How to care for yourself in winter
Winter can be a beautiful and contemplative season, but it’s often difficult to enjoy it with the cold temperature and various illnesses in the air. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to enjoy a picturesque winter season with a few simple steps! This guide will give you all of the self-care tips you need to enjoy winter today. This post does have a few affiliate links that I may make a little bit of extra money from, if you click the link and use my link for a purchase, at no extra costs to you! It does help me to make these wonderful free planners that I have for you in my free printables hub, that you can sign up for below!
Staying Healthy and Warm
One of the most difficult things about winter is the high-probability of getting sick. Whether it’s a sore throat, stuffy nose, or dangerous flu, you’ll want to protect yourself while still enjoying the season’s benefits. While flu vaccinations and over the counter medicines are common, these tips can help protect you while also being enjoyable by themselves!
Winter can be a difficult few months to get through. The cold weather keeps us indoors and takes a toll on our bodies. Mood has been shown to be drastically worsened in the winter than during any other season. So, before the first blizzard of the year, make sure you get are prepared with some simple items that might help you make it until spring decides to show up.
First, you’ll want to keep your body and home warm throughout the season. This seems obvious enough, but it requires more than just a sweater and heater. Make sure to wear socks indoors to keep your body temperature down, and sip on warm tea throughout the day. Avoid caffeinated teas in the evenings and instead choose something calming like chamomile. Or warm apple cider tea, like this one. I love warm apple cider tea, and if you have a keurig, it’s perfect for that. If you don’t have a keurig, check them out here! I bought one just like it for my husband’s office, and while he was still working in the office, before Covid hit, his coffee machine area was the hottest place in the office. Everyone came by for a refill!
Just like you would get flip flops and sandals in anticipation for summer, winter needs its own accessories. Whether it is a new, comfy hand knit scarf, mittens, or a new beanie make sure you have the accessories to keep you warm and safe this winter. The extremities get cold the fastest because your body naturally keeps your core, where your vital organs are, warm before your hands, toes, and face. Therefore, you will need to prepare clothing that will keep them extra toasty this winter.
The dry, cold winter can have devastating effects on your skin. Make sure you have moisturizers to keep your skin nurtured, soft, and not chapped this winter. One of the most sensitive areas are the lips, where chapping can happen with the barest exposure to a harsh winter. Opt for an “ointment”-type moisturizer that is oil-based rather than water-based to create a protective barrier on your skin that will better retain moisture. This should prevent cracking, chapping, or itching of the skin, especially if you keep them covered up with winter accessories!
Vitamin D Supplements
The body produces vitamin D naturally, but only when it is exposed to regular sunshine. Vitamin D is related to bone maintenance, absorption of calcium, balance, and memory. During winter months, when the days are shorter and you’re inside more often, you will have to take a vitamin D supplement to make up for the lack of sunshine and natural vitamin D production. Go for clear, football-shaped vitamin D3, which has been shown to have a greater effect than vitamin D2, which is white and opaque. Depending on where you live, the winter may bring subzero temperatures and occasional snowstorms.
When the sun isn’t present for long periods of time, your body begins to produce less vitamin D. When you have a vitamin D deficiency, you may experience mood swings along with other symptoms like depression, lethargy, and insomnia. To help, try a small vitamin D supplement to keep your levels stable throughout the darker months.
Your mental health can also improve through regular exercise. While you may not be able to run outside, you can practice yoga or bodyweight fitness inside of your home in any season! Do some daily pushups, jog in place, or simply shake out your arms throughout the day. Even the smallest amount of exercise can go a long way in keeping your mind and body healthy during the winter.
Arts, Crafts, and Literature
You may spend more time inside during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean you have to be bored! Find some unique activities or games that you can play inside to stay busy. This could be a new board game or something more personal like arts and crafts. Learn how to draw, or reignite a passion for a craft that you haven’t enjoyed in a while. Plus, nothing’s better than diving into a long and well-written book during the winter! Have some hot chocolate, curl up in a blanket, and enjoy that book you’ve always been meaning to read. I love, love, love James Patterson! One of my favorite books is Suzanne’s diary for Nicholas, check it out here!
Indoor Workout Plans
Regular exercise is a part of any healthy lifestyle, so it is important to remain active throughout the winter months. For those who work out regularly outside, this may not be possible after a blizzard, so it is necessary to have plans to do alternative exercises at home. Most yoga programs can be done at home with the aid of a DVD or an online streaming service for both physical, emotional, and mental strengthening. YouTube has a lot of wonderful options for yoga. And guess what, I am also working on a yoga planner that I will have some free planner pages, so make sure to check back, I can’t wait to finish that one!
High-intensity interval training with bodyweight exercises is another often recommended form of indoor exercise, particularly using the 4-minute Tabata method. This is a method where you exercise strenuously for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 cycles. This has been demonstrated to be equivalent to a 30-minute workout!