Julia's Winter Self Care Tips/Routine

The Winter season is upon us! In times of cold brisk air, early sunsets and more cloudy, snowy afternoons self-care is very important, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Do you find yourself following a self-care routine often? If yes, then maybe these tips can enhance your routine! If not, hopefully, this routine and tips will inspire you to prioritize self-care and help you make your own routine, make yourself your own best friend. I hope these tips inspire our readers, (you) to indulge in self-care not only on the bad days but also the amazing ones. You deserve to care for yourself every day, not just on the days when you know you need to take extra care of your physical and mental health. 

Now, these tips are just ones I like to think about in the Winter. Think about whatever you like! Whatever makes you happy. 

WINTER TIPS

1. Drink! Drink! Drink! Ask yourself, "What's my favorite hot drink?" A hot cocoa with whipped cream? A green tea with honey? Often times a warm drink can feel like a hug. The way it envelopes the soul in an inviting, warm feeling when everything is the opposite around you, cold and brisk. Also, I believe another important thing to do all year round but especially the winter months is, drink PLENTY of fluids. It will keep your immune system in check and skin won't be as dry. Set reminders on your phone every hour to drink at least one glass of water per hour! It will make all the difference during this cold time of year. 

2. Call your loved ones. If you have an hour to call your favorite person, do it. Just call them. Don't even send a text asking if you can call. You reaching out and leaving a message to their voicemail will let them know you care for them which is more meaningful than you know. I feel like a phone call is always much more personal than a text. I love hearing my friends and family leave me voicemails, since I value it I know others do too. Do for others what you would want done for yourself even if it's a small action like a phone call. This applies to self-care because doing a small action like spreading happiness will make you feel good, talking with your loved ones is always a nice reset button sometimes and will also make your loved one feel valued and cared for. 2 major strikes of goodness right there! 

3. Moisturize! Since our skin can get dry and crackly during the winter months one thing I love to do is use the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. (Not sponsored) It's intensely hydrating and really makes my skin feel fresh! Whenever I moisturize in the morning and right before bed I always feel good! It's easy to forget to take care of your skin so I suggest storing your products with everyday things like your toothbrush, medication etc so the moisturizing becomes a staple in your daily routine. Your skin will thank you!

4. Bakers gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake! During the holiday season I especially love to bake either by myself or with my family. It's what I do for fun if I feel like I am not using spare time wisely. Or, I just prioritize fun activities in my free time, baking is just my suggestion. Use this tip as a "fun activity tip" and do what you like that's personal to you! Even if it's just baking the simple slice and bake type cookie or, a hardcore grandma's recipe, make sure you take time to do an activity like baking that has no stressful purpose in your day. Set aside time for something that is just for pure enjoyment where you can stay inside in a cozy space.

5. All of the Lights During the winter with the sun setting early, I find it is easy to let the darkness outside affect my mood sometimes. What I would suggest is to put lights on in your living space, whatever it may be. Currently, I am really into those rock salt lamps! They are pretty and put out good energy into the atmosphere. You can find them at places like Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon. Also, light candles that smell nice or comforting. Whatever makes you feel happy and at peace with yourself! Be careful that you always blow them out if you are leaving the house or going to sleep. In the early sunsets of winter, a bright living atmosphere could help elevate your mood.

MY PERSONAL SELF CARE ROUTINE

I feel so Youtube Beauty Guru-ish! But here is my routine that I do for the Winter time, both day and night. As soon as I wake in the morning and before I fall asleep at night. My routine helps keep myself in check both mentally and physically.

1. SKINCARE ROUTINE- As a college student I am very stressed often so when breakouts happen sometimes I'm like "ew I look awful" but that is when I need to step back and reevaluate my negative self-talk and replace it with knowing that my skin will not always look bad so when it does, I have to continue to take care of it. To take care of my skin, lessen breakouts and also lessen the severity of them, I use 4 products. The Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser, then the Mario Badescu Rose Water, then the Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer and finally the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (night time only). This has helped my skin immensely and the drying lotion is literally A GIFT. If you have an awful white head and put the lotion on before you go to bed the pimple is usually gone within 2-3 days. Seriously LOVE IT! Some great alternatives to Mario Badescu's line are The Body Shop Tree Tea Oil Skincare line. I used that for a while and loved it. I still love it but decided to change things up a couple months ago. It's not bad to change your skincare routine every so often! It's good to see what works for your skin and what doesn't.

2. DAILY REMINDERS Since I got to Berklee, in the beginning I had trouble with time management. About two months or so ago I began scheduling my day(s) out by the hours. Some may say that's a tad extreme but it really does help me stay on top of my game with homework, practicing time and my work out schedule. I don't have every hour scheduled for something because I need to make time for my friends and family on my own time and not be overly structured but I do schedule what is important to my personal growth, health, and goals. It keeps me motivated and goal-oriented. 

3. YOUTUBE, SPOTIFY As a vocalist and Berklee College of Music student, music is my life. Since beginning my path to a dual degree in Music Therapy/Songwriting at Berklee, I've begun looking at music in a much more formal, technical way then I had before which can be exhausting, even frustrating at times. So, in order to always have my passion for music stay strong, every day I make time to listen to music/ musicians that inspire me to keep going as an artist. Especially when school gets frustrating and I question my path. If I didn't make time to simply enjoy music instead of looking at it in a music student way, I know I would be different. Lately, I have been listening to Taylor Swift's new album Reputation and a Christmas Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify. Both are very enjoyable and make me happy! Find music that you enjoy and music that makes you forget about troubles and stressors. Music that reminds you what music you enjoy just to enjoy it.  

4. WALK Since I have cerebral palsy, in order to stay strong I have to do an intensive work out routine every day that includes walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes or walking down the city streets of Boston for 20-30 minutes, yoga and stretches. Even though I enjoy yoga since I got to college I've realized that just yoga was not enough for my exercise routine so, I started walking or speed walking more. I use to walk a lot in rehabilitation but I stopped for a while and started again when I moved to Boston. At first, I hated walking. It made me tired and I felt like it was causing my body more pain than helping the cerebral palsy but as I've continued to walk and notice my leg muscles getting stronger I couldn't be happier because I also notice a change in my mental health after I go walking. Walking helps clear my head, especially if it is down the Boston streets-- although it is cold outside I like being exposed to the cold air as I exercise. For some reason, it motivates me to continue to walk and remind myself I am doing my best at times when I am tired of walking. Then after my walk, I'll do yoga and stretch. It helps my chronic pain lessen sometimes. Not all the time but being able to see a difference in my muscle density and mental health definitely makes exercise less hateable! Since everyone is different I recommend finding what's best for you and then start your routine. Every time it gets hard or you want to stop exercising before the time you want to reach happens, put on a really upbeat song you love and remind yourself you are doing this for you.

5. BEDTIME During the week I usually do not go to sleep until 12 am or 1 am, sometimes 2. On the weekends I usually stay up until 2. As one may guess that is not really the best sleep schedule when I am waking up for 9 am classes or a full day of a busy schedule ahead of me but you gotta work with what you give yourself sometimes and learn from the exhaustion and then be like, "Nope! not going to bed that late again!" So when I find myself affected by exhaustion I make it a priority to go to sleep around 10 pm or 11 pm. Instead of going to bed late because of homework or other things, I will get up earlier in the morning to finish my assignment or start my day. That certainly has created a positive difference in my mood and energy level. At bedtime I like to put tea tree oil on my temple and under my nose. To me, it is a calming scent and helps me settle after a busy day. I would also recommend lavender! 

I hope everyone enjoyed my Tips as well as routine! Happy holidays!