Winter self-care tips

We do much to care for the ones we love. We offer warm embraces, patience, and understanding. We cook nourishing meals, give gifts, and express gratitude.
But do we do the same for ourselves?
Self-care is one of those things that, if we're not mindful, gets pushed to the wayside. But as photographer Hannah Mayo so beautifully puts it, "It is not selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour into others. It’s not just a luxury. It is essential."
Such wisdom in these words. I believe that we all have this knowing, that we are at our best—creatively, physically, mentally—when we're taking good care of ourselves. The ancient health system of Ayurveda tells us that the four seasons can greatly inform our self-care routines. With winter in full swing, now is a great time to reexamine the ways in which we care for our own mind, body, and soul.
One of my favorite books is Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living. Here, the authors devote a entire section to honoring these seasonal changes. For those who aren't familiar, Ayurveda is based on the idea that all of us are made up of three different mind-body types called doshas, with one typically being more dominant than the others. Individual self-care approaches vary from one dosha to the next, but a few basic guidelines remain. For winter, the authors suggest:

  • Favoring warm food and drinks

  • Using a humidifier

  • Getting plenty of exercise

  • Avoiding naps

Eating nutritious foods, getting out in the sun, when possible, and regularly moving your body are key to staving off the winter blues. Another crucial ingredient for optimal self-care? Keeping up with a daily meditation practice. (Our weekly meditation series can help you here.) I've come to regard my own routine as the most powerful self-care tool in my arsenal. What's yours?  Share your tips on our Facebook page for a chance to win a copy of Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living.

Marianne Hayes is thrilled to join the breathe bar team as a guest contributor. She's a longtime freelance writer with a passion for spiritual growth and inner life.

Editor's note:  We're excited to announce that our Peace & Love Meditation on Friday, 1/20, raised $150 for Horizons for Youth!  And, you asked, we listened!   Our Monday meditation series (tickets still left for class tonight!) will be extended through February.  Thank you Venue One Chicago, for being generous hosts!  We're pushing back the time to 6pm also to ease the post-work hustle.  Buy tickets online with promo code: bbbogo2017 and bring a friend free.  #meditatetogether #bettertogether

With gratitude & love,

Your friends at breathe bar
Sylvia Maldonado