It’s no secret this winter may feel extra long. The pandemic is still ongoing, there’s less travel, less events to fill our weekends, and the colder temps and lack of daylight are typically linked to the winter blues. It’s in seasons like this that I believe self-care is a priority. Yes, “self-care” seems trendy and it may seem like an excuse to “treat yourself” — but why not? If a little bit of self-care is going to improve your mental and physical health, do it. Carve out extra time this month to take care of yourself. Here are five ideas to get your started!
1. SPA DAY
If you’re active outdoors, you definitely need a treat-yourself spa day every once in a while. After my first Boundary Waters winter camping trip, my body was so sore from hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing through the deep snow for miles and miles. It was a pretty epic camping experience, but when I got home, the first thing I did was book a massage. One of my new favorite salon and spas is Pelo Salon & Spa in Coon Rapids, MN. The massage therapist Salena is one of the best! I have an even greater appreciation for massages after going from “survival in the wilderness” to laying on a comfortable massage bed with the scent of eucalyptus all around me. It’s a polarizing experience in the best way possible.
If a massage won’t put you into deep relaxation — give your skin some extra attention with a hydrafacial or give your hair some love with a treatment, color, cut, or blowout. Guys, you too!
Like many salon and spa businesses, Pelo saw some major changes in 2020 — especially early on in the pandemic. This past summer, one of my very good friends had a vision and reopened Pelo Salon & Spa’s doors in Coon Rapids, MN. She was gracious enough to give me two $50 gift cards to share with you in a giveaway so be sure to check out that giveaway on Instagram. All you have to do is like my post on Instagram, tag a friend you’d like to treat to a spa day, and “LIKE” Pelo on Facebook and “FOLLOW” their Instagram.
2. GET OUTDOORS
Getting outdoors is the most natural way to get some therapy and refuel your body. Take advantage of the minimal daylight we get and go for a snowy hike or glide through the trails by cross country ski. Do it with intention and be grounded in the moment.
Develop a ritual outdoors. For me, my day starts with letting my dog out in the morning. I put on my coat and boots and take a step outside to let her run around and take a deep breath of cold, fresh air. Those few deep breaths now help me start my day with intention.
Do an activity you already love or take up a new activity this winter! Winters can be long so you might as well find a reason to enjoy it and embrace it. Take up ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, broomball, ice hockey, ice skating, or whatever sounds amusing to you.
3. TAKE A TRIP
I know it’s harder to travel during a pandemic, but it’s not possible. You don’t need to go thousands of miles away to take a trip. Grab your family and book a cabin in a new city you’ve never been to or a resort on a lake. Take a few days to not be home, bring ingredients to cook up a special cabin dinner, grab your favorite board games, or take advantage of the situation and explore the nearest state or regional park.
I’ve been on the hunt for last-minute cabin trip before baby #2 comes in February. Here are a few favorites I had in mind:
Birch Lake Retreat – Cascade Vacation Rentals – Gunflint Trail, MN
Grindstone Lake A-Frame – Hayward, WI
4. SLEEP IN
I don’t think I’m alone in this camp. I am taking full advantage of working from home + not having as many places to go to over the weekend by sleeping in! I save at least an hour each work day because I don’t need to get “work ready” and fight through the commute of early morning traffic. And on weekends, I’ve been sleeping in until at least 8:30 because I simply can. Plus, Harlan just plays in his crib until I come and get him (thank you, Harlan – haha).
I think this is definitely a form of self-care. We all know sleep is vital in taking care of our health physically and mentally. Getting quality sleep certainly improves our quality of life since we can function better and feel better when we are awake. It’s especially helpful right now when I’m 8 months pregnant. I know once the baby is here, I’ll get barely any solid sleep so I might as well take advantage of the sleeping in situation while I can!
5. COZY TIME
Around this time for year, I always have the desire to embrace the hygge lifestyle. That cozy, comfy feeling of contentment is a lifestyle I am all about. During the pandemic, Nick and I decided we wanted to invest in something we had our eyes on since we first met. It’s something we enjoy every time we’re on a vacation at a resort somewhere and it’s something we wanted to experience at home — a hot tub! There’s nothing better than sitting in the hot tub while surrounded by snow, having a good conversation with family, and drinking our favorite beverages. Granted, since I’m pregnant, we keep the hot tub “warm” instead of hot — and I sip on hot cocoa, which I love whether I’m pregnant or not. Be sure to check out my Pelo post to enter the giveaway for you and a friend!
There are definitely certain key elements that bring hygge into my life: the company I’m with, a fireplace, favorite scented candles, soft blanket, my favorite books and magazines, a cozy sweater and slippers, a delicious charcuterie board, a glass of wine or some hot cocoa, etc. the list goes on.
Surround yourself with the things you love this winter. That’s a form of self-care right there!
Do you have any other self-care ideas this winter? Share your ideas in the comments!