Winter changes everything from your mood to your digestion, so we’ve figured out the ultimate winter self-care routine to keep you healthy and happy this season!
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell
Just reading this quote probably makes you want to curl up in a warm comforter and sip on some hot chocolate while reading a book or listening to your favourite tunes. That certainly is a pleasant thought, and one of the perks of having cold weather!
However, winter does come with its own set of challenges. It’s not just the temperature that goes down; the air pressure gets higher, days are shorter, the sun isn’t that bright and the air is cold and dry. All these changes affect us in every way, and not just our wardrobe choices!
Yes, it’s true – winter changes everything, from our mood to the way our body digests food. According to Ayurveda, winter is the perfect time of the year to re-evaluate your self-care routine, considering the skin, hair and everything else, including how you feel on the inside. Ayurveda recommends including more of moisturizing, warming, calming and grounding into our self care routine during winter.
This might sound a little overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate winter self-care routine so you feel great all season, both inside and out!
Your Ultimate Winter Self Care Routine
Hair Care during Winter
The cold, dry air of winter takes a toll on our tresses and our scalp, mostly by drying it out. The result is hair that is dry and frizzy, with a lack of lustre or shine. Many people also experience an itchy scalp or increased hair fall during winter, thanks to brittle strands.
The two best natural solutions for winter hair care are coconut oil and honey. Oiling your hair with coconut oil is perfect to tackle all the dryness and frizziness. You can also include other oils like jojoba oil or argan oil to increase the benefits. Honey is also an excellent emollient, making it a great choice for a nourishing hair mask during a cold weekend.
Don’t wash your hair too much during winter, or wash with only conditioner. Dry hair thoroughly before stepping outside and avoid any kind of heat treatment. Use mild hair products without any chemicals.
Skin Care during Winter
During winter, your face is the most exposed part of your body, since everything else is bundled up in warm clothes! As a result, facial skin is the most affected by the dry winter air, resulting in dryness and itchiness. Lack of special care during winter can also make signs of ageing more prominent.
Wash your face with a non-soap cleanser and while the skin is still damp, apply moisturizer. This helps to lock the moisture in, so when you go out and face the cold winds, your skin will stay protected. Avoid hot water when washing the face and skip products with alcohol.
Once a week, apply a honey face pack for some deep moisturization. Don’t forget the lips, which has thinner skin than the rest of the face. Apply some lip balm to prevent chapping or a bit of honey as a bedtime lip scrub.
Body Care during Winter
One of the best ways to care for your body during winter is with a massage! Massages are not just relaxing, but during winter they can also be warming and helps the body adjust to the weather better. It also keeps skin soft, moisturized and supple.
You can get a professional massage once in a while, but you can also do it yourself every day before your bath. Warm sesame oil is recommended for winter, with a few essential oils added in. Leave the oil in for 10 minutes before washing it off. After the bath, apply a light oil or moisturizer while the skin is still moist.
Winter can make us feel sluggish, but it’s all the more reason to exercise. A morning walk is ideal, or you can work out at home. Warming yoga poses are excellent; such as the Surya Namaskar, the warrior poses as well as forward and backward bends. The best time to exercise in winter is from 6–10 a.m.
Best Foods for Winter
During winter, we tend to get hungrier faster and have larger appetites than usual. This is our body’s natural way of compensating for calories used up in staying warm. Ayurveda recommends eating a vata-pacifying diet in this season, which includes warm, spicy and well-cooked foods with a little oil. Soups and stews are ideal, since they’re hydrating, nourishing and warming as well.
Choose root vegetables as well as vegetables like spinach, onions, carrots and radishes, but avoid raw salads. Include lots of spices like pepper, ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric. Whole grains like barley, oatmeal and tapioca are great for winter, as are eggs and lean meats.
Best Beverages for Winter
In summer, we feel thirsty pretty quickly and gulp down glasses and glasses of water without realizing it. However, we don’t feel as thirsty during winter, which may lead to insufficient hydration. The best way to stay hydrated during winter is with soups and warm beverages.
The number one winter beverage has got to be the favourite of our mothers and grandmothers – turmeric milk! This golden liquid doesn’t just hydrate; it warms, soothes, heals and keeps us safe from illnesses. Add some honey or cinnamon powder for more taste and benefits.
Various herbal teas are also great for cold weather. Try a ginger tea of water boiled with ginger, cinnamon and clove for five minutes. Any other variety of green tea will also work, especially if sweetened with a little raw honey.
Mental Health during Winter
If you notice yourself or someone else feeling low when winter comes, it’s probably because of ‘winter blues’, another term for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a mood disorder or a kind of depression that occurs during a specific time of the year.
The main reason for the winter blues is a lack of enough sunlight, which reduces the hormone melatonin and serotonin, which affect our mood. To prevent this, one of the most important things you can do is to try and get as much sunlight as you can, especially during the morning. Getting in some exercise in the morning can also reduce symptoms.
Make sure you follow a set routine for your day, especially with regard to sleeping time, waking time and mealtimes. A good morning routine can be a great start to the day, and you can use it to a journal, exercise and get some sunlight. You may be tempted to sleep in longer during winter, but be up before 7 A.M.
Prepare everything you need for your day in advance to reduce stress. Dress in bright colours and surround yourself with fun and laughter. Engage with friends and loved ones, and if nothing helps, don’t hesitate to ask for help. With these simple tips, there’s no reason you can’t have an enjoyable and fulfilling winter season.