As the temperature drops and the days shorten, it’s an excellent time to revamp some of our routines, embrace the changing of the seasons, and lean into the cozy solitude that the cooler months bring. As we get ready for daylight savings this weekend, we’ve got some great ways you can take advantage of the extra hour we’re gifted to take care of ourselves (that maybe you haven’t thought of yet!). Enjoy!
We thought it would be good to get the obvious one out of the way first… rest is important and sleep affects every part of our mental and physical wellbeing. Release the pressure to be “productive” with the extra hour and sleep in just because. You deserve it!
Spend some extra time cooking a nice meal for yourself
Again, you deserve a little extra special treatment sometimes. The satisfaction that comes from sitting down to enjoy a hard-earned, delicious plate of food is more rewarding than you might think.
Learn a new hobby or skill
The winter months typically leave more down time indoors, with less backyard barbecues and park birthday parties and group friend hikes. Take some time to pick up an activity you’re curious about - no pressure in keeping it up if it’s not for you. Maybe it’s downloading Duolingo to learn Swedish for no reason other than curiosity!
Write it down
Taking some time to put on paper the thoughts floating around in your head can set you up for a week of sharper clarity, purpose, and direction. In a journal, reflect on what’s been working well lately, what you want to change, and some new things you might want to try. This helps us feel more satisfied and accomplished with the way we’re spending our precious time.
Try an online yoga, meditation, or dance class
Being able to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously is a huge part of experiencing joy and playfulness. Do a dance class (and laugh at yourself if you need to), use yoga to wind down at night or stretch out stiff muscles in the afternoon, or calm your mind with a short meditation!
Cuddle your pets, partners, or kids
This one needs little explanation… in a touch-starved culture, snuggle your loved ones and soak up all the good fuzzy feelings that come from it.
Do that thing that’s been stressing you out and hanging over your head
Keeping your word to yourself, respecting your goals and needs, and addressing your stressors is just as important as more “fun” or “glamorous” self-care strategies. Make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off, open that bill, or respond to that email - your future, more relieved self will thank you.
Write an “all done” list
It’s a human tendency for our minds to live predominantly in the future (anxiety) or past (sadness). We have to remind ourselves that the most important moment is the one we’re experiencing right now. As such, instead of focusing so much on what you still need or want to do, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve already accomplished! Acknowledging with gratitude the efforts and achievements we’ve already made fills us with a sense of pride and fulfillment, and also helps motivate us to keep working towards our goals.
Plan your next vacation
Even if this is a simple day trip to a local attraction, or a cross-ocean adventure to lands unexplored to you - planning trips is often half the fun!
Do a social media declutter
Social media should be a mood booster, not a drainer. Take a bit of time to unfollow accounts that don’t trigger positivity - the world can be scary enough at times and we don’t need any unnecessary negativity.
Phone a friend you miss
Reconnect with a friend or family member you miss just because - these phone or video chats can often fill us with enough joy to carry us through the week.
Make a great playlist
… and maybe even share it with a friend afterwards. What a way to boost someone’s day (and yours).
Organize your photos
Doing a photo library clean up is hugely satisfying and as a bonus can serve as a delightful trip down memory lane. It’s been a tough couple years - reminiscing on some brighter days might be the nostalgic mood boost you didn’t know you needed.
Finally pick up that book that’s collecting dust on your nightstand
If you’ve been “meaning” to read it for quite a while, the satisfaction you’ll get when you finally do will be off-the-charts.
Schedule one thing each day next week just for fun
This ensures that no matter what the day throws at us, we’ll have something to look forward to. Watch a new show on Tuesday, go to a yoga class with a friend Wednesday, try a new recipe Thursday. Whatever you think will bring you joy, schedule that in and stick to it. Trust us - this is a game changer!
We hope that you can find the bit of brain power to use your extra hour this weekend intentionally and in a way either your future self will thank you for or that brings you joy and satisfaction right in the moment.