10 Ways to Practise Self-Care over the Winter Break
Updated: Jan 22
It’s going to be a winter like no other this year, as we lean into the holiday season and upcoming school break during a pandemic. While you may be missing the seasonal festivities that normally lead up the break, you can look forward to more of this valuable asset - time.
Time to spend with your immediate family and truly unwind while reflecting on the past year and the one ahead. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to step back and assess how we spend our time, and whether or not those activities are truly serving us. When we’re busy and on autopilot, we tend to do things simply because we’ve always done them in the past. Take some time to pause, to ask yourself how you really want to spend the break this year.
Here are ten practical ways to look after YOU, while we hunker down together during the December break:
1. Give yourself a break if you’re feeling over-extended or stressed by saying no. With the space created, do something that brings you joy.
2. Let go of something on your list, and instead of filling that space with some other task, take the opportunity to “just be”.
3. Take breaks to simply absorb your surroundings: notice what your senses are experiencing as you sit in stillness.
4. Take 3 deep cleansing breaths, lower your shoulders, and unclench your jaw. Focus on the difference these simple relaxation techniques can have in your body. Do them often to reset and let go.
5. Get outside, even if you don’t feel like it. Bundle up and take a brisk walk. Fresh air, and if you’re lucky, a little sunshine can make a notable difference in your energy levels for the rest of the day.
6. Write a gratitude list. Try writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for each day. Once the break is over and you’re back into your regular routine, revisit your list for a new perspective on those tougher days.
7. Share a random act of kindness with a neighbour or stranger as you go about your day. When we take the focus off of ourselves to do something kind for others, it fills our cup and gives meaning to our lives.
8. Learn something new. The more we engage in learning, the more energized we become and realize there is never a reason to get bored. Free online courses, electronic library books, and internet research are right at your fingertips. Learning feeds our curiosity and contributes to feelings of well-being.
9. With a much quieter break ahead of us this year, take the opportunity to rest, take a nap, or get to bed earlier.
Self-care is perhaps one of the greatest acts of self-love there is and essential for maintaining our mental, emotional, and physical health. In the midst of all the chaos make time for you because you are worth it.
-- Jennifer Tse - Friendship In Action Team Member