How To Have Your Best-Ever Winter As An Indoorsy Person (Winter Self Care And Preparation)

You know those people who LOVE to be outdoors? The ones for whom winter means skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and… well… playing outside? You know… outdoorsy people? Yeah, I know them too.

But what about the rest of us? The indoorsy people? The women who hibernate during the cold and dark months of winter? How do we survive — and possibly even thrive — during the winter? Let’s talk about winter self care tips and preparation for the indoorsy person!

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I’m deep into winter preparations right now — gathering cozy things and making sure the house is ready. I thought you might like a glimpse into my process of preparing for winter in a cold climate.

Here is my indoorsy woman’s winter survival guide broken down into three main areas.

  • Preparing the house for winter
  • Creating your cozy winter nest
  • Caring for yourself during winter

There are some great tips and gift ideas here, but be sure to also check out my full list of gifts for people who hate winter!

1. Preparing Around The House For Winter

First, you’ll want to get the practical things out of the way…

Outdoor winter preparation:

  • Turn off outdoor faucets and winterize them. If you have any faucets that are not freeze-proof, you can purchase protective faucet covers that really do help. We use them every year.
  • Set up bird feeders before the ground freezes. Our birds love these simple bird feeders. Keep birdseed on the porch in a nice critter-proof container.

*Note: Before you commit to feeding the birds, weigh whether or not it’s worth going outside every day to refill the feeders. For me, it is, since the red cardinals bring a desperately-needed splash of color to the winter days.

  • Mow the lawn one last time and make sure all loose items are securely stored away for the winter.

Preparing vehicles for winter:

  • Don’t keep water bottles in your vehicle because they could freeze and burst. Instead, get into the habit of carrying them with you every time you leave the house in the winter.
  • Have maintenance done, especially things like changing filters, topping off washer fluid, replacing windshield wipers. Have snow tires installed if necessary.

Indoor winter preparation:

  • Keep your snow shovel and ice melt handy.

I like to buy ice melt in a plastic bucket. We used to keep it in a galvanized trash can with a lid until we found out a huge metal can of solid hardened ice melt is NOT a good thing.

  • Make sure you have bins or baskets for extra gloves, hats, and scarves.
  • Get ready to use your woodstove or fireplace.

Clean the chimney, make firestarters or grab a box of natural fatwood sticks, purchase clicker lighters, gather kindling.

Then, teach your teenager how to load the woodbox and make it their daily chore. (You can thank me later.) 😉

  • Maintain your furnace. Make sure you have the propane tank filled and have a service person check your furnace system. You don’t want to be caught in the cold during the depths of winter!
  • Stock up on bulky items that are difficult or dangerous to carry during icy and snowy weather. For us, that means loading up on water softener salt, pet food, ice melt, bird seed, and bottled water.

We also make sure the extra gas tanks and propane tanks are full so we can run the generator in case of power outages.

Now, it’s time to do the fun stuff!

2. Creating Your Cozy Winter Nest

Cute dog snuggled in cozy blankets surrounded by cozy winter decor.

When I do have to leave my home during the winter, I love knowing that I’ll be coming back to warmth and comfort! Here are some of the cozy things that help me enjoy being at home so much.

Pretty And Cozy Winter Decor

I am by no means a good decorator, but I love decorating for winter and implementing cozy living room ideas! It feels like bringing light and warmth into the home.

By the way, this seasonal decor stays up in my house until at least the end of February — that means months of enjoyment!

One of my favorite things to do is put them higher up on shelves to highlight the decor. Another beautiful and easy way to use them is to put them in a glass jar or lantern.

I mostly use electric string lights, and simple plug-in timers or smart outlets are great for keeping these types of lights on a schedule.

Look for flameless candles with a remote control so you can display them inside glass jars or lanterns and not have to dump out your arrangement every time you want to turn the candle on or off.

Cozy Winter Necessities

These are the things I really love and help me survive the bone-chilling and dark days of the winter season.

This is my very favorite blanket — seriously, I’ve bought at least nine of them. If you see it in stock, grab at least a couple in the twin size. They make perfect throws and have survived MANY trips through my washer and dryer while still looking great.

If your house is particularly chilly, get a heated throw and keep it where you usually sit. Oh my, reading a good book under a heated throw… heavenly!

Red leather chair and cozy plaid blanket ready for a cozy winter evening indoors.
  • Netflix and Amazon Prime TV. We don’t get any regular television channels out here in the boonies, but we do have decent internet, so we make full use of our television subscriptions.

While we enjoy both Netflix and Amazon, if I had to choose, I would go with Amazon Prime because it also includes free shipping on other things I need and don’t want to have to shop for during the winter! 😉

We recently started paying for a Discovery+ subscription after having a 12-month free trial through our cell phone company. Totally worth the small monthly cost.

  • Comfortable ‘at-home’ clothes. My at-home uniform is soft pants and a long-sleeve pullover. My family knows that when I’m home, that’s what I wear.

I wear a plus size, so it’s not always easy to find the comfiest clothes. These pants (I buy them a little long because they do shrink up a bit) or these yoga pants and Old Navy EveryWear long-sleeve t-shirts (the Luxe style is an OKAY substitute but I don’t like them nearly as well) have been my go-to for several years now.

When I used to work outside the home, the first thing I *always* did when I got home was change clothes to get cozy and comfortable!  

TIP: The velvety soft plush blankets feel nice to the touch, but the silky finish means a comforter slips off the top during the night. Purchase a heated fleece blanket for more ‘grip’ to keep your covers in place.

  • Hobbies for fun and for your brain.

Reading is my favorite hobby, so I always love to suggest stocking up on books.

Visiting the library is great, but it’s not always safe to drive there during the winter. Check online to browse your library’s ebook selection.

I also have to say I’m loving the Kindle Paperwhite that I bought last summer! I even decided to spring for a Kindle Unlimited subscription to keep my TBR (to be read) list full.

Prefer audiobooks or podcasts? A free trial for Audible might be just perfect for you.

Board games are always a fun family activity. Scrabble is our favorite.

Not everyone likes puzzles, but they can be very enjoyable on those dark winter nights and snowy winter days. Try out a new jigsaw puzzle, sudoku, word searches, crossword puzzles… whatever you like. (I recently started doing jigsaw puzzles again — see my Amazon list and picks here.)

Maybe even pick up a snowflake mandala adult coloring book!

3. Caring For Yourself During Winter

You need to take special care of your body and your mind during the winter. Winter is dry and brutal on your body, and not seeing the sun for weeks at a time can have a detrimental effect on your mental state.

Extra Body Care For Winter

  • Face moisturizer. I’ve been using Aldi Lacura Q10 day cream for a few years now and LOVE it. This was discontinued for a while in the United States, but I recently found it again! Check it out the next time you get to Aldi.
  • Lip balm. I keep some everywhere. My favorite is the original Carmex, in the little pot — love that tingle. Looking for a more natural option? Try making your own.
  • Heavy-duty foot cream and fluffy socks for daytime or heel socks for nighttime. Also, consider wearing some comfy slip-on shoes indoors. Sometimes I do this when I’m going to be walking around the house a lot — they feel like slippers and keep my feet warm but not sweaty like slippers. (Um, was that TMI? Sorry!)
  • Body moisturizer. I love the scented, thick creams from Bath & Body Works. However, I don’t always make it there to stock up before winter. When that happens, I resort to ordering thinner, medicated body lotion for my extra-dry skin.
  • Humidifier. Especially since we have a woodstove, a good humidifier really makes a difference in the moisture and comfort level of our home. During the coldest days of the year, I also keep a large stockpot of water simmering on top of the woodstove.
  • Drink plenty of water. Add lemon slices for flavor and some extra winter nutrition.

Staying Cheerful Through The Winter Season

Indoorsy woman in cozy sweater holding a mug and looking out at a snowy winter day.
  • Get some full-spectrum light.

Being an indoorsy-type person, I don’t usually like glaring bright sunlight. But I’m trying to remember to use a full-spectrum sunlight lamp every day for this winter.

I would love to prevent those weeks during January & February when cabin fever and a mild case of seasonal depression usually hits.

  • Start a new adventure.

Begin an online class, find a creative outlet, try creative writing, start journaling with these deep winter journal prompts, or start a business. Give yourself something to look forward to instead of simply staring out the window at yet another dreary winter day.

  • Spend time with family and friends.

This is the time to invite people into the comfort zone of your cozy home. You don’t have to throw a party every weekend. But make an effort to enjoy a little more time with people who make you laugh. Turn on the twinkle lights, prepare a simple meal, play cards or a board game, or just chat.

  • And, yes, get outside now and then.

I know, I know… I would also prefer to never leave my house from November to March. BUT a few minutes outdoors (almost) every day means a dose of healthy fresh air and maybe a little natural sunshine for your body and soul.

Of course, getting outside is a little easier if you prepare ahead and get yourself a cozy polar fleece heated vest!

Plus, going back inside to your cozy nest feels that much better after braving the cold!

More Seasonal Inspiration

7 Simple and Productive Things To Do Over Winter Break

29 Winter Quotes: Wise and Cozy Words for an Inspired Season

31 Unique December Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Living An Intentional Life: 7 Powerful Steps to Make It Happen

23 Winter And Coffee Quotes To Warm Your Soul

Concluding Thoughts

Whew! This post ended up being much longer than I expected!

When I started thinking things through, I realized there are soooo many things involved in surviving winter as an indoorsy woman. Get busy now to prepare!

What are your favorite ways to survive — and maybe even thrive — during winter? Do you have any special tips that help get you through?

Did you enjoy this post? Know someone else who might like it? Please take a moment to share on Pinterest, Facebook, or your favorite social media… (Click the sharing buttons at the bottom of the post.) Thank you!

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7 thoughts on “How To Have Your Best-Ever Winter As An Indoorsy Person (Winter Self Care And Preparation)”

  1. I love this! You’ve reminded me of quite a few chores I still need to do before the snowfalls. I will go outside but I don’t enjoy it. I’d much rather cozy up by the fire and hibernate all winter. We even have bird feeders that suction to our windows so I don’t have leave the cozy house to fill them up!

    1. Hi Amanda! Glad you liked the post! 🙂 And even though we’re supposed to be heading toward summer here in the States, I’m still huddled next to my woodstove today because it’s cold and rainy here also. Brrr!

  2. I really love this post! I’m an indoorsy person. I’ll be featuring this post today at Thursday Favorite Things, starting at 10:00 a.m. CST. 🙂

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