For a lot of people, January and February are the hardest months. It’s cold, it’s dark, they just want to curl up and sleep the winter away. For me, it’s March. March on the Prairies means still winter. It means a little bit more sun, but a lot more winter.
This is the time of year that I especially start to get antsy. I want to go outside, I’m ready to spend evenings on my deck, and I want to start my damn garden! So, a little bit more self-care is necessary. Do all of these, day by day, or choose your favourites and take care of yourself this still winter month.
1. Take a bath. Don’t feel guilty, just do it and enjoy.
2. Meditate. Something that should be done more often. If you’re new to meditation, check out how to meditate anywhere – even in an airport.
3. Go for a walk. Even if it’s still chilly out. Just get outside and into that fresh air and sun.
4. Practice yoga. There are so many great yoga practices to choose from! Plus, you can do it all online. Yoga with Adriene is my absolute fave.
5. Read a book. Like, actually read it. Not just a page here or there. Sit down and enjoy. Not sure what to read? Sars Reads has you covered! Start reading one of her fave books in 2018. Check out her website for reviews on great titles.
6. Enjoy your cup of tea or coffee. Or, water or juice or whatever. Just sit down and enjoy it, relishing in its flavour. It seems like a stupid self-care tip, but taking that 30 seconds to a full minute (!) to actually taste your coffee makes it that much sweeter.
7. Put on a face mask. Or, two or ten. Spend those 20 minutes enjoying the fact that you have to sit still, at least a little bit, and give your skin a little boost.
8. Spend the evening snuggled under a blanket. That’s it. Just do it and feel amazing.
9. Add to the last self-care tip, or make it a separate night: cuddle with a loved one. And, you know, talk to them. Just enjoy spending time together that doesn’t include chores or the TV.
10. Start the day with light stretching. I used to do this daily and often wonder why I stopped. Even just 5 minutes feels amazing. A sun salutation, downward dog and neck stretching gears you up for the day.
11. Clean that one room that has been driving you nuts all year. Yeah, because it’s not all face masks and bubble baths. Self-care also means organizing and cleaning. Think about how you feel after a deep clean or why everyone is so hopped up on Marie Kondo. Cleaning and organizing feels good.
12. Write down what you love about yourself. Often, while loving and taking care of everyone else, we forget about ourselves. This is one of the hardest things to do (at least for me), but has some of the best benefits. Like, learning how to love and appreciate you.
13. Write down what you’re grateful for. Keep that pen moving! It can be as simple as being grateful for Netflix. Just write it down. And keep writing it down.
14. Spend the whole day in nature. Guys, nothing is better than nature. Nothing. Go out and enjoy it.
15. Have a ‘picnic’ in a park. Even if it’s just hot coffee or hot chocolate.
16. Buy yourself flowers. Or, gear up to start your own cut flower garden.
17. Book a massage. Massages are the best things, ever. If you don’t already go regularly, treat yourself.
18. Spend the day at the spa. Another best thing. It doesn’t even have to cost hundreds of dollars. Thermea can relax you into sublivian and cost under 80 bucks!
19. Make your own spa day. Instead of heading out to the actual spa, create your own! Masks, nail polish, exfoliating, just relaxing and pampering yourself is what this is all about.
20. Journal. Go back to your teens and start journaling. Put your thoughts onto paper, no matter how whacky they seem. Start a journal, even if it’s just what you did that day, even if it lasts for only a week, or a month.
21. Order your favourite meal – no shame or guilt.
22. Nap. Naps can reinvigorate you. Just look at how invigorated and happy Tuna looks.
Set a timer, get rid of the guilt and snuggle in for some rest.
23. Say no. To something you really don’t want to do. As long as you’re not obligated to be there, and really should be there, just say no and do what you want to do instead. No, you don’t have to go for drinks with your coworkers. No, you don’t have stay for the entirely of a party. It’s okay to say no.
24. Write down your goals. For the month, for the season, for the year. Write down your goals for one of the above or all three.
25. Call someone and have a real conversation. Not just a text here and there. Actual words. Said out loud.
I just had a conversation with someone I haven’t spoken to or seen in a year. Instead of a text, we chatted for a few minutes and it felt great to say real words out loud. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it felt good.
26. Take an actual lunch break. Whether you’re at home, or in an office, chances are you often skip lunch and keep right on working. Stop it. Give your brain a rest and take a real lunch.
27. Unplug for the entire day. If an entire day is impossible because of work/family, then carve out the morning/afternoon/evening time slot for no tech.
28. Spend the morning alone, relishing in your free time with yourself.
29. Stop yourself from complaining when you feel one coming on. There, most likely, isn’t a real reason to.
30. Try something new. Especially that new thing you’ve been putting off since forever.
31. Power down and relax one full hour before bed. Use my routine, or make up your own!