Three genuine self-care tips for the winter months
Ah, January. The winter holidays are over. The sheen is beginning to wear off of our ambitious New Year’s resolutions. We’re left with the hum of everyday life in our new pandemic normal. This quiet and sometimes underwhelming month might also be a great time to look inward and consider how you’ll care for yourself in the year ahead, and build some intentional practices around genuine, restorative self-care. We’re not talking Ben and Jerry’s and Netflix binges here (most of the time), but practices that earnestly help us feel grounded and reenergized.
Whether you’re a self-care veteran just looking for some new inspiration or only beginning to think about how your life could be incrementally more meaningful and rewarding, consider these quick thought starters.
Build a life you don’t need to escape from. Brianna Weist’s viral list of legit self-care reminded the world that bubble baths and indulgences don’t often help us create a better life. You’ll definitely want to visit her original post for a rundown on her whole philosophy, but it can generally be summed up as establishing practices that build a better life. “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.” Is it hot in here? Or is that advice simply on fire?
Practice self-compassion. Charlie Gilkey offers a deep-dive on this concept, but one of the easiest ways to reorient your perspective toward self-compassion is to replace yourself with your best friend or a small child in your inner dialogue. Would you criticize your best friend’s body in that dress? Tell a small child to work harder instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour? Criticize your mom for the meals she had or had not cooked from scratch this week? Replacing yourself with a loved one will soften your tone and stop your self-criticism immediately, every time. Give it a shot.
Accept help. Maybe even ask for it? Okay, let’s not get carried away here. You’ve got things handled. You don’t need help. But could you benefit from it? Realistically, we all can. We are meant to be in community with other human beings. Asking for help when we are spread thin or tasked with something that just doesn’t come naturally to us also helps other people. Research shows helping others is truly rewarding. Not sure how to get the ball rolling? Start with these four tips to effectively ask for help.
This season, may you find Weist’s recommended “normal, regular, unexceptional” routine brings you personal peace and growth. Enjoy the journey inward. And speaking of asking for help – I’m always just an email away if there’s anything I can do for you!
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