It’s the last weekend in October, which means it’s time for the clocks to go back again. Summer has slipped past us and winter is well on its way. For some, that’s a cue for rest and restoration, but many struggle at this time of year.
The clocks will go back on the early hours of Sunday October 3, switching at 2am back to 1am. And despite the Halloween gift of an extra hour in bed, the prospect of the longer nights and shorter days ahead can be a source of dread.
To which we say: now is the perfect time to practise some self-care. We’re not about to advise you to pick up a journal or take a long hot bath. Though both these activities can be relaxing and good for your wellbeing, there’s so much more you can do when taking care of yourself.
Yes, it can be harder to motivate yourself when it’s cold inside and out. But it’s important not to neglect your needs during these upcoming months. Whatever self-care looks like to you, here are some simple ways to prioritise it.
Get some fresh air
We understand it’s cold and wet – it’s a price we pay for living in the UK. Those daily walks were all fun and games when it was sunny, but now the weather is changing. Setting out in the wind and rain isn’t for the faint-hearted – and yet, your heart will thank you for it. Getting some fresh air will allow you to focus on the beauty of nature and take your mind off the stresses of the day.
Go to the theatre
Winter might not be the best time to go ‘out out’ but it’s definitely a great time to see a play. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – there are lots of smaller fringe venues you can visit on a budget and you’ll be supporting those who really need it after a tough two years for the arts. Try visiting your local theatre or, if you want to splash out, looking for good deals on regional or West End shows.
Give into loungewear
Nothing says winter like some cosy socks, warm slippers and comfy pyjamas. But ditch your old lockdown joggers, treat yourself to some new sustainable loungewear – there’s no excuse now with so many great green brands – and prepare to feel like the queen of the castle in your silk PJs and fluffy sliders.
Invite your friends over
No one wants to stay indoors by themselves all the time. Invite your pals over to play some games, watch your favourite childhood movies or just have an old-fashioned catch-up. The booze is going to be cheaper than in a bar, too.
Take a social media detox
As we’re spending more time indoors, social media can feel like escapism but it might well be making your mental health worse. It’s time to ditch your phone and decrease your screen time. Treat yourself a magazine or head to your local library and borrow a new book. Either will help you pour back into yourself.
Go for a coffee date
Get a change of scenery by going to your local coffee shop. You can meet up with a friend, catch up on correspondence or simply people watch. It’s the season for hot drinks so the coffee shop will be seeing us more than the club.
Find a new hobby
We live in a time where more of us have side hustles or businesses rather than hobbies. When was the last time you learnt to do something new purely for the sake of it? Winter gives us that time to learn a new skill. Why not learn how to play the piano or learn how to bake? Not everything has to be monetised.
Learn how to hibernate
Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times explores how our lives change through the seasons and addresses how we can find wisdom during times of uncertainty. Author Katherine May highlights how the winter months can be used for positive hibernation. This isn’t self-care – it’s self-knowledge.