It’s no secret that I love this time of year. And although fall and winter are both filled with so many wonderful traditions and seem primed for spending lots of quality time with close friends and family, they can also be lonely, long and stressful, particularly as the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder. So today, I wanted to share from my own experience some helpful ways to take care of yourself in the fall and winter months.
Establish a calming night-time routine
Light a few candles, brew a cup of herbal tea and curl up on your couch with a good book, or take a few minutes to clear your head and meditate before turning in for the night. Right now, I love using the Calm app to unwind after I’ve climbed into bed. They have specific meditations for letting go of anxiety, managing stress, or focusing on gratitude that not only help your mental state, but also improve sleep quality.
Declutter your space
This time of year, we tend to spend a lot more time at home. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and take some time to clean and organize your home so it’s a warm and inviting space to come back to at the end of a long work day. If that also includes replacing some of the clutter with a few fun holiday decorations to liven up your space, then go for it! Twinkle lights and pumpkins happen to bring me joy, so I love to decorate with them after I’ve done a deep clean of the house.
If running in frigid weather isn’t your thing (I personally don’t love it), find a gym or fitness studio that’s close enough to work or home that you don’t have to go out of your way to get in a good sweat session. There are also so many great fitness apps that take the guesswork out of setting up a workout routine and come with some pretty amazing online communities that you can check in with to keep yourself accountable. By making this a priority, you’ll not only reap all of the mental and physical benefits of exercising, but also stay connected with your community.
Call a loved one
This has been the single best piece of advice I’ve received for my own self-care during this time of year. As an introvert I have a tendency to hibernate, especially when the temperatures drop. Needless to say, that can also feel a little isolating. Any time I’ve started to feel “off” or lonely, I’ve picked up the phone to call a friend or family member (and yes - call, not text) to talk about everything and nothing, get caught up on each others’ days or just laugh about something ridiculous. By the time the call ends, I feel happier and filled with so much gratitude for these people in my life, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.
Now I want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?