Winter Bucket List – Wellness Update

On Dec 21, I posted a Seasonal Link Up for Winter – and today, I share my first update. I wanted these seasonal goals to focus on season-specific wellness – particularly to thrive in what can often be filled with ‘winter blues’.

Winter has certainly hit Chicago – with below zero wind chills and about 6 inches of snow on the ground.

  • Step into some fresh air – no matter how cold it is outside
    • So far, so good! Even in below zero weather I’ve stepped into fresh air every day for at least a few minutes.
  • Go for a walk/ride every day the sun shines, even if very short
  • winter walk
    • Yep! I’ve piled on the clothes and enjoyed the sunshine. A bonus was that I spoke at a conference in Florida so enjoyed 80 degrees and a dip in the pool. Hadn’t been swimming in 10 years.
    • florida
  • Don’t rush into my work day – rise at least an hour before my first client call
    • I first enjoyed two weeks vacation for the holidays. On work days, I’ve managed to rise at least 30 minutes before calls start every day – and on some days an hour before. Progress…
  • Listen to music while doing kitchen chores
    • Yep! Alexa makes this simple because I just pick a station, a genre, or a favorite musician. I’ve not taken time to create all kinds of lists or hook to my playlists, etc. so I get to hear whatever Alexa picks for me.
  • Spend 20 minutes-a-day on a jigsaw puzzle

    My husband surprised me with a Light Lamp (for Seasonal Affective Disorder) for Christmas. They recommend 20-minutes every morning. I’ve setup the light over the jigsaw puzzle, with a foot massager beneath. Alexa accompanies me with meditation music.

  • Read fiction 3-4 times a week
    • Not quite. More like 1-2 times a week. I’m in the middle of one big client project and trying to complete my business book, so fiction has taken a back seat. I finished one novel though.
  • Enjoy a daily cup of tea – away from all electronics
    • Most days, not every day.
  • Bake weekly – tapping into one of my first loves
    • Bought all the ingredients to bake but told myself, “As soon as I finish writing my book.” Since I haven’t finished the book, baking has not yet begun.

Self-care has become a priority this winter – and its made a huge difference!

I only felt myself going down the rabbit hole of negative thought on two days — when I was pushing myself too hard to meet my arbitrary book deadline. When I relaxed and gave myself space and time to act quickly but not in a hurry in my writing — and I got outside for a walk, my mood shifted.

On one of my walks, I saw this great reminder:

love thy neighbor

And heard the beautiful melody of the birds singing in the trees:

birds in tree



  1. LOVE your progress, Janet!

    I recently reviewed your list of 101 things to help me develop my own self-care list to track over time. I haven’t quite finalized it, but like you say… I am making headway.

    We had nine straight days of overcast skies. I think a SAD lamp would have helped my mood…


  2. You’re doing pretty well as far as I can tell. I did giggle at the pic of you all rugged up – I’ve just got back from my morning walk & have sweat dripping from every cell I think! Your comment re SAD is interesting. I’m outside every day – I walk at 6am all year round – and am not sure how I’d deal with the lack of light in a proper winter.


  3. You look very cosy all rugged up Janet while I’m hardly wearing any clothes because of the heat here in Australia! I’m inspired by many of your bucket list items including listening to music while doing the kitchen chores it does help doesn’t it? Also the daily cup of tea away from electronics it is hard to do this at first but I now do this first thing in the morning rather than rushing to the computer and it is such a lovely way to start my day. xx


    • Sue – absolutely agree that not rushing to the computer can be refreshing at the start of the day – especially since I am tied to it for my client work. Thanks for joining the conversation…


  4. I love your ideas about self-care. I wish I had your commitment and willpower! However, I am doing 3 days a week of beach yoga this month and really liking it – being outside, the stretching helping my neck tension. Unfortunately getting in my steps has been more like most days, not everyday. You’ve re-inspired me to be more mindful of doing the things I say I will do!! Oh, And I loved the brussels sprouts dish… hubby not so much. I’m thinking of using that mustard/maple syrup blend on some other veggies as well.


    • The mustard/maple is great isn’t it? I use it on salmon and as an alternative to heavier salad dressings too! Sorry hubby didn’t like it, but hey – can’t win over everybody. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read your list when you first posted it, Janet, and enjoyed it then. But for some reason today, it really resonated with me. I love that you are focusing on taking care of yourself. Your morning routine with the puzzle, the light, and the food massager sounds like heaven.


    • I must say Christie how grateful I am that you inspired me to create the list. Putting it out in cyberspace for God and everybody to see has been my motivation for staying focused. Not that I’m a perfectionist or anything, but I somehow set the intention and now I want to! So thank you! And yes, the morning routine is heavenly.


  6. Hi Janet! Good for you for identifying some things that are healing and helpful to you. I don’t think most of us take the time to have such a list so we don’t know WHY we aren’t feeling as content and happy as we hope. Your list makes it very easy to monitor yourself and make corrections. And I heard it was going to be -25 in Chicago today….BURRRRRR….maybe skip going outside just for today??? ~Kathy


    • Kathy,
      I have to say, I’ve muddled around this for many years – but articulating it all has helped me to stay focused and to see what really makes a difference. And ‘updating’ helps me to not let myself slide TOO much.
      The temperature is certainly dropping – and I’m staying indoors for sure! The coldest temp is supposed to be tomorrow – Wed. Some predictions are -49 with the windchill. Thanks for joining the conversation.


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