7-Day Self-Care Challenge: Winter Morning Routine

Updated: Dec 8, 2019



Winter mornings are perfect for mental rejuvenation. The steaming mugs of hot coffee, foggy landscapes, and early sunrises all contribute to the ideal winter morning. Keep reading below for the tried and true Winter Morning Self-Care Challenge created by Rose-Minded.

Welcome to Rose-Minded, a supportive and informational mental health platform, and self-care brand. I’m Kay, the head writer at Rose-Minded.com; you can check out Rose-Minded's Instagram here or read more about my mental health experience here.

I am honest with my audience about my own struggles with self-care and fitting self-care routines into my busy schedule. I challenged myself (and you guys) to a week, 7 days in a row of intentional self-care practices and exercises. The challenge was created for the purpose of building healthy winter morning routines for a productive week. The self-care exercises are specific for winter morning relaxation, bliss, and revival- all important ingredients for mental wellness!


In this post:

  • Challenge Basics

  • 7-Day Self-Care Challenge

  • Rose-Minded's Self-Care Favorites

  • Rose-Minded Challenge Resources


7-Day Winter Morning Self-Care Challenge by Rose-Minded

A few challenge basics:

  • Try and wake up with about 2 hours of free time in the morning to complete a self-care routine before attending to responsibilities (ex. work, school, etc.)

  • Set a full glass of water in your bedroom at night for the morning

  • Set a journal or notebook and a pencil next to your bed

Day 1

On the first day of the challenge, wake up and drink as much (if not all) of the water you set next to your bed the night before. Water in the morning is crucial to starting your day off right! Drinking water will help wake you up, start your metabolism, moisturize your skin, and other awesome, easy ways to look good right after you wake up.


Take the notebook and pen or pencil you set next to your bed, either on a nightstand or a nearby desk, and get out of bed. Getting out of bed while you write in the morning is important to start your day too, and will even help you fall asleep easier at night. The less time you spend in your bed during the day, the better your sleep will be the following night!

Write a list of 5 things/people/etc. you are grateful for and try to spend at least 5 minutes thinking about your responses. This will boost your mood and help it stay elevated throughout the day. Don't forget to write the date somewhere on the page so you can keep track of your entries and reflect on previous responses (like you would do with journal entries).

Because this challenge is specific to winter mornings, the first day is dedicated to moisturizing! You drank water to moisturize your organs and cells, but what about external moisture? This step is important in the fall, winter, and early spring because so many of us get dry or cracked skin. Drinking more water will help of course, but so will applying lotion in the morning to give your skin a healthy glow. Here's my 'Day 1' winter morning moisturizing routine:

  • Apply lotion all over your body either after a shower or before you change into your outfit for the day. Choose your favorite-smelling lotion, or try a moisturizing body oil like Antioxidant Body Oil- Damascus Rose.

  • Take a heavy chapstick and apply a thin layer to your lips. I absolutely love Aquaphor and use it as a chapstick almost daily, but a new chapstick that is similar I've recently tried is Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm and I really like it too.

  • For your face, pick a lotion or oil that is specific to your skin type! A good lotion for sensitive skin I've used is Simple and it's free of harsh chemicals.

  • Another easy way to keep your face, lips and even hair moisturized is rose water spray. I asked my friend Laura about self-care products she uses during winter and rosewater spray is her go-to!


Day 2

More explanation about this self-care challenge... each day a new exercise is added to your winter morning routine, like a snowball effect throughout the week. Each day continuing forward in the challenge will include a 'recap' of the previous exercises and a new exercise to include in your morning routine. If an exercise hasn't been explained earlier in the challenge, it will include a description like the examples in 'Day 1'.

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

On the second day of the challenge, the exercise is fairly easy! The build-up for the challenge will be pretty slow because I wanted to make sure I, and others, could easily follow-through with the morning routine for a consecutive 7 days. Each exercise is still a healthy, beneficial addition to your morning!

Start by facing in the direction of a view you find pleasing, calming, reviving, or whatever you need at the moment. Stretch your legs by reaching down towards your toes (or touching them) and then sit on the floor and stretch your legs however else you need (try to get all the muscle areas).

Stretch your arms upwards and then across your chest. Fold each elbow back behind you over your shoulder to stretch your triceps. Turn sideways to stretch your hips, obliques, and back. Lay on the ground on your stomach and do the 'cobra' yoga pose (pictures available below!) to stretch your core; transition into a downward-facing dog if you feel comfortable!

A great app for easy yoga stretches for the morning is called Yoga Wake Up. It uses soothing audio to guide you through 10 minutes of yoga stretches straight out of bed.

Day 3

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

  • Stretch for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare yourself a healthy, warm breakfast to start the day off. Try a bowl of oatmeal with fruit, some toast with peanut butter, a bagel, some homemade waffles or pancakes, or whatever your favorite winter breakfast is! Try to add some warm tea or coffee to your favorite mug for a little boost (only if caffeine doesn't make you anxious). Remember- you can do these activities in any order that works for your morning routine!


Day 4

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

  • Stretch for 5-10 minutes.

  • Prepare a healthy, warm breakfast.

In the same notebook or journal you've been using to enter your gratitude lists, start a new entry under your list for the remaining 4 days. Of the following four journal prompts, start with the first prompt today and then answer the next three prompts over the last 3 days.

  • Day 4: Create a self-care checklist for your average week. Include ideas you've learned from this post and any others you'd like to include. You can make it as long or short depending on your weekly schedule.

  • Day 5: What areas of self-care are most challenging for you? Brainstorm a few and then try and figure out a few ways you can move around those obstacles. For extra help check out Budgeting Your Self-Care and Breaking Bad Habits.

  • Day 6: What areas of self-care do you excel in? Do you stick to a skincare routine, clean your room often, or generally practice good hygiene? Record a few and feel proud of yourself for these.

  • Day 7: What are some short-term and long-term goals you have for yourself? If you took care of yourself with the intention to function at your best, how could this help you achieve any of these goals?


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Day 5

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

  • Stretch for 10 minutes.

  • Prepare a healthy, warm breakfast.

  • Refer to 'Day 4' for the 'Day 5' journal prompt!

One of my favorite ways to treat myself (more specifically, my skin) is dry-brushing! Dry brushing is taking a handheld brush (usually) and brushing your entire body inwards to stimulate healthy blood circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite. For a detailed description of how to dry brush your body, see How To Dry Brush.

Be sure to get a good quality dry brush so you don't irritate your skin! Check out the short video below from Goop to see how it's done. I usually dry brush after the shower and before I put body lotion on! You can do this before or after you moisturize in the morning.


Day 6

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

  • Stretch for 10 minutes.

  • Prepare a healthy, warm breakfast.

  • Refer to 'Day 4' for the 'Day 6' journal prompt!

  • Dry brush your body either before or after you moisturize.

Find an easy exercise activity you can perform right after you stretch in the morning. For many it's cold or snowing outside so if you need to find an indoor activity like squats, planking, sit-ups those work perfectly! If you can go outside, try to go on a short walk, jog, or bike ride in the mornings to help energize your body and mind before your day begins.

Remember- this can be as easy or challenging as you'd like it to be! Do what feels energizing and then push yourself slowly from there. You can use apps on your phone like 7 Minute Butt Workout or MyFitnessPal to keep you motivated!

Day 7

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up.

  • Get out of bed and write a list of 10 things you're grateful for.

  • Moisturize your body, lips, and face.

  • Stretch for 10 minutes.

  • Prepare a healthy, warm breakfast.

  • Refer to 'Day 4' for the 'Day 7' journal prompt!

  • Dry brush your body either before or after you moisturize.

  • Do an exercise activity of your choosing.

On the last day of the Winter Self-Care Challenge, you are encouraged to celebrate your victory! When it comes to self-care and mental health, even small victories are a reason to celebrate yourself and your dedication to wellness. Day 7 is for looking as good as you feel; dress and pamper yourself with your favorite outfit/hairstyle/accessories/makeup/etc.

Clear your mind of any stereotypes, expectations, societal standards, media perceptions, and any other filters we all have that shield our view of true beauty. Pamper your physical looks for yourself in what makes you feel good, amazing, beautiful, handsome, happy, or confident! If you put off tweezing your eyebrows then do it today; if you've always wanted to wear lipstick but have been told you shouldn't then wear it today and rock it! Everyone is encouraged to go for a "winter look" with whatever outfit or makeup they choose to stay with the theme of the challenge, but feel free to do what works best for you.

If you've made it all the way through the Winter Morning Self-Care Challenge, then show off the results of your effort! On Day 7, post a picture of yourself in your "winter look" (whatever look you choose, whether it be cozy pj's and no makeup or all glammed-out!) on Instagram and/or Twitter with the hashtags #roseminded & #rmchallenge.

You're encouraged to post photos throughout the week of your challenge as well using those hashtags, and Rose-Minded will feature your photos in this post and on our social media! Be sure to tag us on Instagram and Twitter if you're interested in being featured. Resources for the challenge will be included below and are free to download! For more free mental health, self-care, and personal development resources sign up for Rose-Minded's monthly newsletter.

Rose-Minded's Self-Care Favorites- Winter

Rose-Minded Challenge Resources

Use any of the following pictures below to post on social media with the hashtags #roseminded and #rmchallenge. You are also encouraged to use the photos as phone wallpaper or daily motivation. Also check out the resource links, just below, for helpful tips and challenge aids.

Be sure to follow Rose-Minded's Instagram for Instagram story templates!





#selfcareguide #selfcare #uniqueselfcareideas #seasonalaffectivedisorder #selfcareideas

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