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5 Ways to Grow Yourself This Winter

By Khalipha Ntloko

While it’s all sunshine and warm weather in South Africa, I hear that it’s completely different in the United States of America. From snowfall and cooler temperatures to sweaters and hot chocolate, we may be worlds apart but I can imagine just how beautiful it must be in the USA right now. But if there is one thing in common with both sides of the world, it’s that giving yourself the opportunity to grow can happen no matter what the season. As the year draws to a close, there is no need to wait until 1 January 2022 to start implementing the changes towards a better you. Instead, why not sow some seeds now with these 5 ways to grow and bloom, even if the weather says otherwise. Practice Gratitude This year has been a consistent lesson in practicing gratitude for me. Every morning, the first tweet you’ll see me share from my Twitter profile is one where I thank God for another day. It’s an important practice for me to give thanks just for the simple ability to experience another day, and I’m sure there is something that you can be grateful for as well. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis gives you a refreshed sense of appreciation for life, for the things you have and all that you expect to happen to you in the future. If you can practice gratitude from today, watch how much more you begin to appreciate all that you have. Enjoy this Festive Season Because it has been one crazy year with so much uncertainty. Take the time to just enjoy the festivities this winter - and I mean really enjoy this festive season! From the festive food to the extra time with friends and family, allow yourself to savour the sentiments of this season, one that centers around celebrations, togetherness and love. If you’re spending these holidays alone, use the time to redecorate your home or treat yourself to a solo date. If you’re with friends and family, host a dinner or get sentimental gifts to add under the Christmas tree. Whoever you plan on spending this festive season with, give yourself permission to simply enjoy the festive air around you - it’s a gift worth giving to yourself.

Declutter Your Space With just a few weeks left of 2021, use the rest of this time to get rid of anything in your space that no longer serves you in any way. In order to grow, you have got to make space for the new, which means getting rid of the old. There’s an internal application to this (like letting go of that 10 year old grudge you might be holding onto so you can finally move on) but this method is about doing this external, and in the place you call your home. Take a deep look into your closet to assess what clothes you still love, what makes occasional appearances in your weekly outfits, and what simply has to go. Remove decor items that you feel no longer fits the aesthetic you would like your home to embody.

Learn a New Skill Nothing says self-development and growth quite like empowering yourself with a new skill. The beauty of learning a new skill (especially during the winter time) is that it doesn’t necessarily require you to step outside to do the learning. You can easily stay indoors and take a free online course or download an app on your mobile phone to learn something new. You can also learn a new skill at your own pace. Whether you want to learn something new by the end of the year (like how to bake a cake in time for Christmas) or well into the new year, learning a new skill (and growing yourself overall) isn’t an overnight process so be gentle and kind to yourself when you embark on this method.

Dedicate Time to Yourself No one else is responsible for your self-development and growth but you. This means that you got to put in the work to see yourself blossom into the incredible individual that you were always meant to be. Simple ways that you could dedicate more time to yourself this winter include adding a little more ‘me time’ on selfcare Sundays, giving yourself a set amount of time to relax and rest, and ensuring that you are putting your mental health first by having rest days when you need them. Of course, there are so many more ways to dedicate time to yourself this winter but the most important part is that you actually do it, and not be ashamed or scared to give yourself the time you need to pour back into yourself after a long year.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” This is a quote from John Maxwell and highlights the fact that while these 5 ways are just a slice of the long list of things you could do to develop and grow yourself this winter, the choice is truly yours. Try all of these methods. Get inspired to search more. Or don’t use any of them at all - at the end of the day, self-development is a choice that you’ve got to want for yourself, and I hope that this post serves as a little start for you to plant the seed of developing yourself and growing, even during the winter!

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