Winter Self-Care Tips

Well, giddy up. Winter is coming. I know, I stated the obvious. But, winter this year is one I think we need to have an honest heart-to-heart conversation about, as we are about to embark on a new season that may be very challenging for most.

This winter is different; a winter in the Midwest, in the midst of a pandemic, capping off a year filled with chaos, unpredictability, sickness, disappointment, sorrow, loneliness, death, fear, isolation, sadness, anxiety, worry, grief, loss, pain, slowing down, joy, and a whirlwind of emotions. So, let’s pause a minute and brainstorm how we can wrap up this year.


Here is a list of some ideas to try this upcoming season to implement your own self-care to help make it through this winter (shoutout to some local mamas that helped me add to this list!) :

-Take a bath, adding in some bath salts!

-Read that book that has been gathering dust on your shelf

-Bake and bake some more!

-Try a new recipe

-Or try out HomeChef if you’re an awful cook like me 😉 

-Check out an online mama group (ECFE, Amma, Blooma are some great places to start) 

-Print off your favorite photos and organize them into photo albums

-Get a massage

-Dim the lights, turn on your favorite music, and light up some candles or sit by the fireplace

-Get out those Christmas decorations and decorate now!

-Order take-out from a local small business

-Get a pedicure and choose a bright, bold polish color

-Listen to a podcast (Unlocking Us with Brene’ Brown is one of my current faves!)

-Turn off your phone completely and be present in the moment

-Plan and dream about an upcoming vacation 

-Create a special in-home date

-Listen to music by a new musician 

-Find a new hobby; craft, restore some home furniture, knitting, painting

-Binge watch a new TV series 

-Make a cup of coffee or tea (and drink it while it’s actually hot)

-Have a stay-at-home movie night and go all out (fresh popcorn, soda, candy, turn off the phone)

-Write in your children’s baby book

-Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights

-Try a new exercise routine 

-Journal areas of gratitude from the past year

-Try a new cocktail or mocktail recipe

-Play a video game (Mario Kart marathon anyone?)

-Create a gift package to mail or give to a neighbor

-Look up funny videos on YouTube

-Take a walk outside and breathe in deeply that fresh cold air

-Build a snowman; catch a snowflake on your tongue

-Order a sun lamp (check out Circadian Optics) 

-Try a new essential oils combo

-Engage in an activity that stimulates all five senses

-Contact a therapist and try telehealth (therapy in your pjs? Why not?)

The list could go on. But, ultimately, give yourself permission to have days where you do nothing at all. Be patient with yourself, give yourself grace. This is your first winter, in the Midwest, in a pandemic, and unless you’re over 100 something, there is no way you have ever gone through anything quite like this before. It is okay to not be okay. We got this! And as Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.”


By: Amber Williams, MS, LPCC

Photo: Flora Westbrook from Pexels