This winter has brought an extraordinary amount of rainy days, gloomy skies, and sub-zero temps. In some ways, it’s left ample time to enjoy life’s coziest moments. In other ways, it’s made the winter feel more grim. As we segue into February, it’s time to settle deeper into our well being routines. After all, it’s our daily routines that have the power to bring more joy (more sunshine!) to the most mundane winter days. In the coming weeks, consider focusing inward. Write, reflect, and journal on your goals and intentions—especially if your January was off to a slow start. Want more peace, clarity, and happiness this season? Look no further than your winter well being routine.
Is there a morning routine that works for everyone?
Nope! At the root of it, we’re bio-individuals. We all have different circumstances, nutritional needs, desires, passions, etc. Therefore, there is no one, universal morning routine that works for everyone. A supportive morning rhythm is extremely subjective. Unfortunately, so many of us run (full speed) in the direction of a morning routine we see on social media, only to be left wondering why we still feel exhausted or anxious. Inevitably, what we do in the morning is going to be unique to each of our needs. Embrace this.
if you don’t have a perfect morning routine, YOU’RE NOT FAILING
Thanks to today’s social media landscape, we see perfectly curated morning routines—a tall glass of lemon water, followed by a meditation, morning walk, and avocado toast. But behind the screen is a pile of laundry, an overflowing inbox, screaming children, and a long to-do list. So while there’s inspiration to be found on social media, it’s also worth a reality check. Embrace a realistic morning routine. Furthermore, get to the root of what you want to get out of your morning rhythm. Do you need stillness? Energy? Motivation? And remember, this changes daily.
What is a Morning routine?
So, what is a morning routine? A morning routine is anything that helps you set the tone for the day. It’s meant to empower you to take charge of your life—to run the show. And here’s the thing: no one can tell you what this looks like or how long it takes. Only you can do that. Ultimately, a morning routine is about flow and fluidity. It’s about experimentation. It’s about figuring out what works for you, in the season of life you’re in. This will change depending on many circumstances. For example, how you slept the night before, where you’re at in your menstrual cycle, how much time you have before your kids wake up, etc.
what is a morning rhythm?
Like the seasons, our morning routines should change. Sure, keep the things that bring you joy and peace, but maybe as the calendar turns over, you find yourself more drawn to a slow morning routine, filled with a candle-lit journaling session and classical music. This is why a morning rhythm is actually more beneficial than a strict routine. I think for many us type-A women, we think of a routine as a strict series of events that must happen in a specific order. As you think about a couple of habits you’d like to incorporate into your morning routine, allow for rhythm.
daily check in
And by that, I mean check in with yourself. Before you get started on your routine, how are you feeling energetically? Is your mind at ease or are your thoughts racing? Did you sleep well or are you feeling lethargic? Unfortunately, we are so disconnected from our bodies that we forget to check in. Pause and get a pulse on how you’re doing. Once you do this, you can make choices that actually serve you—as opposed to simply going through the motions. Ultimately, embrace the imperfectness of your circumstances. Allow your space, your home, and your life inspire your morning routine.
3 Things to do in the morning to make you feel good
After you check in with yourself, consider what will set a favorable tone for the rest of your day. The early hours are an ideal time to support your physical and mental health. Start the day strong with practices that will leverage your health and happiness.
1. Wake up early
The most important change you can make: consistently waking up early—even in the darkness. Light a candle, get cozy, and make a warm drink. There’s something about the quiet morning hours that can make you deeply connected to yourself and your life. There’s a sense of clarity that you don’t feel at any other point in the day. Drink in hand, journal, meditate, or go outside and take a few cleansing breaths.
2. Move Your body
Even if it’s 10 minutes! Along with waking up early, staying consistent with exercise is a game-changing winter wellness habit. If you’re feeling down this winter, a small amount of movement can make a significant difference. Be it strength training, a short jog, moving meditation, or yoga, some movement is key for blood sugar balance, improved mood, and more.
3. Cook Something
There is peace and creativity in the process of cooking or baking from scratch. Carve out time to make a nourishing breakfast, pack your lunch, or toss vegetables into the oven to enjoy for dinner. Listen to relaxing music or an educational podcast. This is both productive and cathartic.
6 creative Ways To Support Your Winter Well Being
Beyond your winter morning routine, what other weekly (or monthly) activities will support your well being? Below are a few ways to take care of your health—emotional, physical, and social!—while still honoring necessary recharge time.
1. Time In Nature
One of the most helpful mentalities to adopt in the winter: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. Even if the temps are low, fresh air does wonders for our serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. All of these impact our sleep, mood, energy, and motivation. Time in nature is truly healing. Given the more sunshine in February and March, maybe opt for a lunchtime walk. You’ll be grateful for time away from your desk.
2. Peruse Your Local Bookstore
Whether it’s a friend from your local bookclub or your sister mentioned she’s wanting to read more books in 2023, plan a bookstore date! Books always spark endless conversation and inspiration. Plus, nothing says cozy quite like your local, independent bookstore. Buy a book or two, hop over to your favorite coffee shop, and enjoy each other’s company—while starting your next reading adventure.
3. Puzzles And Pizza
On the coldest of nights, throw a pizza and puzzles party. Zazzle has a variety of puzzles to choose from—buy a couple and invite your friends over for an evening of puzzles, wine, and pizza. You can order pizza in (no shame!) or ask one friend to bring dough, another to bring sauces and cheese, and another to bring toppings. While your pizzas bake, puzzle away.
4. Make Candles
Calling all candle lovers—this one’s for you. Throw a candle-making party! Trust us, this kind of get-together is the gift that keeps on giving. For a tutorial, this is the best beginner’s guide to making homemade candles. Make it a potluck, divvy up purchasing materials, and enjoy this adult arts and crafts evening.
5. Take A Painting Course
What better way to tap into your artistic abilities, try something new, and get out of your comfort zone this winter? Tap one of your creative friends to see if they’re interested in taking a painting course with you. There are many to choose from, but I love Jenna Rainey’s beginner-friendly painting courses.
6. Attend A Local Art Show
Rather than spend a rainy Sunday afternoon scrolling social, head to your local art museum! Research local art exhibits in your city and invite a friend or two. This cultural experience is uplifting, eye-opening, and is guaranteed to spark interesting conversation. Bring along a polaroid camera to document your experience.
Winter well being mantras
Whether or not you love winter, it’s important to support your health during this cold, dark season. Across the board, mental health tends to dip, levels of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) go way up, and we lose a lot of motivation to keep up with the habits that serve us well. When it comes to motivation, mantras can help! Below are a two examples of winter well being mantras to give you the gentle nudge to prioritize your health:
I am choosing to stick to my well being routine because it is a form of self-care. I will feel nourished on a mental, physical, and spiritual level by making time for myself.
I am choosing to stick to my commitments and habits because I don’t have to do this, I get to do this. It is a privilege to take care of myself.
Images courtesy of Unsplash. This article contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie! This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.