It’s the most wonderful time of the year for self-care and turning inward. Here's how to keep yourself well this winter.
As soon as December sets in, as much as I may resist it, my inner clock knows that winter is the most wonderful time of the year to turn inward. Winter is practically beckoning me to do less. It’s is a natural time to pause, absorb and reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new year. Most of us could really use more rest and reflection instead of zipping and zooming through our daily to-dos.
Those of us who keep our extraordinarily fast-paced schedules can easily miss the magic and joy of the essence of the season.
So how do you go from busy person to more being, less doing? Self-care, of course, which doesn’t stop being important just because you’re busy. It keeps you present and energized, especially during the holidays and end-of-year festivities.
Try the lifestyle practices below to lift some of the inertia from seeing the sun less often. These are things that you can do any time of year but especially this time of year.
Practice It: 5 Winter Self-Care Practices
Go to bed as soon as you feel tired. Even if it’s 9 p.m. and there is still a load of laundry to do and a mountain of dishes in the sink that need washing. Just sleep. Wake up early (by 6 a.m.) to start your day off on a bright note.
Exercise every day—preferably in the morning to give yourself a mood boost. Even 20 minutes matters.
Eat more cooked nutrient-dense foods and healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado. Think slow cooker recipes, soups and stews—foods that warm you from the inside out.
Drink water throughout the day—not just a copious amount in the morning or at night I look forward to drinking warm water with lemon every morning.
Socialize and connect more with others. Share a meal, schedule a tea date, take an exercise or yoga class, or go on a walk with a friend.
I also incorporate at least a few minutes of meditation every morning and journaling my thoughts every evening. Check out my award-winning book 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas for journaling prompts and meditation ideas.
Bonus practice: Many yogis flow through 108 sun salutations on the winter solstice (and summer solstice, too). This takes about an hour or more, depending on your pace. If you try it, let me know how it goes on Instagram @juliegtheyogi!
Note that if you’re practicing all of these things and you’re still experiencing a consistently low mood, please contact someone, such as your primary care doctor, who can help.
Pay a little extra attention to yourself. Just like your children, your mind, body and spirit depend on you to take care of them.