When the sun goes into hiding and the weather gets chilly, taking care of yourself becomes even more important. “Self-care” is very trendy right now and often used to describe sleeping in late and getting massages, but realistically it is so much more than that. Truthfully, self-care is about showing up for yourself even when you don’t want to and supporting yourself - and yes, the occasional day of pampering!
In the winter especially, this kind of self-care is more than just ideal - it is critical. The weather is cold, the skies are overcast and gloomy, and the overall energy around us is often lackluster. It’s easy to feel...blah. Trust me, I get it - blah days are the worst. While I can’t promise to eradicate them completely, I do have some tips that work really well at staving off the winter blues. Keep reading to find out what they are and let us know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these before!
1. DON'T HIT SNOOZE
I get it - silencing a blaring alarm in the wee hours of the morning for another 10 minutes of blissful relaxation in a warm bed feels GOOD. Yet, science tells us this niceness is short-lived and ultimately not worth it. With each snooze, you affirm to your subconscious that you don’t want to face the day, so when you do eventually drag yourself out of bed, you feel totally bummed out. Tackling this self-care strategy can be a difficult transition, so here’s a tip: think of all the things you do or don’t want to do and practice identifying the emotions behind them. Eventually, it becomes easy to remove the emotions and realize that you might want to stay in bed, but you should really just get up anyway.
2.DAILY MEDITATION AND BREATHWORK
The last century has been defined by inventing a multitude of ways to stay connected and consume information, and often in real-time. Think about it...email, books, radio, apps, blogs, social media, podcasts, e-commerce, email, digital newspapers and article aggregators...the list goes on and on! While there are great benefits to all of these, they also create a lot of noise that makes it hard to fully “shut off”. Engaging in even 5-10 minutes of meditation and focused breathwork each morning can help cut through the clutter and create a sense of empowered balance. Don’t know where to start? Get started with a guided meditation app (I used Headspace).
3. A NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE
Science has shown that maintaining a nighttime routine helps you settle down for sleep easier and faster by signaling to your body/brain that it’s time for sleep. So why not make your nighttime routine do double duty for you by focusing it around skincare? Not only will you thank yourself 10 years down the road when your friends are just starting to take skincare seriously, it really is good for the soul to spend just a couple minutes each night pampering yourself! Here’s a suggestion to get you started: massage an oil cleanser like our Makeup Melt into dry skin to break down dirt and makeup, followed by a regular cleanser, toner, and then do a light acupressure facial massage using a beautiful facial oil or moisturizer. Tada! Instant relaxation for deep, restful ZzZzs.
4. SPEND SOME TIME WITH NATURE - YES, EVEN THOUGH IT’S COLD.
Not only is nature really grounding for lots of people, it’s also a great way to absorb some crucial vitamins and minerals that often deplete in the cold weather. An obvious example is Vitamin D. Even though you should probably still supplement Vitamin D during the colder months, making sure some real sunlight hits your face for a few minutes each day is really good for you. But don’t worry, even if your winters are mostly overcast and you don’t have access to mountains or beaches, research shows that merely being adjacent to nature - for example, standing next to a tree at a bus stop or a potted plant in your home - is enough to have calming effects on anxiety, foster a sense of community and connection, and increase overall happiness!
5. THROW ON A FABULOUS LIPSTICK.
I might be a little biased considering we make some of the best lipsticks on the market (yep, definitely not biased at all), but sometimes a good lipstick really is the difference between a good and bad day. Do you remember hearing the phrase “dress well, test well” in school? Turns out there is some truth to that statement! When we look good, we feel good, and when we feel good, we perform better. This doesn’t just apply to students! Everybody - students, parents, employees, bosses, etc. - has extra pep in their step when they feel good about their appearance. If you needed a reason to convince your partner that you really do need another lipstick, consider this your proof!