This is a guest post from Christina. Find out more about her at the end of the post.
Ever just felt like wrapping up and not leaving the house in the Winter, until the weather gets a bit better, the sun shines a bit brighter, and the streets are more vibrant and awake?
That doesn’t sound like a bad plan! However, don’t fall into the trap of waiting and hoping for better days, without enjoying the beautiful ones that are passing by. It might be freezing and you might feel better to just sit and binge watch a bunch of shows.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a special place for those days too- and I highly recommend them.
But, in amongst those chilled nights, don’t forget to try something new and engaging too. Make sure you engage in self-care activities this Winter, and take time to do what you really enjoy- or even attempt something new.
Here are 5 self-care skills to develop this Winter to keep you active and looking after your mind, body and soul!
1. Be kind to yourself
Reframe the way you speak to yourself. Change the negatives into positives and change ‘don’t be afraid’ to ‘be fearless’. Change ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘I will try again’. Change ‘I’m not thin/strong/intelligent enough’ to ‘I am enough’.
You will activate a different way of thinking and behaving if you change your mindset, and the results on your mental health will be incredible.
A lot of the time, we set ourselves limits and we don’t explore undiscovered areas because of fear. So this Winter, be kind to yourself. We’re all very good at treating those we love with respect, loyalty and love- but how good are we at doing it for ourselves? How often do we build ourselves up?
This is a skill we should try to develop and never stop working on, and we shouldn’t let the negative self-talk creep back in. We need to stay strong to refrain and redirect negative thoughts. Tell yourself you look beautiful before you leave the house, tell yourself you are worthy, tell yourself you are amazing! Be your own cheerleader.
If you can learn to cheer yourself on and are happy with that, any other cheers just become a bonus.
2. Get to know you, every single day
The beauty of life is that everything changes constantly, and that can either be a good or bad thing for some. Personally, I prefer to welcome newness.
I greet all the new versions of myself, and love to discover a new version of me each day. Is she feeling tired today? Hormonal? Emotional? Hungry or hangry? Or is she full of life and love? Does she see herself as a powerhouse ready to tear down the town?
Every day brings new opportunities to discover something new about yourself. Maybe you discovered you are stronger than you thought because you survived that awful time and became a better person for it.
Or maybe you are getting a bit better at that new hobby you took up.
Or perhaps, you have proven to be an empathetic, supportive and open-minded person.
This kind of skill does not appear overnight, so it’s excellent that you’re developing these fundamental skills.
Whatever it is, learn to understand yourself every day and accept the newness that each sunrise brings.
3. Be consistent
Whatever self-care skills you decide to develop this Winter, do it with love and set about it with a smile on your face and your best intentions. If you love an activity, do it often and be consistent. This could be anything, such as drawing, singing, dancing, running, or going to the gym. Whatever takes your fancy.
I would highly recommend getting into an activity that raises your heart rate and makes you feel alive! Any active sport will do, and getting active has so many benefits for you physically and emotionally. Those happy hormones called endorphins have a field day, and make you feel amazing.
I must say it also feels pretty good to share your accomplishments with others, so be consistent with this too. Be brave, try new things, be fearless, and try and try again. You might not succeed at first but you need to keep going. You won’t learn that new skill over night, things take time and you need to allow that time to grow.
Allow the time, but never stop moving forward.
4. Reward yourself often
Reward yourself a lot! The Winter months can be challenging, and there are times when you feel like there isn’t much to reward yourself for- but believe me, there’s always a reason. It could be getting out of bed today or cooking yourself a meal.
Maybe you are doing well in your drawing class, or you’re reading faster, or you’ve found a new friend you can talk to about everything. Celebrate these small wins and reward them!
Any reason is a good reason to celebrate, but do it in a constructive way that will lift your spirits and help you on your self-care journey. Maybe you write a gratitude journal or you share your victories with someone else- or even just say then out loud to yourself or your plants or your dog.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just don’t let those victories pass you by without proper recognition.
5. Practising gratitude
This is probably the most important self-care skill to develop at any time of the year. It’s not too difficult, but I must admit it does take practice. In a world that feeds from our insecurities, invented “flaws”, and worries- it is very hard to change the narrative.
There always seems to be a product out there that will make us feel more “beautiful” or “flawless” or “complete”. But the truth is, you are already complete and beautiful and flawless, because you are yourself.
You don’t need anything but yourself, and everything you need is already in your possession. Gratitude comes from this idea, and it suggests you should notice, value and appreciate what you have without feeling the need to change or adjust things in your life.
For example, you could say “I don’t need a new item of clothing every week because I have clothes”. “I am grateful for the music that lifts and shifts my moods.” “I am grateful for the bed I sleep in that allows me the well-deserved rest I need.” “I am grateful for having the ability to think and know that I have so much to be grateful for.”
Make lists, write journals, do as you wish and record those little moments of gratitude because you’ll always have something to be grateful for, and when times are tough it will be so uplifting to read!
Anyone can develop these core self-care skills to improve their mental and physical health during the Winter months. You can adapt and edit these self-care skills as you please, but you’ll always be able to build on what you already have.
That’s why I love the idea of a skill. It is not innate, it is something you need to work on and build for yourself, and you can improve it and become a master of it.
I am grateful for you taking the time to read this post. You are appreciated and no matter what you’re going through- you are okay.
Thank you so much for reading my post, I hope you have found value in the self-care skills I have shared, and you find ways to improve your outlook and mental health this Winter season.
About the Author
This guest post was written by Christina from The Think Good Factor blog.
Check out her blog for more posts about gratitude, loving yourself, and improving your health. Head over to her site now, and let her know what skill you are going to develop this Winter.
Do you have any self-care skills you want to develop this Winter? What is your favourite self-care habit during the colder months? How do you look after your mental and physical health when it gets cold outside?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x