A Winter Solstice self-care checklist for the shortest day of the year
With the arrival of the Winter Solstice on the 21st December, you may be wondering which self-care practices can help to keep you happy and healthy at this time of year.
While family festivities and Christmas cheer are something to look forward to during dark and dreary December days, keeping positivity levels high at this time of year can often be difficult.
With this in mind, the Winter solstice is the perfect time to give yourself a little extra pre-Christmas and New Year self-care to brighten the day. Scroll on for five of the Wellbeing team’s self-care suggestions for the Winter Solstice.
Self-care for the Winter Sostice
Take a mindful walk in the daylight hours
Getting outside during the daylight hours can help give you a break from the Christmas rush, plus it allows your body to sap up much-needed vitamin D from the (albeit limited) sunshine.
Our bodies naturally create vitamin D when our skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun. When you’re low on the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, you may feel fatigued or more tired than usual, which can lead to symptoms of low mood and depression.
Stretching your legs – perhaps while listening to your favourite podcast – will also help you refocus your energy away from the stresses of Christmas, even if it is for just half an hour.
Take your time if you can. Read our tips for taking a more mindful walk here.
Try out journaling
While we often opt to pick up new habits in the new year, why not start a few days earlier by giving journaling a go?
This healthy habit can help to soothe anxiety and lower stress-levels. Plus, research shows that journalling can also provide you with an opportunity for positivity. It allows you to identify negative thought and behaviour patterns. Over time, it can help you to think more positively.
Start the day by finding a quiet spot where you can put pen to paper, scribbling down your thoughts and feelings. Write down anything that pops into your mind. It might be thinking about what’s worrying you or what you’re looking forward to. And, when evening arrives, do it all again.
While you can journal in an old notebook, on the back of an old envelope or even on scraps of wrapping paper, we love this chic option from the Journal Shop.
Brew a calming cuppa
Snuggling up with a mug of something delicious is an easy wellbeing win. Brew yourself a comforting cup of sleepy tea with our recipe here. It’s ideal for helping you to wind down after a busy day and provide you with a moment of bliss before bed.
Our delicious bedtime tea recipe includes calming chamomile, which contains an antioxidant called apigenin, thought to help decrease anxiety and encourage sleep.
It couldn’t be more simple to make, either. Just add all of the ingredients into a tea strainer and let it brew for around five minutes.
Draw yourself a blissful bath
Did you know taking a bath has a plethora of health benefits, both physical and mental? Bathing can help diminish feelings of depression and pessimism, for example.
And according to psychologist Neil Morris: “Baths give you…a wonderful combination of isolation, quiet, and comfort.”
Make the moment a little more indulgent by treating yourself to a soothing face mask for an added pre-Christmas glow. The Wellbeing team loves ishga’s Exfoliating Face Mask (added bonus: you can use the code LIZLOVES for 15% off).
Introduce frankincense into your day
Not only has the woody, spicy scent of frankincense come to be associated with Christmastime, its aromatic properties are said to promote feelings of relaxation, peace and overall wellness.
Whether you simply light frankincense-scented candles and incense in your home, or slather yourself in products containing the essential oil, your senses are sure to be soothed by the deeply relaxing aroma.
Prefer the latter? We love Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense Collection – use the code LIZLOVES for 15% off.