I love winter, I really do. I like snow, I like the cold, and I don’t mind frozen fingers and frosted eyelashes. However, we’ve now reached the point of winter where news of incoming snow brings only a fleeting moment of joy and then a much longer resigned sigh, and my thoughts turn more and more often to green leaves and gentle spring breezes. Spring will be here soon, but until then, we’ve got a bit more winter to get through. Here are some of my favorite self-care tips for the season to help boost spirits:
Cook a favorite meal or treat
Spending time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes and coming up with new favorites is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a great non- “screen time” hobby, and you’ve got something delicious at the end of it! Even if you don’t feel like you’re a good cook, pick a recipe that looks simple and delicious to you and try it out; I love getting new cookbooks out of the library and flipping through them for something that catches my eye. It’s a great season for warm, cheesy comfort foods, so why not try a simple stovetop macaroni and cheese or a local root veggie gratin? As a bonus, turning on the stove or oven will help heat up your space and fight back a bit more of the chill, too!
Reread a book that brings you joy
Reading is one of life’s simple pleasures, and while I enjoy discovering new books to add to my shelves, there’s something comforting about rereading an old favorite, too. I love to curl up with a mug of tea or hot cocoa (maybe stirred up from a homemade hot chocolate spoon?) and a warm blanket while snow falls gently outside and get lost in a story that’s familiar but still exciting. One reread or twenty, it doesn’t matter—it’s entering a whole new world each time!
Get some sunshine and fresh air
It can sometimes feel like the last thing you want to do: leave your cozy couch or get out from under the covers, bundle up, and head outside into the chilly temperatures of a Vermont winter. I know I always feel better after a walk and going out in the cold definitely helps to wake me up and make me feel energized and refreshed. Ethan Allen Park is one of my favorite places to walk; watching the sunset over the lake from the pinnacle is such a peaceful way to spend some time in nature (especially now that the sunset is a little bit later each day—brighter days are coming!), If you’d like to know more about the trees you see as you walk around the park, head over and check out our recorded Ethan Allen Park Winter Tree ID livestream. Other great locations are Red Rocks Park and Centennial Woods—just make sure you have the right shoes in case you encounter some slippery spots!
Enjoy a hot shower or bath
Of course, after you get a little chilly getting your fresh air and exercise, it’s such a wonderful feeling to come back inside and take a warm shower or bath. Like a lot of us, my hair and skin get super dry in the winter, so I like to treat myself to a variety of fun hair masks/deep conditioners and lotions/body butters during these cold, dark months. We even have a body butter recipe on our site if you want to experiment with making your own! A little bit of pampering goes a long way to feeling relaxed and ready to face the rest of the season. One other pro tip: tie a bundle of fresh or dried eucalyptus to your showerhead. The hot water and steam will release the natural oils and fill your shower with a lovely aroma!