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With shorter days, cold weather and grey skies, winter self-care is so important! For many, these cold-weather months can put a damper on your mood, causing you to feel tired, irritable, and even sad.
To help you feel your best, despite it being cold and dark outside, we’ve put together this list of winter self-care ideas.
Move Your Body
Regular exercise is important for your physical and mental health. Unfortunately for those of us in the North, come winter we may need to modify our exercise routine to accommodate the colder weather. The good thing is all you need to experience the benefits of regular exercise is an hour-long workout three times a week.
Cardio is a great way to help increase your blood flow throughout your body, including your reproductive system, while weight training will aid your body in getting stronger and help to boost your metabolism.
If the weather permits, wintry walks are a great way to get cardio in, but why not also try other winter activities? Tobogganing, skiing, skating or even building a snowman are all fun ways to move your body outdoors in the snow. If you’d rather stay inside, try a free workout on YouTube like this yoga session for beginners, or this cardio HIIT workout. You won’t even need exercise equipment!
Soothe Your Hands
Washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. While it’s important to wash your hands regularly any time of year, it’s especially important in the winter months when bacteria and germs spread more easily. But, as many of us have experienced, frequent handwashing in the winter can leave your skin dry and chapped. The reason this happens is because although you’re washing away germs, you’re also removing lipids and natural oils from your hands. Make sure to regularly apply a good hand lotion for soft and silky hands all winter long.
We talked about getting outside for exercise, but even just stepping outside for some fresh air and sunshine will do you good!
Spending time outdoors can help lift your mood and lower anxiety. According to research, at least 2 hours a week spent outdoors is ideal. So, the next time you’re feeling bored, sad or anxious, why not take a stroll outside or even spend a few minutes on your porch?
Another benefit to spending time outside, at least when it’s sunny out, is vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones and muscles healthy.
Vitamin D can also help reduce depression. And, as most of us know, the best way to get vitamin D is from the sun! Even just 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight should be sufficient, but if you’re finding it hard to get outdoors, a vitamin D supplement might also be an option. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think this is something you might need.
Take a Hot Bath
What’s more relaxing than a nice, hot bath at the end of the day?
There’s a reason baths are often recommended when looking up winter self-care tips. Research has shown that a hot-water bath has numerous benefits, from improved heart health, muscle tension relief, reduced headaches and more.
Even more so, it just feels nice! Plus, hot water can help relax your body and prepare you for a better sleep. Which brings us to our last winter self-care tip.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health.
To help you sleep better, consider these few tips:
- Keep it cool: Set your thermostat between 60-67°F (15-19°C) at night. Cooler temperatures will help regulate your body temperature, which usually rises due to hormones during your period.
- Keep a sleep schedule: By going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you are helping to ensure you get the amount of sleep you need, which should be somewhere between 7-9 hours.
- Create a comfortable bedroom: Your bedroom should be setup for optimal rest. Make sure to eliminate distractions by unplugging any unnecessary electronics and keep your phone at a distance. Most people sleep best when there is white noise (like a whirring fan), completely pitch black and a cooler temperature.
- Get in a comfortable position: If you are experiencing cramps, try laying on your side or in the fetal position which takes pressure off your abdominal muscles.
For more tips on how to get a good sleep, particularly on your menstrual cycle, check out our blog post 9 Tips for Better Sleep During Your Menstrual Cycle.
Make Winter Self-Care a Priority
Self-care is important all year round, so don’t forget to make time to care for yourself this winter. Use the tips above to help you feel your best during these cold winter months, because you deserve it!