These are wellbeing and resilience coach Ruth Cooper-Dickson’s top tips for activating your own winter self-care routine! They are not just for the holiday season, but you’ll find them relevant and useful even as we move into the winter months of early 2024. We often forget to adjust our self-care routine to align with the seasons, but this is a real game-changer to become more strategic about how you perceive self-care…
Take some time over the holidays to just breathe and be. Don’t feel like you need to attend every party, get together or online party!! Define your boundaries for the holiday season and do not feel guilty for sticking to them.
Create your comfort
Winter is a time for hibernation and with the awful UK weather of late, this is where the idea of Hygge (Danish philosophy) comes into play. Treat yourself to comfy blankets and throws, light some delicious smelling candles, brew your tea, or hot chocolate and turn inwards to nourish your soul.
Rest, reflect and recover
If you have been full pelt all year, then taking time out at the start may seem a little weird and unnatural. Know that logging on and answering emails or tidying up work admin folders might feel productive, but it keeps our brains still switched into work mode. Realise the importance of taking time to let both the body and brain rest. You want to begin the new year with a sense of hope and optimism, not feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
Believe that the darkness will pass
The darker nights and shorter days add to the feelings of ‘meh’ so be mindful these too will pass as we come into spring, like our more difficult emotions, nothing will stay forever.
You cannot operate in a stretch or strain zone the whole time, take the time to step back and operate at a slower pace. This doesn’t mean you are not still achieving, but as the adage goes “slow and steady wins the race”. Going from 100mph to 10mph can be a shock to our system, so slowing down allows our brain and body to ease off the gas for resting.
Mastering patience can reduce our ability to overreact, feel anxious and be more present. What do your patience levels look like? If you are aware you are heading into some tricky family get-togethers over the festive period, how do you practice patience and be mindful of your triggers?
Finally, time together is something we now value a lot more after the last year, take the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. You do not have to say yes to every gathering. Be conscious of those who are alone or in social isolation and remember to check in on those more vulnerable over the festive period.
Ruth Cooper-Dickson is a wellbeing and resilience coach. You can read our My Beauty and Wellbeing Interview here.