Do you find the winter months less productive for getting words on the page? Do you notice yourself having lower energy and motivation? YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY FRIEND. With less sunlight and colder weather, winter can be a slower season for many writers. That's why in this post, I'll be sharing my favorite self-care habits. I hope these ideas help you refresh your mind, feel amazing, and write with clarity.
I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I love it for the coziness it brings (hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, crackling fires), getting to ski (of course), and the beautiful scenery (Colorado, anyone?).
However, winter (at least where I'm from) can be long, dark, and cold. It's harder to get outside for walks, and the lack of light can take a toll on my creativity.
Maybe it's the same for you.
(Or maybe you live on a tropical island where it never snows. Or maybe, you love this time of year, and you think I'm crazy at this point.)
Whatever your opinion on winter is, I hope these ideas inspire you and make this season a little more cozy and productive!
1) MAKE A WRITING NOOK
Believe me, my friend, doing this will motivate you to write like never before! Having a warm, clean, and inviting writing space will make your writing process MUCH more enjoyable and make you want to return to it again and again.
It doesn't have to be anything super fancy or special, either.
Maybe you don't have a designated writing space. I know many writers who write at their kitchen table. I usually write on the desktop computer in my family's living room.
Not every writing nook will be ideal, and that's okay. It doesn't matter where you write as long as you can turn that place into something that will help fuel your creativity.
Light a candle. Use an essential oil diffuser. Make yourself a drink to enjoy. Surround yourself with quotes and aesthetics that remind you of your story. Tidy up your desk area and keep it organized. Find a comfy chair, and listen to music that inspires you.
Get creative with your writing nook, and think about ways to turn it into a pleasant place where you enjoy writing.
2) GO ON NATURE WALKS AND INSPIRATION HUNTS
Get your creative juices flowing with a walk outside! Being surrounded by nature and fresh air does wonder for curing writer's block and boosting your mood.
This idea is probably one of the harder ones for me to put into practice because it's so cold where I live, but making an effort to bundle up and get inspiration and exercise outside is SO worth it.
Some of my best book ideas have come from doing this, and I always return to my writing with more clarity, new energy, and the motivation I need to tackle my story.
Breathing cool air and moving my body by walking helps generate inspiration and is a pleasant break from being hunched over my computer all day.
So step outside. Bring movement into your writing day. You can find inspiration almost anywhere if you hunt for it.😉
3) TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS
Confession: I'm not very good at this one.
I can be notorious for neglecting my hands, and they tend to suffer (I'M WORKING ON IMPLEMENTING THESE IDEAS TOO). Trust me, caring for your physical body will steer you safely away from painful setbacks.
Show your hands some love. With the hundreds of words they type for you every single day, they deserve it.
Take breaks and stretch your wrists. Moisturize your skin. Correct your posture on your keyboard, and do a few hand-strengthening exercises. If you write outside, consider using a pair of fingerless gloves so that your hands don't turn into ice burgs.
Your hands will be happier to help you write your story, and taking the time to care for them will set you up for success in the long run.
4) DRINK PLENTY OF TEA
If you've been on this blog for one second, you know how much I love a good cup of tea. Having something warm and vitalizing to drink is so comforting when it's chilly outside.
There's something very relaxing and meditative about pausing to make tea. Plus, the health benefits of drinking it are amazing.
There are so many options for flavors, and it can be rather fun to try new ones. My current favorite is Harney & Sons black tea with spicy cinnamon. SERIOUSLY, GUYS. THIS TEA. A friend of mine got it for me for Christmas, and I love it so much!!! It's immaculate, and you must try it. (You can find it here. YOU'RE WELCOME. 😉)
5) USE CANDLES AND ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils can be another way to stay healthy and be focused on your writing. There are hundreds of uses for them, as well. I won't be going into all the benefits essential oils have in this post (I'll leave that up to you to research), but they can be INCREDIBLE for creating an inviting and productive atmosphere.
I almost always have an oil diffuser running next to me while I write because it helps me stay calm, focused, and energized. Peppermint, Wild Orange, and Lavender are some of my favorites to diffuse around my workspace.
Candles can also be a great thing to have around. I love having a candle lit while I work because it smells good, and the gentle light makes the atmosphere around me feel more cozy and relaxing.
Surrounding yourself with non-toxic and beneficial scents will boost your mood and make working on your project much more enjoyable.
6) CREATE FOR THE JOY OF IT
It's easy to lose sight of the joy and delight of writing when we get too caught up with success and perfection.
Chase the little butterflies of ideas. Start a fan fiction, even if you never show it to another human being. Write 20 pages of pure fluff for the sheer joy of it. Don't always be worried about what publishers and readers will think. Write because you love it. Create with the pleasure of simply making something beautiful in a broken world.
Do you remember when you used to write for fun? Do you remember when the page was a playground of endless possibilities? Well, it should still be that way! Don't take yourself too seriously. Writing is supposed to be fun.
Creativity is a magical thing, isn't it? We, as writers, have entire universes in our minds filled with places and characters, and we bring them to life in the pages of our notebooks and messy word documents.
Think about it: YOU ARE A WRITER. YOU WEAVE STORIES TOGETHER. How awesome is that?!
7) EAT TONS OF WARM AND HEALTHY FOODS
Just like athletes perform better when they fuel their bodies with nourishing foods, YOU will create better when you take the time to eat well.
That doesn't mean you have to be on a diet, and it certainly doesn't mean you have to eat zucchini and squash for the rest of your life (if you're anything like me, that probably sounds like the most unenjoyable thing in the world).
However, this DOES mean that being intentional about what you put in your body and making healthy choices will enable you to be more productive, happy, and creative.
Healthy doesn't have to be gross. There are TONS of super delicious (and easy) recipes out there (hop on Pinterest, and you'll see my point). Hot soups and broths have become my comfort foods during the winter because they help strengthen my immune system and keep me warm.
Making an effort to nourish your body and mind with wholesome and nutrient-filled foods will give you a HUGE boost in all your creative pursuits.
8) KEEP A JOURNAL
Journaling can be a lovely way to declutter your mind and organize your thoughts. It can also be so helpful for brainstorming and coming up with new ideas and goals.
I love how journaling helps me adjust my focus and keep track of the things that matter to me. It's helpful to look back at my struggles and growth to find new solutions and understand myself better.
Plus, no one will read my journal unless I let them, so I find it's a great way to let down and process my thoughts and feelings.
There are many ways to get creative with this, such as keeping a planner, bullet journaling, scrapbooking, or just dumping your thoughts into a notebook.
I'm obsessed with aesthetics (if you couldn't tell already), so I also find much more motivation to journal when I have a pen I love and something pretty to write in.
Do whatever works for you. There are no rules to journaling, so have fun with it!
9) SNUGGLE UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
Never underestimate the power of a good book. Reading is magic, and filling your mind with your favorite stories can be a great way to fuel inspiration.
Make yourself a warm drink and find a cozy spot to read. Keeping a book log and setting goals for yourself can also be a fun way to keep track of your reading.
Enjoy the beauty of a story and get lost in another world for a time. You'll come back refreshed, inspired, AND a better writer.
I hope this post has given you some good ideas and inspired you to take better care of yourself this season! Setting aside time to fuel my creativity has been a GAME CHANGER for increasing my productivity, motivation, and energy. I pray it does the same for you!
Is winter a more difficult season for you, or do you love it? What are some of your favorite ways to nourish yourself? Do you prefer coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!