For so many of us this time of year is dark, cold, snowy, and basically depressing. While this may not apply to everyone, it certainly happens to enough of us that it needs to be addressed!
Living in the North East, I completely understand how miserable winters can be and how freezing weather can smash our motivation. There is nothing fun about waking up to single digit temperatures, having to put on tight/thin gym clothing, and first bundling up before braving the snow and ice just to get your workout in. The only thing better is having to shovel or brush your car off before you can even warm it up….right LOL… Trust me, I get it!
Here are 10 tips to help you dominate the winter blues and break through to an amazing fit filled spring!
1. It’s very common to feel a little lethargic and sport a case of “the winter blues”, but as much as you want to hibernate and eat comfort foods…don’t, it will make things worse! Getting regular exercise and keeping your nutrition on point (fueling your body) can actually decrease the feelings of wanting to sit on the couch and eat pizza. Keep your exercise and nutrition consistent and the winter will be over before you know it!
2. Spend time with loved ones and people who make you smile. Relationships and connecting with others help us feel warm inside. Human connections help feed our soul and make us feel loved, important, and warm. So, reconnect with an old friend, make plans with family, just go out and laugh!
3. Use the fireplace for some extra heat and mesmerizing warmth. Curl up and get toasty with loved ones. Maybe crack open a new book or sip warm tea. Fires can be so relaxing and rejuvenating. Just remember to follow all safety rules!
4. Embrace the winter and pick up a new outdoor hobby or activity. Let’s face it, the cold and snow can be annoying, but think about how lucky you are to have the change of season. Not everyone gets to see snow. Take advantage of the temperatures and fresh powder. Try snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, or even just sledding. Make peace with the earth, revisit your childhood, and get some exercise!
5. Invest in some nice outerwear. There is nothing worse then bundling up and still being freezing while you’re outside. Your muscles tense up and your mood worsens. Spend a little extra to get yourself a nice thick, super warm, and waterproof winter coat. Pair it with some warm and fuzzy gloves, a scarf, and even an adorable trendy hat. It’s amazing how different your mood is when you feel when you’re toasty warm inside.
6. Start a gratitude journal or jar. Changing your mindset and perspective is the easiest way to alter your attitude. Start or end each day by jotting down one simple thing that you are grateful for. Writing it down helps your brain recognize each thought as real. By placing these in a journal or jar you will be able to revisit these thoughts on days that you may need an extra boost! There are no guidelines to what you’re grateful for… some days it may be a material object, work related, friends, family, opportunities, and so on. It should be easy to come up with at least one small thing daily that you are grateful for!
7. So, the winter blues are real…people are often diagnosed with “SAD” Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a common depression disorder that is related to change of season and begins/ends around the same time every year. This may make you feel moody, tired, unmotivated, and may even effect your appetite. It’s normal to occasionally feel “blue” but, if you are out of commission for days and can’t seem to snap out of it give your doctor a call. There is no shame is seeking help when needed!
8. Experiment with different foods of the season. Ever notice how the produce in the market changes every few months? Do some research and find new recipes to play with hearty veggies like squash, pumpkin, and leafy greens. Winter is the perfect time for stews, soups, casseroles, and baking. Vary your fruits, bring in some new color, and get your brain excited to eat!
9. Set up a warm bubble bath with candles and soft music. Spending some time relaxing in a warm bath can also help your alter your mindset. Use essential oils like lavender for an extra relaxing experience. Don’t forget to add Epsom salt to help reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and stress from all of the heavy shoveling!
10. Make sure you get some good, long, warm, cuddling sessions in with loved ones. There is nothing better than snuggling up next to the people you love. It warms the body and soul!
Just remember, the winter is only a few months out of the year and without winter we wouldn’t have new growth and blossoms in the spring :0)
Stay positive, stay motivated, & stay warm!