Holidays are over and winter is definitely here. A few cloudy days and I’m ready for spring. Colder temps outside means my deck furniture has been put in storage until spring and steps to keep my Fitbit count up are harder to come by. One of my favorite places to walk is our local outdoor mall, but this time of the year it requires a coat, boots, gloves and something to keep my ears warm. It’s easier to talk myself out of making the effort even when I know the benefits.
So how do you fight the winter blues?
Make the effort – don’t put off the walk at your favorite outdoor spot. It may be easier to jump on Amazon and order when you need something – and I do – but if I can get a brisk walk in and buy it local I usually make the effort. I guess I need to have a reason to bundle up and walk but I am always surprised at how much energy that walk gives me. If the best you can do is park at the farthest end of the parking lot every time you go to the grocery store – it will help both physically and mentally so make it a habit.
Even a few minutes on my deck when the sun is brightly shining can make a difference in my attitude. Fresh air and vitamin D are both in short supply during the winter so I try to make time to soak up the sun whenever I can. I dream of a wonderful sun room so I can enjoy the sunshine in the winter without needing a coat – still on my wish list.
Exercise Is Key
I have never been very good at keeping to a workout schedule. I know exercise is a must especially the older I get but it seems extra hard to work it into my daily schedule in the winter. If I can head straight to the gym when I get home every night, I have a good chance of keeping to a schedule.
Creating a workout center at home has been one of the best decisions for me. Unless we have somewhere we need to be after work, I head to my home gym. Keeping my energy level up does seem to keep the winter blues at bay.
Any form of exercise works – walk around the neighborhood, get on the treadmill, bicycle or hit the trampoline. Even keeping up with grand kids can be good exercise.
Spend time with friends
Nothing chases away the winter blues better than spending time with my close friends and clients who stop in my office just to ask a question, set up an appointment or chat for a few minutes. Winter is tax season for me so I am in my office way more time each day than at home. A break in my day spent chatting with a friend is always welcome and makes it easier to smile at the next person through my door. Sharing a laugh with someone not only benefits me but helps me pass on that smile.
Spend some time laughing and talking with friends and feel your endorphins surface.
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy is always important but it becomes a priority for me in the winter time. When the temperatures turn cold I tend to go for comfort food or we eat at a ballgame – early or late. Neither one is on my healthy food list that’s for sure. When I lose control over my food choices, I gain weight and a bad attitude – nothing good comes from that. I find cooking healthy meals on the weekend allows me to have lunches and dinners for entire week without struggling to find prep time. On the run or sitting down together either way our meals are healthy most of the time.
One of the hardest changes for me is getting to sleep a little but earlier during the winter. Even though it gets dark earlier I tend to stick with the same sleep habits all year I really haven’t found a good way to retrain myself to get that extra hour or two every night. I try to turn my computer off by 8 pm – no later – then I have a better chance of getting my mind to slow down and sleep comes easier.
Chasing away those dreary winter days is sometimes only possible for me with a strong cup of coffee and a good book or a snuggle on the couch with one I love. No matter what works for you it’s a boost to your physical and mental health to live a positive life.
Share some of your ways to fight the winter blues with me – new ideas are always welcome at my house.