self care for the winter blues

Between the snow that hit last weekend, the gray rainy Monday that took all the wind out of my "hey, at least snow is kinda fun!" sails and some fun hormonal challenges, this week is just. done.

(Yesterday and today are very nice days, weather-wise, but even that hasn't quite been enough to turn my mood inside out. Almost, not quite.)

So, (once again) I'm going back to self-care basics:

* Hot tea and a funny/nostalgic/ romantic movie (yesterday I watched Sliding Doors, the day before it was Enchanted April) and some popcorn or seaweed snacks. And then dark chocolate. Salty and then sweet...

* Baths with custom blended essential oil bath salts, Yesterday I mixed up a batch of grapefruit-vanilla-jasmine with a touch of tea tree. YUM! Buying essential oils for making my own bath salts is probably the best self-care money I ever spend. Seriously: just take a cup of epsom salt, add some essential oil to it (I mix up my own blends by what I'm in the mood for that day, but I lean towards citrus-floral blends with some sort of earthy base note, like sandalwood or patchouli). Instant awesome bath salts. 

* Music. I've been leaning more and more towards spotify this week because I can control what I am listening to (usually I listen to pandora and appreciate the randomness). Right now I am listening to Pearl Jam's Ten. (One of the few albums I can listen to in its entirety without skipping anything. There is not one single filler song on that album.)

* Drinking enough water. Being sick last week (and mostly not being able to breath out of my nose at night, despite using those awesome nasal strips) left me totally dehydrated. I don't drink coffee when I'm sick (so as not to worsen the dehydration factor) but for some reason, I'm still struggling to rehydrate this week. More water!

* Making sure I am following through (and keeping up) with taking my daily medications/ vitamins. It's easy to forget. (I don't take much, just the Advair for my asthma, fish oil, D3, St John's Wort and Magnesium oil spray. And a regular multivitamin. If that seems like a lot, you should see my mom's regimen.) 

* A phone chat with my friend B, which cheered me up more than she probably realized.

* Going back to my daily yoga practice (I haven't picked it back up since being sick last week -- still doing the bare minimum, but now that I am well again, I can start doing more).

* Wearing bright and colorful, comfortable clothes. (I take my cue from Frida Kahlo on this one and play dress up a little when I am feeling most down. Today I am wearing a purple batik skirt and warm lavender striped shirt.)

* Being kind to myself. The most important piece of the self-care puzzle. And the hardest. Every time I spiral down, it is work to remind myself that this moment is just that: one moment. To be gentle and kind to the inner worries. This takes so much practice.

And is so very worth it.

Self-care is always worth it.


Straight out of camera (aside from being cropped to make it square).

DSLR, 90mm lens (135mm with the crop factor): f2.8, 1/30s, 100s.