Written By Kent Reason
From frigid temperatures to severe snowfall and icy roads, the winter months are known for less-than-ideal weather for going outside. Just because you’re snowed in doesn’t mean you can’t have a relaxing day of self-care to recharge your mind, body, and spirit. Here are eight ideas for at-home self-care this winter season.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet powerful way to reduce stress and calm your mind. To do it, you simply need to set aside 10-15 minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Pay attention to each inhale and exhale. If you notice your mind begin to wander, bring your attention back to your breath. You may soon notice the fleeting nature of thoughts, whether they be negative or positive. Starting a regular meditation practice can boost your mood, improve sleep, and increase your sense of well-being.
Eat a Nutritious Meal
Eating healthy is not always easy or convenient, but there’s nothing more nourishing to your body and mind on a cold winter day than a warm home-cooked meal. You can try a new recipe packed with immune system-boosting foods like garlic, ginger, and spinach. Try eating mindfully and slowly, savoring each bite and focusing on the flavors and textures. Studies show that eating slower has positive health effects and can promote better digestion as well as a fuller sensation.
Take a Nap
From physical rejuvenation to reducing the risk of developing some mental health disorders, the health benefits of plentiful sleep are widely known. If you find yourself barricaded in your house this winter season, taking a nap can be a powerful restorative tool that will increase your mood, energy, and level of focus. To avoid oversleeping, you can set an alarm for 30 minutes and wake up rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Read a Book
Curling up with a good book on a cold day is a simple pleasure that will transport you to another world, reduce anxiety levels, improve sleep, and spark your creative juices. Challenging yourself by reading books outside of your usual go-to genres will also lead to discovering new topics of interest and seeing things from new perspectives. Studies show that reading can help reduce the risk of mental decline and dementia later in life.
Have a Spa Day at Home
Even if it’s too cold to get in your car and drive to your favorite spa, it doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a relaxing spa day in the comfort of your home. Light some candles to set the mood and draw a warm bath scented with essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus for a soothing soak. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin with lotions and creams, or put on a hydrating face mask with cucumber slices over your eyes. You’ll be surprised at how effective an at-home spa day can be at melting your stress away.
Get In a Cozy Outfit and Watch a Movie
There’s nothing like slipping into a comfortable, cozy outfit to make you feel warm and pampered on a winter day. Get in your favorite oversized sweater and fuzzy socks, make a hot beverage, and relax with your favorite movie.
Spend Time With Your Pet
Bonding with your dog, cat, or other type of furry friend is a stress-relieving activity known to help reduce blood pressure and increase levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which can stave off feelings of loneliness and depression. Snuggling up with your pet or brushing them can calm you both.
Write in a Journal
Set aside some time to turn off all digital distractions and do some journaling. Writing in a notebook can help you process your thoughts and emotions and can assist in releasing inner tensions. Don’t worry about perfect grammar and organization, simply write down your dreams, fears, experiences, or observations and express yourself as openly and honestly as you can. Later, you can look back on past journal entries and reflect on your personal growth.
Self-care during the winter months will help you feel refreshed and restored even if you can’t bear to go outside. When you slow down and savor the simple pleasures in life, you’ll notice a marked increase in mood over time.
Kent Reason is an editor and content specialist with Ohio Recovery Center, a substance use treatment center located in Van Wert, OH. ORC offers an array of services for addiction and mental health, including multiple levels of care and evidence-based treatment options.