During December your self care may be put aside to deal with the busyness of the season, but with the colder weather and increased stress of the holidays you need more self care to ease your body, mind and spirit through to January.
Physically the colder weather has an impact on your movement, muscles and joints. In order to maintain a constant core temperature the body may lessen circulation to extremities which can leave them feeling stiff, sore, cold and less mobile. OR, you may be using different muscle groups as you shovel snow or adjust your walking gait to avoid slipping. Even the skin is impacted by colder weather and can often need extra hydration.
The darker, longer days can impact mood and emotions. Some experience Seasonal Effective Disorder, others notice increased depression. The holidays can bring up emotions that we don't generally deal with throughout the year and are not always a positive and happy time. Taking time for additional self care can make a difference in lifting your spirits.
Self Care Yoga
Gentle Yoga stretches and mindful breathing can be of benefit to body, mind and spirit. A session can be as short as 10 minutes and a couple of poses to shift your mood and open up tight and tense muscles. While it's better for your well-being to give your Yoga practice some time, it's not always possible during the holiday season.
Self Care Hydration
During colder months you may find you drink less water and other fluids than during the summer. Your skin and your organs still need hydration to function well and support you through the winter. Carry your water bottle with you or set a reminder on your phone to pour yourself a glass.
Colder weather often equals drier skin and time with a moisturizer can be nourishing for the skin and calming for the spirit. Being in touch with your physical body by massaging lotions or oils into your skin can ease mental stress and tension. Adding scents can also impact emotions as they effect the limbic portion of the brain.
Self Care Bundle Up
During colder weather the body works harder to maintain a constant core temperature to keep your organs safe, and may reduce circulation to extremities. Bundling up to keep warm helps to keep your body warmer and support your circulation system. Snuggling into warm sweaters, wearing a hat outside, wrapping in a soft warm blanket while watching TV, ingesting hot foods and drinks are all easy ways to take care of you and your body temperature.
Book Time Out for Self Care
When planning ahead for the busy holiday season take a look at places in your schedule where you can plan some time out. You may only have 5 minutes to step into a quiet space and take a few deep breaths or, 30 minutes to take a hot aromatherapy bath, or 60 minutes to book a Massage...but it will be worth it to know you have some self care planned for yourself. Through self care you will find you have much more energy to enjoy the season!
Finding your mood impacted by darker days? Turn on the lights, play music that is lighthearted and makes you want to dance, watch comedies on TV, incorporate uplifting essential oils to scent your space, try to schedule outside time earlier in the day...
Self Care Eating
Through the holidays the extra food and treats can be overwhelming for the digestive system. Again, taking time to plan ahead for those meals you'll have at home will help you to balance some self care into your schedule. Planning those meals to include healthier foods as well as those you really enjoy will give your body and soul a nourishing hug.
Plan ahead and put yourself into your schedule through winter and the holidays. You don't need a lot of time to give your body, mind and spirit a pick me up!