I’ve never been a fall/winter person. It’s getting colder, darker and it makes it harder for me to leave the house. Especially now when I work from home and I don’t have to go outside it’s so tempting to stay inside. However, I do believe in being outside, breathing fresh air is super important for your health. Besides being in nature is good for your mental health as well. And I do believe you can feel just as energized and happy during fall and winter as you feel in summer by changing your habits.
I know there are a lot of people dealing with ‘winter depressions’ and to be honest it often feels like this for me as well. I try to escape winter as much as I can to go to summer destinations when it’s winter in the Netherlands. However, you’re not always able to. I thought it would be nice to share my fall/winter self care routine to feel happier during these colder and darker days.
1. Start a morning routine
A lot of people have a lot of excuses to not have a morning routine. I think it’s so important to start your day right, and be more productive and calm during your day. It doesn’t have to be big you know.. Just start by changing your morning routine by little steps and when you are doing this daily it will grow to become a habit. So please make some extra time for yourself every morning. Start your day with gratitude. Every morning I write down 3 things I’m grateful for today. This way you start your day with positive thoughts and you can really ‘rewire’ your brain to be happy. I start my day with a good breakfast and some green tea. After that I’ll sit down for a short 5 min meditation and I do a 20-30 min yoga. Of course it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes, you can just start with 10 minutes to just arrive in your body, stretch and to notice how you are feeling today. I make my yoga space a nice space. I light a candle and I lay down my crystals next to my yoga mat. These small things you do for yourself is all part of some extra self love.
2. Make to-do lists
After I took the time for myself I write down my to-do list for today and I make sure it’s a to do list that is a realistic one. I also write down my yoga and breakfast so I can already strikethrough those, which already makes you feel super productive! Plus I do think self care should be on your to-do list!
3. Go Outside
Just go outside! Walk. Even when it’s only for 10 minutes. Like I said before I think it’s so important to get some fresh air. Just put on your favorite music or just walk in silence and try to listen. What do you hear? Being in the present moment and enjoy this moment. Make sure you are warm and comfortable (self care guys, self care!). I’m wearing this super comfy, but most important, very warm teddy coat from MyJewellery. Being outside and moving is just so good for your body. And please notice the beauty around you. The beauty of nature. The beauty of the people. It’s just so energizing to focus on all the beautiful things in life.
4. Eat well
I always take good care of my body and I make sure I feed it with good nutrition and vitamins. I try to eat as natural as possible without to much processed foods. Food is a huge part of your self care routine since it’s literally your fuel, your energy. I always say it’s important to educate yourself about what is and what isn’t good for your body. Self love is taking good care of your body, feeding it with love. Of course I choose to have a diet without any harm by eating vegan. For me this is something that feels really good but I would never force it up on you. Just listen to your body and its needs and educate yourself about healthy food. In winter I think it’s nice to eat a lot of warm meals with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger. I always prep my meals in advance when I have to go somewhere. Sure it takes some extra time, but your are doing it for you, plus you will feel more energized and healthy! I will share more recipes from now on to get you inspired to eat some healthy meals!
Breathing is your life force. I mean what happens when you stop breathing? I always try to stop 3 times a day with what I’m doing to just focus on my breathing for just one minute. I start deepening my breath which has a calming effect on the nervous system. You will arrive in your body, the present moment and you will feel more relaxed when you just take the time to breathe consciously. A lot of people are tending to breath very high and shallow which makes you feel more stressed out. So when you’re focussing on your breathing, try to breathe into your belly. For me it helps placing my hands on my belly and breathing towards my hands. (And note: no harmful thoughts towards your belly! Only love, compassion and kindness)
5. Extra Self love
Give yourself some extra self love every evening, take the time for yourself. After a day of work, or whatever you did, it’s nice to make it extra cozy for yourself. Make sure you have a clean space, light some candles and enjoy this time for yourself. I like to watch a serie, read a book, doing some relaxing yoga or meditation, or I’ll put on a face mask. Just making some time for yourself is already an act of self love. You are allowed to make time for yourself and to enjoy it.
I really hope you are inspired to change your habits in act of self love, self care and being the best and happiest version of you.