Winter can be an exciting time with the holidays—time off from obligations, and the promise of a new season—but once those things are over, it can be tough getting back to the real world.
Throw in the fact that winter brings shorter days, colder temperatures, and many more hours of darkness each day, and it’s no wonder that many people report higher levels of anxiety and depression during this time.
Self-care is important year-round, but it’s particularly important during the winter months. Finding time to care for yourself as a mom can be tough, but it should also be a priority.
If you’re in search of a dose of wellness this winter, you’re not alone.
Below are eight winter self-care ideas to help get you started.
8 Satisfying Winter Self-Care Ideas
1. Winter Clean.
Spring cleaning gets all the love, but winter cleaning can be even more beneficial.
If you live in a cold climate, you spend more time indoors in the winter than usual, and your home can feel particularly cluttered during the winter months.
First, there are the holidays, which bring an onslaught of new stuff (and people) into your house.
Then there is all the extra winter gear that clutters your entryway (hats, boots, gloves, etc.), plus all the winter elements that inevitably find their way inside (rock salt, anyone?).
You could accept the winter mess and wait until spring to clear the cobwebs, but why not reorganize during a time you’re already stuck inside?
January is a great time to chuck the extra clutter, freshen your surfaces, and get winter cozy.
2. Indulge in Some Pampering.
Winter is a great time to indulge in a little pampering.
The dry winter air can do a number on your skin, and the cold weather and dark, dreary days can leave you feeling cold and dreary as well.
Going for a massage, facial, or pedicure (or all three!) over the winter months can recharge you, and give you something fun to look forward to.
Bonus: most spas offer heated tables for facials and massages, so you’ll be warm and relaxed.
3. Break Out the Cookbook.
Another great winter self-care tip: exercise your culinary skills by making delicious seasonal meals.
Winter is prime time for comfort food—and it doesn’t necessarily have to be bad for you either.
While whipping up a batch of gooey brownies is always fun, winter fruits and vegetables make a great base for stews, salads, and more.
These months are also the perfect time to put your kitchen to work. No one wants fire up the oven on an eighty-degree summer day, but on a cold winter one, there’s almost nothing better.
4. Stay Active.
A bad winter can slow down even the most hardcore athlete.
The dark mornings and evenings can make getting out of bed or off the couch highly unappealing, and slick roads can make it tough to get to the gym.
Even though it’s harder to stay active in the winter, it’s actually a great time to do so.
Winter is the perfect time to find a new fitness routine with many gyms and online fitness programs offering discounts due to the post-New Year’s surge.
Regular exercise boosts endorphins, can improve mental health, and can make you feel strong during a time when many of us are more likely to feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Regardless of what your goals are, staying active is key for self-care.
5. Visit a Salt Cave.
Salt caves claim to help with a variety of physical ailments from respiratory issues to skin problems, anxiety, and depression. Whether or not these claims can be substantiated, winter is as good a time as any to try a new wellness service.
Plus, there’s no question that salt caves look cool, and their dimly lit, relaxing environment can be the perfect indoor activity on a drab winter day.
6. Explore the Great Outdoors.
Although the temptation to stay inside is strong, winter is a great time to head out and explore the great outdoors.
I’m not saying you should brave a blizzard to do so, but getting outside on a clear winter day is good for the body and mind.
Go for a walk or run, take a winter hike, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, hit the slopes.
Having an enjoyable outdoor winter hobby gives you something to look forward to all year, leaves you feeling energized, and helps shake off the cabin fever winter brings.
7. Read Something.
Another way to take care of yourself this winter—read something you love.
Pick up your favorite magazine. Subscribe to a newspaper. Order a book from Amazon. Or, if you really want to get wild, visit an actual bookstore.
Curling up with a good read and a hot beverage is one of the most relaxing things you can do on a cold winter day.
8. Start a Tradition.
Finally, if you’re looking for a winter wellness boost, start a new tradition.
It can be something that incorporates one of the above wellness ideas—like going skiing every winter—or it can be something completely different.
Having a beloved tradition outside of the mainstream ones gives you something to look forward to during a time that might otherwise feel a little gloomy, and it’s a fun way to honor yourself and a season that doesn’t get enough love.
Candace is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. Her legal practice focuses on workers' rights. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, cooking, and renovating her midcentury home with her husband. She can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.