Winter can take a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Here are 20 winter self-care ideas (that are actually self-care) for moms that will boost your health in mind, soul, and body.
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Winter can be a difficult season for many of us. The colder temperatures, lack of sunlight, and increased isolation (well… in normal years that aren’t already FULL of it) can take a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
And I know, I know. “Self-care” is such a buzzword these days that, frankly, it has lost most of its meaning. At its core, self-care is exactly that — taking care of yourself. But it has been twisted into something that more often looks like self-indulgence and surface level self-comfort (which, in moderation, isn’t bad; it just isn’t self-care).
However, denying the importance of self-care because of how it has been misused is the epitome of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Self-care for moms is essential — for our own health and well-being, for our ability to take care of our families, and for our longevity in carrying out God’s purposes for our lives.
Taking care of yourself as a mom is important throughout the year, but the colder, darker months of winter bring with them a specific set of needs to meet. Here are 20 winter self-care ideas (that are actually self-care) for moms that will boost your health in mind, soul, and body.
20 Ways to Practice Self-Care This Winter
Get outside every day
A healthy dose of daily sun exposure increases serotonin levels, which helps stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder, and is also the best natural source of Vitamin D. And fresh air offers heaps of benefits for your lungs, blood pressure, digestion, mental health, and more!
Move your body every day
I don’t need to tell you the value of daily exercise. (But just in case I do, it benefits nearly every part of your physical health, supports your immune system, and helps keep the “winter blues” at bay.)
Most people associate dehydration with the sweltering heat and strenuous activity of the summer months, but it is just as possible (and actually more common than you think!) in the winter.
Take care of your body by staying hydrated with water, non-caffeinated beverages, and fruits & vegetables, which are full of water.
Fuel your body
Speaking of fruits and vegetables, make a conscious effort to include them in your winter diet. It’s easier in the summer when all the fresh garden produce abounds, so staying well-fueled with nutritious food in the winter requires extra intention.
Get more sleep
Ahh, the advice we all know and yet struggle to put into practice. But if we want to take care of ourselves this winter, sleep is, indeed, key to both our physical and mental health.
For a better night’s sleep, try putting your electronic devices away earlier in the night, soaking in a warm bath before bed, taking a magnesium supplement, investing in a weighted blanket, and/or creating a bedtime routine to signal to your brain it’s time for sleep.
Boost your immune system
Winter is a challenging season for our immune system. All the previous winter self-care ideas have the added bonus of being immunity-boosting, but you can also look into additional measures for keeping your immune system healthy and strong.
Hydrate and moisturize your skin
The cold and low humidity of winter can quickly dry out your skin, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and irritable. Try some of these tips for avoiding the dry skin that so often plagues us in the winter.
Interpersonal connection is vital to our emotional (and subsequently, physical) health. While current social distancing measures have made it more difficult, you should still make an effort to stay connected however possible, such as through phone calls, texts, FaceTime, etc.
It may seem cliché, but journaling provides significant health benefits. For many people it can be cathartic, helping them process and regulate emotions. For others, it’s simply a creative outlet. Either way, it engages the brain and lowers stress levels.
Clutter is mentally and emotionally draining. It’s also physically exhausting when you have to deal with it all the time! Do yourself a favor and include some decluttering in your winter self-care plan.
Embrace the season
There’s a natural rhythm to the changing of the seasons; instead of fighting it, embrace it! Slow down, snuggle up, and lean into the stripping away of winter that leads to the rebirth of spring.
Engage in a favorite hobby
Bring some joy into the dreary winter months by engaging in your favorite hobby. The winter months from January to March tend to be a bit slower-paced, so it’s the perfect time!
Carve out space in your day for quiet
The book Calm, Cool, and Connected by Arlene Pellicane opened my eyes to the value — necessity, even — of regular times of quiet, as well as how little most of us actually get.
It may seem like a strange or silly thing to include in your winter self-care, but I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in your mental state when you do.
Connect with your spouse
A healthy marriage is a great source of joy and strength. Therefore, taking care of your marriage, while important in its own right for many reasons, is taking care of yourself! Take advantage of the longer nights and cozy evenings this winter to connect with your spouse.
Related Post: 25 At-Home Date Night Ideas
Read something you love
Reading is good for your brain, good for your soul, and — depending on what you’re reading — good for your spirit. As an avid reader, I’m completely biased, but I think reading is excellent winter self-care.
If you’re looking for your next great read, check out my favorite books from 2020!
Start a new tradition
If winter is hard for you, find something that helps you look forward to what can otherwise be a gloomy season. Go on a yearly winter retreat, adopt a winter tradition from around the world, or dive deep into the art of hygge.
Invest in your family
Deep connections with your kids brings immense joy to your life, so invest time building those relationships. For fun and memories, try some of these family winter activities!
Study God’s Word
The ultimate source of holistic health, and the best form of self-care, is found in God’s Word. If that’s a struggle for you as a mom, I encourage you to read this post about how to have a consistent quiet time as a mom of small kids.
I can’t think of a better act of self-care this winter (and every season!) than deepening your prayer life. Start a prayer journal, keep prayer cards on your kitchen counter, or post prayers around the house. Whatever it takes — just pray!
Related Post: 5 Prayers to Combat Mom Fear
Make time to refuel
Motherhood (and life, in general) takes a lot out of you, so it’s essential that you refill your cup. Make time each day to do something that recharges your batteries, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. The key, though, is to find activities that truly refuel you on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level.
“Self-care” is thrown around a lot these days, unfortunately tarnishing its true meaning in the process. But taking care of ourselves, especially when we have little people depending on us to take care of them, is so important.
With the particular challenges of the season, winter self-care often comes with its own particular set of needs, but I’m confident these 20 ideas will help.
SHARE WITH US: Do you have any other winter self-care ideas to add to this list? I’d love to hear them! Share them with us in the comments!
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