Valentines day may be this week, but whether you have a significant other to lavish affection on or not, there's one person you shouldn't be neglecting even when February 14th rolls around. (It's yourself. I'm bad at surprises.)
Self-care is a growing passion of mine, especially after becoming a mom. It's difficult — nay, nearly impossible — for moms to prioritize themselves, as important as it may be, and so I've gotten really good at sneaking in tiny moments of self-care that truly turn my day and my focus around.
Whether you're a mom, a full time student, an entrepreneur, or a little bit of everything, self-care is one of the most important things you can do — for yourself and the people around you. Have you ever been around someone who just didn't take the time to care for themselves? I'm not talking body odor and yesterday's make-up here (although those are probably not ideal either). You'll know them when you see them. They're exhausted, overwhelmed, disconnected, and probably not very fun to be around. Let's not let that happen and learn to care for ourselves this Winter.
Entire days dedicated to self-care isn't usually practical but taking a half hour per day or even 10-15 minutes will work wonders.
Winter brings it's own unique set of challenges when it comes to self-care. With the colder weather comes dry skin, seasonal depression, overwhelm with the holidays and more, so I've come up with a few simple ways to combat the Winter blues, besides planning your next tropical vacation. All of them take 15 minutes or less (and the majority are things you can easily integrate into your lifestyle), but by all means, make a day out of it!
1. Take Care Of Your Skin
It's no secret that our skin can take the bulk of our stress and neglect. As our largest organ, our skin acts as a map of what's happening internally. If you've been neglecting to eat healthy foods, or have been particularly stressed for example, you may notice more breakouts than normal. That, combined with colder, dryer weather, is a recipe for disaster if you're not careful to take care of your skin.
Only you knows what works best for you, but moisturizing, exfoliating, cleansing, and steering clear of products with chemicals that will only exacerbate the problem can work wonders.
2. Eat Foods That Energize You, Not Slow You Down
Much like what you put on your body matters, what you put inside is perhaps one of the most important forms of self-care. Adding healthy, clean foods to your diet will energize you like nothing else. I'm by no means a dietician, but after about six months of clean, paleo eating, I can say that I've never felt better — no post-holiday slump to worry about either!
3. De-Clutter Your House
Yes, I consider de-cluttering a form of self-care. Here's why: for most people, clutter weighs you down without you even realizing it. The unnecessary "stuff" in your life don't serve a purpose, so naturally, they're just another thing to organize, wear, and look at. Get rid of the excess. You won't regret it.
4. Detox Your Beauty Routine
I touched on this before, but along with clean eating, I really believe simple living is an all encompassing lifestyle that should (bit by bit) envelop each aspect of your life. Detoxing your products— think shower products, make up, moisturizers — and slowly replacing them with ones made from pure, clean ingredients will make a world of a difference for your skin. (I'm working on a list of ethical, organic beauty brands, so stay tuned!)
5. Read A Book That You Really Enjoy
No explanation needed. Just cozy up with some coffee and read about what you love.
6. Get Active for 20 Minutes Per Day
Recently, my favorite form of exercise has been doing daily yoga sessions after my girls go to bed (or before they wake up if I'm feeling especially bada**). I love yoga because it wakes me up, relaxes me, focuses me, and strengthens my body all at once. If yoga isn't for you, do whatever is. Just get active. Your body (and alertness) will thank you.
7. Stay Hydrated
Again, no explanation needed. Dry skin is thirsty skin.
8. Build A Wardrobe You Feel Comfortable In
My wardrobe is another favorite forms of self-care. No, this isn't an excuse to shop often or whenever the mood strikes, but it is a case for filling your closet with pieces that make you feel your best. For most people, Winter can be cumbersome to dress for. The layers and muted tones can seem to never end. And although I love me a good layering piece and, as you all know, my entire life is made of neutrals, even I'll admit that Winter fashion can be hard to nail down. You can see my Winter capsule if you need extra inspiration.
9. Make Time for Your Passions
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make time for what makes YOU happy. That's the greatest self-care there is.
What do you do to ensure you don't neglect y.o.u during the colder months?