Winter Self-Care Routine Checklist

Words by Regine Henderson

Illustration by Ariana Collazo

In the winter months, the temperature changes—and more often than not, so does our mood.

A lot of factors come into play, but no matter the change, we are still required to show up for ourselves and for others. I know for me, the latter of the two has always been easier. But in times like these, I’ve become more aware of how my ability to show up at all is affected by how well I take care of myself.

This’ll be my first year going through two consecutive holidays alone. While I realize that this year has changed plans for a lot of us, I’m grateful for so many things. I am also really in need of some family time right now. The warmth and love that I feel when I’m around them would, no doubt, get me through this season—but instead, I must rely on myself to keep me warm.

My self-care routine shifts from time to time, mostly depending on my level of motivation, but there are a few things that never change.

I drink hot tea (and lots of it)

I’m a huge advocate for tea and the ways in which it can aid us on our wellness journeys. Not only can its ingredients help with physical health, but they can work to soothe the mind as well. As I hold my mug in my hand and drink my tea, I am mindful of the way it feels. This warmth not only touches my body—it fills my soul.

I practice self-love

It can be hard to show ourselves love when we’re going through a hard time. But there will always be moments in our lives when we have no choice but to look inward for what we need. Self-love is different from self-care in that it involves more intentionality with how you speak to yourself (it’s not just about your actions). By adding weekly or daily affirmations to my routine, I am better equipped to work through any negative thinking that may come; I am also able to reaffirm my worthiness of love and joy.

I move my body

As the temperature continues to drop, going on walks has become more difficult. I would love to be able to say I practice yoga consistently, but a combination of world events and mental unrest have my body convinced that just moving from the bed to the couch is progress (because it is). When I am unable to make it to my mat, I dance—with or without music. Within a few seconds, I start to see a change in how I feel. Not only because I am able to move, but also because the gratitude that I feel for having movement in my body causes me to forget about my worries, even for just a moment.

I try to stay connected with others

Emphasis on the “try.” This one is probably the most important on my checklist due to the fact that it’s so necessary for me to maintain a sense of community. During those times when I get lonely, it’s hard for me to believe that I have anyone in my corner. I fight myself on whether or not I should reach out to my support network because I don’t want to bother anyone or burden them with my stress. But we’re all in this together, and though a virtual connection will never take the place of an in-person one, I am grateful for it anyway. If you’re a Black woman looking for support on your healing journey, the body: a home for love’s donation-based community on Mighty Networks is a great place to start.

vitruvi x the body: a home for love

As a healer on my own healing journey, I’ve had to take all of the love I’m so used to giving others and turn it inward. This year has been a lot, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that my whole being is exhausted. That said, there’s still so much time left in the year to work on myself and grow even closer to the woman I’m truly meant to be.