6 Winter Self Care Rituals I Can’t Live Without

Snowy street in Buffalo, NY during winter

It’s that time of year when the air hurts your face and you can’t get through the pile of snow at the end of your driveway without stepping (pretty hard) on the gas. I would never trade a year without a winter for Buffalo’s summer and fall. However, making it through these chilly months (which usually lack any meaningful amount of sunshine) takes a lot of purposeful self care.

Everyone’s idea of taking care of their body and mind is different; as long as it works for you, just about anything can be called self care. And, as much as Instagram will tell you otherwise, it doesn’t have to happen on Sunday. Keep reading for my favorite ways to stay happy and healthy through Buffalo’s never-ending winter.

1. New Places

Our summers are usually filled with weekend trips to Rochester, Boston and the Finger Lakes. Our quick trips usually fizzle out sometime after our annual weekend in Allegany State Park in October. That doesn’t mean we’re not still exploring new places. Winter is a wonderful time to get to know your own city. Coffee shops, breweries and museums are all great places to spend a couple of hours. Honestly, even trading our weekly trip to Aldi for Wegmans or Whole Foods cheers me up.

Fresh coffee from Rowhouse in Buffalo, NY

2. Exercise

Getting up to go to the gym before work seems like an impossible task some mornings. Especially when it’s literally 0° outside. But a regular workout schedule makes me feel so much better, mentally and physically.

3. A Skincare Routine

Taking care of my body helps me survive the winter. This means eating healthy, working out and helping my skin survive the moistureless air. Lots of natural cleansers, masks and lotions are my best friend this time of year.

4. Reading

While I’m the first to talk about how great social media is, it also makes you sad. And impacts your self-esteem. And affects your physical health. So when you cut down your social media use, what do you do with all of your free time? Read!

Good books for wintertime reading

I have a Barnes & Noble gift card burning a hole in my purse that I’m saving for a late-winter Saturday when I’m so sick of being stuck inside I might just lose it. Last year I loved Bel Canto and Born a Crime. This year, I’m looking forward to picking up Becoming, Educated and a few cheesy romance novels.

5. Horseback Riding

Most girls outgrow the pony thing, but not me. There’s just something about brushing a horse (and giving it treats, kisses and ear rubs) that makes everything okay.

6. Setting Goals

My resolutions don’t usually last past February, but a few intentional, manageable goals help me stay positive in the winter. Staying on top of my to-do list, whether it’s keeping the house clean or publishing a blog post every week, motivates me to keep working toward the bigger stuff, even when it gets dark at 5 pm.

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