and let yourself really think about what would make 2023 awesome.
7. Host a game night
When the temperatures plummet, the last thing we want to do is leave the house and be social. While it’s tempting to stay inside all winter, it’s important to remember that human beings are social creatures. We crave connection. So you may not feel like going to a loud bar or a party, but why not split the difference and host a low-key game night at home? Game nights always make for a fun and lively evening with friends.
8. Pick up a new hobby
Whether it’s knitting, doing watercolors, or calligraphy, a new hobby is a soothing outlet during the colder months. And because a new hobby involves learning new skills and taking on small challenges, it’s a great way to stay focused and in the present.
9. Get sunlight in the morning
The darker days can affect our circadian rhythm which can also affect our sleep cycle at night. Try to soak up as much sunlight as you can in the first part of the day. Maybe it’s opening your curtains or drinking your morning cup of jo by the window or taking a brisk morning walk. This exposure will really pay off come bed time. You can also use a light therapy lamp to brighten up your home.
10. Take walks outside
Taking walks when it’s cold and dreary out? Yes, it’s good for you! Whereas walking in the summer can feel hot and draining, a winter walk can leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. The chill in the air. The brisk wind. It really gets the blood flowing.
Plus, winter walks have their own special advantages. Without all the leaves, it’s easier to go birdwatching or appreciate the sculpture of the trees. And the walks seem so much more quiet and peaceful when there’s snow blanketing the ground.
11. Drink a soothing cup of tea
There’s a reason that tea is so beloved around the world. It allows us to slow down, take a breather, and enjoy life one sip at a time. It’s a comfort on a cold day and warms your body and your soul.