EP 74: Winter Self Care During a Pandemic

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Today's episode is brought to you by me, Tami Hackbarth life and work coach. I know lots of you are making new self-care habit changes in 2021. And I have a gift just for you that will help support you.

In adding more self care. So if you head on over to my [email protected], you can download your very own copy of the self-care assessment tool and 2020 self care planner. And now onto today's show. Oh my God. You guys it's episode 74. We're going to talk about winter self-care and this time we're going to talk about it from the perspective of we're living in a global pandemic.

Okay. I don't know where about where you live, but here in Northern California. It's super starting to feel like spring the days are longer. The light is better. It's already getting into the low seventies. Despite that first spring thing, we actually still have four more weeks of winter. This is the time of the year when I start questioning my actual sanity because, Oh my God, what's the deal with the endless feeling like summer around here.

Especially with us being 11 months into the pandemic. So today I want to talk about winter self-care specifically things we can do at home, mostly for very little money to help take care of all aspects of our lives, our mental health or physical health, our emotional health, our relationships. So just to start here each season.

Like seasoned, meaning where you are in your parenting journey, where you are and your career, how old you are, what generation you're in, who you're caring for. Plus the actual seasons of all winter, spring and summer all have their own needs. And that's why we feel differently in different parts of the year.

And winter definitely has its own self-care needs, especially around the ideas of rest and quiet to have everyone's favorite. Or excuse me, least favorite topics. So one of the ways that I'm really trying to help you and remind myself is to check in with myself at the beginning and end of every season so I can evaluate myself care needs, and then make a plan using the self care planner to make sure that's, I'm getting what I need in the season when I need it.

So make sure you head on over to the my website and grab that planner. All right. Before we get started on the planner, some questions I like to ask myself. One question is, how has my energy do I need to build more time into sleep nap, rest and nest in the winter. Then the answer is always, yes, there are certain surrender to caring for your knees seasonally.

So. If you take a look outside the trees shed their leaves a couple of months ago, and now they're in dormancy. This is because nature's built in rest as a way of healing and getting ready for the next busy season spring here in February, just a reminder, we have a whole nother month of dormancy. So even though the weather might be warm or their sun might be out, it's still.

You know, go in the, sun's going down at dinner time. So if you're like, I feel like I have two days in every day where it's like, Oh, the sun is up earlier. I'm totally awake. And then as soon as the sun goes down, I'm ready for bed. There's a reason for that. It's because we are sleepier in the winter. Cause we're still biological creatures, the light circadian rhythms.

They totally matter. So one of my workarounds on this to gather more energy in the darkest months, I started using a Dawn simulating alarm clock about 20 years ago and it completely changed my relationship to winter mornings. Now I wake up with sunlight no matter what time of year. And you can check out resources for this over in the show notes.

Again, I'm a website. And you just go to Tami hackbarth.com/podcast. And you'll see this episode it's going to be episode 74, I believe. And you can find out what I'm talking about. If you have no idea what a Dawn simulating alarm clock is, basically, it is like having the sun rise and like little birds, like Cinderella coming around your head to wake you up.

And it's, I'm telling you it's so much better. Then having an alarm go off in the middle of a dream and the dark where it feels like you're about to be murdered every morning. I don't know. I hate starting my day with anxiety. So now, like I said, for 20 years, I'm a waking up to this Dawn simulating light and you.

A friend of mine just downloaded an app to use on our phone to try it out. And she was like, Whoa, that's life-changing right. The other thing that I do to sort of help myself with my lack of light in this time of year is I use a light box. I thought when I leave to live in the Pacific Northwest and tons of people and I was really depressed and does people are like, Oh my God, you should get a light box.

And I thought, whatever hippie. And then of course. Me being me was like maybe I should try it before I discount it completely after of course discounting it completely. And my first thought, so I got a light box and every morning in the winter and I usually start in January. Cause I don't know why.

Forget the winter's coming every fall. And anyway, it takes me a while to get the light box out. But I did start it in January. And pro tip use it personally in the morning because it sort of honestly feels like I'm having a cup of coffee without the jitters. And it helps me feel not so tired later in the day.

So again, I will links. I'll have links to this in the show notes. All right. So the next question I ask myself is what I'm doing. What am I doing to fuel and nourish my body? Am I eating warm, cooked foods? Am I eating what's in season? What are ways that I could get more seasonal fruits and vegetables in my body?

So. Going to the farmer's market, natural foods. Co-op lots of seasonal produce. I know tons of people who are spent at the beginning of the pandemic starting gardens. I was not one of them. I also use this idea of cooking seasonally to like go online and look up seasonal recipes. And of course I have a bunch of tried and true recipes that will be listed in the show notes.

All right. Next question for this winter, self-care specifically as, what am I doing to quiet my mind meditation, and it's a great time too. Take it up because the a we're all still supposed to be nesting and resting here in the winter months. But especially during the pandemic, I've been using the Headspace app for years and years.

And I highly recommend it. I absolutely love Headspace and I was recently gifted a. A membership to the calm app, which I've been using, and it's been a nice change of pace, but the idea is setting aside three to 10 minutes, three to 20 minutes, three to three 30 minutes, whatever you think you can do once, twice, three times a day just to build in more space, more white space in your brain.

All right. Next question is, what am I doing to move my body? Despite being a season of rest, we still have to move our bodies in the winter months. You know, it's that whole use it or lose it. Shit gets rusty if you aren't using it. So, especially as I've gotten older, I cannot phone and exercise. It's really good for mental health as well as physical health for me.

So I found walking early in the morning or outside at lunch and dressing for the weather, keeps my mood steady and my sleep sound. And then finally I have to check in and say, what am I doing for my skin and my hair? I love to slather on avocado oil at night. Put my socks on and my feet are like princess soft, probably the biggest game changer.

For me, in terms of changing, how I look at each season is focusing on what are things that I, that are unique to that season. So what are things that I can only do in the winter? So here's 21 activities I have on my winter self-care list. All right. Number one, bundle up and walk outside. Any time of day, I live somewhere that gets really hot and stays really hot for like six months a year.

And so most of the year I have to go out early in the morning or I am dying. Of like heat exhaustion. So I love walking in the winter because it gives me way more flexibility in my schedule to move outside. I can actually take a walk outside anytime of day during the winter. And it is so delightful.

And the other thing I am digging this time. During the pandemic is double masking, making sure I'm keeping my neighbors safe and myself by going out, but it also provides a little bit extra layer on those super cold days. Not that it gets that cold in California, but you know, that's what I'm talking about.

Also. I sometimes use this time to bonus, catch up with a girlfriend and actually just have like old-school phone date. So it's really great connection tool. I put on my hipbones. I put on my mass, I go on a walk. So when win-win also, I'm getting more light, which is always really helpful for energy.

Number two. Using blankets and towels right out of a dryer. I used to do this in high school and somehow I forgot this absolute simple pleasure. Number three, we play board games every day, most mornings, and definitely at lunch because I'm supervising distance learning. And it's really fun. We play cards, we play sorry a lot.

And it's. Simple easy fun. I also have been playing I still play words with friends, but I only play with my husband. But making sure we have some simple games in our life. All right. Number four, making sure you use the super soft, cozy blankets and socks that you have. After my best friend died.

Some other friends gifted me, the actual coziest, socks and blankets ever. And I've been wrapped up in them all winter. And it has been such a comfort and soothing. It feels like a hug in a time where we can't get hugs from others. And so if you haven't done any pandemic purchasing of cozy items, I highly recommend it.

Number five. I wear slippers all the time. I hate wearing shoes. I hate wearing shoes in the house. And so I have, you know, the shearling, the suede shearling lined slippers. And, Oh my God, I took my shoes off the other day and I thought, what. Is that smell. I know embarrassing. Right. But I found it easy trick because I've been like, what can I do to take care of my stuff?

And we'll talk more about that later, but I just threw some baking soda in them, left them overnight vacuumed amount in the morning. And I feel like hello, brand new slippers. And when I was feeling extra fancy, I put in some, a couple of drops of essential oils, and now my shoes are good smelling and feeling.

Fresh. All right. Number six, for my thing that I'm doing to take care of myself, this winter specifically is I got a new moisturizing, sunscreen. What can I say? I'm finally old enough to have some dryness in my face. And I got myself a really moisturizing new sunscreen that I'm wearing all the time, because we still need to take care of ourselves and our skin, even during a pandemic in the winter.

All right. Number seven specifically, I'm taking care of my stuff. Let's face it we're home anyway. So I'm figuring out how to use this stuff in my house. Use this stuff in my house in new ways, clean and maintain other things. And I find it to be weirdly satisfying. So I've been looking for ideas on Pinterest and even watching restoration videos on YouTube.

The other day, I watched somebody restore. A vintage lawn mower, like take this rusty bucket of bolts apart and then redo it all. It was so soothing. It was like a meditation. Okay. Number eight way to take care of yourself in the winter. Upgrade your pajamas. Hello friends. So I just. Made this massive discovery.

The other day, when I went on the search for some hundred percent cotton poplin, pajama bottoms, cause of the only ones that I wear 365 days. And what I found is that women's pajamas are great, which is what I've always worn. But I don't know if you know this and now this is a secret men's pajamas are just as great, but they have pockets.

So I ordered my splashed out and splurged on some new pajamas in the perfect colors. And now they have pajamas and I have never been happier except that day that I upgraded my sheets and got new pillows. Last winter, I am a hundred percent committed to making my bed the best place to support my rest in my sleep.

And if you haven't done it yet, please do all right. Number nine. Ways to take care of yourself during this winter pandemic style is to invest in soft clothes. As my friend, Rebecca, from studio plum called it the other day, her Zelle Zuma form. You got to look real good on the top, and then you got to wear your soft pants on the bottom.

So. At the beginning of the pandemic, I got myself some joggers, AKA sweat pants of 2021, so cozy. And while I was upgrading my pajamas, I bought a couple of cute tops to go with my joggers so that I look like, you know, my mullet uniform of super cute on top and basic, I work from home in my slippers, but not yoga pants.

They're joggers. Thank you very much. All right. Number 10 idea. Four. Winter self care is to try some new recipes. I was having some food fatigue here in the pandemic a couple of weeks ago. And I decided I would get some cookbooks from the library. Cause I hate buying cookbooks, sorry, cookbook authors, because I never know if I like something until I try it.

So usually honestly, what I do is. I get cookbooks from the library. And then if I try a bunch of recipes and I love it, then I buy the book. Hi. I like to try before I buy apparently, but I did get some cookbooks from the library and I've been trying some new dishes and it's been a really nice change of pace.

And since I'm working at home and I'm here, All the time. I've got more time to cook, especially on weekends and an evening. And even let's be honest, I'm doing the like cook early in the morning and letting stuff simmer on the stove all day, because I'm not going anywhere. Another way to add some cozy, you've probably heard this a million times and that is to light candles.

And my friend cache over the cachet life has a new home collection of candles. And you can check those out on her website and I will link to that in the show notes. All right. Number 12 way to. Dig into self care. This winter is practice restorative yoga with all the props and you're like, I don't even know what that is.

Well friends, you can Google Michelle Marla Han restorative yoga. Anna from curvy. Yoga has some great resources for restorative yoga as does our friend Adrian from yoga with Adrian. And restorative yoga is basically it's the laying down part at the end with pillows blankets, bolsters eye pillows.

It's like the cushiest gutsiest nap without falling asleep, except maybe sometimes you fall asleep and that's totally okay. All right. Number 13 thing. I'm doing much more this winter and that is drinking tons of tea without milk. And my current favorite is lavender honey. From Yogi tea, number 14 way to take care of yourself.

This winter I've been taking art classes because this summer I got a Skillshare membership and I've been watching a class a week and trying to build creative work with my hands, into our weekly schedule. I've got lots of water color going on these days and I just went and got some kids supplies because let's be real.

I'm not fancy. And I want my kid to do this with me. And they're less expensive. So I got some kid watercolor, paper, Sharpies, scissors, glue sticks, and it's been surprisingly relaxing. And I can tell you why, because that is number 15 and that is doing a digital detox. I've been spending way less time on social media and hello.

I have more time to read. I have more time to cook. I have more time to fill in the blank, do everything. And my brain feels like I'm on vacation a lot more. For some reason constant scrolling makes me kind of feel like garbage. So I have been trying to figure out ways. How can I rather than say I'm just going to stay off social media.

It's like, what are you going to fill your time with instead? What kinds of things could you do? And so those are the things I've been doing. I've been reading more. I have been doing art more. I've been sewing more. I've been doing things with my hands to keep me away from my phone. And I'm feeling the benefits of the digital detox.

Maybe you went to all right. Number 16 ways. Self care ideas for winter is reading in the tub, reading in bed, reading on the couch. Oh my God. So many books. I don't know about you but I am a voracious reader and I'll be doing some book roundups. Later in later episodes, but people always ask me how do you read so much, which I'll do an episode on that.

And how do you get your books that isn't going to break your bank? And I will also do an episode on that. It's really short and sweet. Honestly, Sacramento public library does meet up. They have curbside pickup. They have audio books and Kindle books on the Libby app. And if you haven't started with that, please do download it today and you can get free books delivered to your phone.

And then you can do curbside pickup at your local branch. If you have it, check it out. The library needs our help in order to keep their doors. Proverbially open. So support your library while they support your reading habit. And if you want to know everything I'm reading, you can find me on good reads.

I would love to connect with you there. All right. So number 17 has been a new thing for me, and that's listening to soft, instrumental music while I'm working and supervising distance learning. It's really hard to work when I hear my kid's teacher talking in the other room and by other room, eight feet away from me, I'm in living room, she's in the dining room.

So I have been wearing headphones and listening to instrumental music. And it's. It's been really relaxing and it's sort of a form of white noise and I haven't used it before. Sometimes I also dip into cafe sounds cause hi, I miss working with other people, but ignoring them and nature sounds cause you know, they're nice.

They're relaxing. And so you can find any, you can find cafe sounds. I have cough activity on my phone and you can just download a white noise app and tune out your family while you're working. All right. Number 18, a winter self-care is decluttering daily. Oh, my God. We're home all the time and we're seeing all our stuff.

So we're spending a little bit of time every day. We put it on the family schedule and we've been chipping away at it. Number 19, the 15 minute tidy. I learned this from Carly at tidy revival, who I interviewed in episode 16, I believe. And we're going to be doing some upcoming episodes on. Tidying organizing and letting what we do be good enough.

So that it actually feels like self care to take care of your stuff in your house. So look forward to that, but if you haven't started the 15 minute tidy, just set a timer, get everyone in the family, just put stuff back where it goes for 15 minutes and you'll be surprised how much tidy are your houses at the end of the week?

All right. Number 20. Is, we are keeping our Christmas lights up in our house and tell my birthday happens to conveniently fall on the first day of spring. So having that extra bit of light is really lovely, especially at sundown and cause every night we do. A little ritual, which is we sit down, we let up the Christmas lights that are hung all around our living room and dining room.

And then we light a candle for my best friend who died. And we read an excerpt, the daily reading from Cindy Spiegel's a year of positive thinking and we talk about my best friend. And I love this time because it's like I'm spending every moment of the day grieving as one does, but really what I'm doing is I know at the end of every day, I'm going to have this time to connect with my family.

And I'm going to have this time to connect with my friend. And I'm going to have this time to talk about her cry if I need to cry and really let my family hear the stories of us growing up and being friends and yeah. It's a really nice way to do. It's a nice thing to do after dinner is to light a candle and have a little.

Family connection time. And then finally, number 21, speaking of grief, I've been working my way through what your grief. That's a great website, by the way, they have a free class on grief during COVID times. So I will link to that in the show notes. So I'm curious to find out what you're doing. For winter self care.

I'd love to connect with you on social media. I'm on Instagram at Tami. Hackbarth make sure to head over to my website at www.tamihackbarth.com/podcast for all the show notes until next time, remember that you mattered too.

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