Just like any big transition, shifting seasons can be a lot. On our bodies, on our nervous systems, on our mental capacity and stress loads. Mid-points in the seasons too, can be the same,
But there’s also wisdom to it. An ancient act of moving through the year and embracing the seasonal phases with intention.
It affects every part of us, and also shows us ways to lean into the seasonal changes— the shifting energy, pace, rituals and rhythms.
Moving from summer to fall always = a toughy for me, personally. Like, I could live off of sunshine and garden tomatoes and feeling my toes in the grass year round. Truly.
But then, once we head into fall, I start to remember the beauty in it— how it forces me to slow down and nest in the cozy spaces of our home.
By the time winter rolls around I’m full-on into my soup-making, sweater-wearing, early-night-bath-tubbing phase. And even though I’d *prefer* long, sunny days spent outside, I’m always working hard to honor and appreciate the beauty of the more restful seasons. Yup, even in a pandemic.
Especially in a pandemic. And right now, with this past week being the OFFICIAL mid-way point between Winter & Spring (hallelujah!), I’ve found I’ve needed some inspiration to keep me mentally and physically moving through the rest of this season.
And since we’re all at home, and it’s cold and dark outside, I’ve been leaning in hard to some extra winter beauty rituals to try and keep things fun….and keep my sanity in tact 🙂
So today I’d thought I’d share some….because don’t we all need little ways to find and create moments of joy & nourishment for ourselves these days? If you don’t create it for yourself, it’s not going to magically appear, so let’s jump in.
My favorite winter beauty rituals:
As far as skin, beauty & self-care….. I have a few fav rituals up my sleeve that I like turning to, this time of year especially.
They’re all small but substantial (just how I like it). And ways to weave in more love for your body and skin no matter how much time you do or don’t have.
When the air is bity and dry in the winter, these always refresh me and make me feel lighter and better in so many ways. Enjoy and stay warm, mama!
- The Wildling Aura Collection: it’s a gua sha stone & ritual kit for your whole body that includes a dry brush, 2 serums and a beautiful stone that is like a full experience when you open it up. Who needs a real spa?! In a pandemic we gotta create our own spas at home. If you’ve never done gua sha– OMG, I can’t recommend it enough and now is the perfect time to start. It’s a lymphatic drainage stone you use in a sweeping motion over the face, neck , body, arms and legs, in a smoothing repetitive motion, to release toxins and depuff your lymph nodes. The feeling = pure heaven and these tools make it even more luxurious for a sweet at-home spa night (even if you only have 5 mins). Plus with all the sitting and being inside more this time of year, I’ve needed any extra circulation I can get! If you want to start smaller, I love their original Empress face wand, and the Empress stone too, which are more for your face. See how I’ve been using mine here these days. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” at checkout for 10% off your entire order. Everything they make is amazing and so beautifully done.
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2. Make a nightly ritual of taking care of your hands and feet. These are such hard working parts of our body that are worth treating well and taking care of over the course of our lives. I like to take my rings off a few times a week and rub some nourishing oils or healing body butter into my hands, thanking them for all they carried and held that day. Ditto for my feet for carrying me around all day. This is such a simple, small way to wind down with care and gratitude for your body before going to sleep.I like to mix it up– sometimes just jojoba oil mixed with a drop of lavender essential oil, sometimes this everything lotion, or sometimes a vanilla body butter.
3. Dry brushing + a salt bath: so cozy, a great way to detox & relax, and creates energetic clearing. The Wildling collection above comes with a dry brush which I love using before a bath or hot shower at night. Salt (unscented epsom salt, which I embarrassingly order in these 8lb bulk bags these days) also detoxes the body, clears your energetic aura from the day, and relaxes your muscles so if you’re carrying any extra tension or stress from the day (as we all probably are), this is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
3. A decadent face mask. When I did that live natural beauty event in December with Follain’s founder, Tara Foley, she taught me the most amazing trick: to do a double mask once a week. First with one that had some BHA and AHA gentle acids to help exfoliate and help any tired, dull skin…..and then to remove it after 15-20 mins and add a moisturizing one next….and with their moisturizing mask, you can just keep it on, doubling as a rich face cream for sleeping. It works great as a combo, so I’ve been doing it once a week. If I’m short on time, I’ll pick one or the other. Their detox mask is here, and their ultra-moisturizing one is here.
4. A decadent face cream or serum to combat winter dryness and cold winds/weather. Sometimes you just need something a little richer and more moisturizing for these chilly months. Some of my favs include:
- GOOPGENES All-in-One Nourishing Face Cream (think like your mom’s Pond’s face cream)
- Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream
- Rose Glow Face Cream (this is my favorite of all time, light enough to wear in the morning under makeup or at night on clean skin).
5. Tea: I have been *very* into tea here lately (like, I can’t get enough), and nettle tea is kinda my fave. It’s so grounding and relaxing to make, and it’s actually packed with good stuff for your body… especially your hair, skin, and nails. Soooo, totally a win-win, right? I love my loose tea ritual with this kettle, my favorite strainer, and sometimes a little bit of coconut water or honey to sweeten. Mmmmm. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
6. A pop of color for winter: I’m not a HUGE makeup person, but when I do throw some on for a sweet at-home date night or a quick tutorial vid, I love a festive color this time of year especially. This one is so cheery and fun in the cherry red tone, and bonus: it doesn’t come off on your mask if you’re out.
7. Moisturizing Winter Hair . I’m still doing my little routine here (from this post from the Healthy Hair Guide). I’ve noticed a great difference using the scalp detox once a week there before I wash, but only if I just use it on the top of my head vs the back. I can never seem to get it to all rinse out. Side tip 🙂
My bucket list for mid-winter:
One thing that helps me move into new seasons is creating a bucket list. Something to keep me looking forward to good things coming. To help me focus on the blessings of each fleeting season. To just infuse some JOY into our days, even when they’re dreary and drizzly.
So whether you’re a winter lover, orrrr more of a tolerator of it…. I hope my winter bucket list inspires you to create and find some of your own magic in this season. Because you deserve it, anyway you can find it:
Book club reads: I love reading all year long, but something about winter makes me really want to cozy on up with a book and read until I can’t hold my eyes open any longer! Lately, I’ve really loved alllllll the fiction (It All Comes Back to You and Such a Fun Age were some favorites), and I’m always a nonfiction girl, too. I also loved In the Flo, Untamed, and Cosmic Health by my friend Jen Racioppi, and just started Rachel Ricketts new book, Do Better, on spiritual activism this week.
At least 3 winter hikes: with the right gear winter hikes can be some of my favorites. The crisp air and the crunchy leaves underfoot and the clear, gray-blue views. Aaahhh. It’s truly so serene.
Cross country skiing/sledding/tubing: we love getting outdoors anytime we can, and going up to the mountains for some winter activities always makes me a little more joyful.
Cook 5 new recipes we’ve never made: I’ve been recipe testing in the kitchen more these days as I add recipes to the new Simply Real Health Cooking Club, as we go. If you haven’t heard, we’re keeping the doors open just a few days longer this week, so there’s still time to join us at that steal-of-a-deal founding member price! People are just LOVING it so far, so come take a peek 🙂 There are sooo many great Winter recipes in there, all ready for you to make & shop with ease.
Clean out pantry & fridge: mmmm, I love doing this every season. There’s something so refreshing about tossing away the clutter and clearing out what we don’t need/use. Having a freshly organized pantry & fridge is one of the easiest ways to boost your mood and get reinspired in the kitchen, too.
Clean out closets: same thing goes here. When our homes are filled to the seams with clutter, our minds can’t process as clearly. I always go through our closet and dressers in the winter and give away things that don’t fit or that we don’t and won’t wear. It’s therapeutic, really.
Go by candlelight after 6pm: have you tried this? It’s actually so cozy and romantic, and helps sooo much with sleep & winding down from the day. Blue light (from most electric lights/screens) can be so damaging to our eyes and overstimulating to our brains when it’s time to prepare for sleep.
Bundled night walks: just ‘cause the sun sets early in the winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time outdoors…. It might just look a bit different these days. My fix? Putting on my coziest, comfiest layers, putting some decaf herbal tea in a travel mug and taking a nighttime walk around the neighborhood. It centers me after long days and allows me to totally unplug.
It has access to hundreds of recipes you can sort by category, meal plans & so many tools to simplify meal time. Open for just a few more days!