It’s now past the longest day of the year – 21st June. Dark when you wake up. Dark when you get home from work. You are not alone if you feel that you lose your mojo during winter. Feeling down, tired and losing that natural zest for life you have in the summer. It’s easy to stay stuck on the couch with a case of the Winter Blues at this time of year so here are 4 strategies for you to beat it and stay happy through the chill:
1. Start the day with purpose
A good start to the morning is key, especially when you start and finish your work day in the dark. Make a plan the night before – what do you want to achieve the next day? Get organised with your food, gym kit, etc. – and start the day off positively. Get as much sunlight as you can during the day to naturally regulate your mood (even nipping out of artificial lights at lunchtime for a brisk walk around the block will help) and if you can squeeze your exercise in and move your body in the morning to set you up for the day.
2. Be social
Summer is full of BBQs and socials galore. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s pretty much wall to wall social interaction on tap. In the winter – not so much – as people tend to hunker down at home. Social interaction is a powerful mood booster so make an effort to deliberately create some winter socials – a midwinter Xmas; a board games challenge; poker night; Use your imagination create some winter traditions that connect you and your family and friends. Create some excuses for planned social interaction that don’t rely on perfect weather conditions, so you don’t repeatedly default to the couch.
3. Practice Extreme Self Care
When we have a bit of a summer glow, and we are outside a lot our self-care is naturally better (being seen in a bikini also strangely motivating!). Again this is something that can slip in the winter, so make a plan to keep your self-care standards high. From nurturing and pampering (long bubble baths, pedicures, facial, whatever that is for you) to regular exercise. If you are finding self-motivated exercise (e.g. running solo) harder as the nights draw in, join some organised group exercise like a dance class or boot camp – all you need to do is show up and then the energy of the teacher and the class will pull you through.
If you look good you feel good: and that is an instant remedy for the winter blues.
4. Attitude is everything
We get down when we fight reality.
And – news flash – it gets wet here every winter. It’s just what happens. So, accept that’s what creates our beautiful, clean, green environment, and accept it. It’s easy to get in a group where we can talk each other into being miserable which, although there is a sense of comradery to the moanfest, really helps no one.
Take the opportunity to reconnect with your New Years resolutions – reconfirm what you wanted to achieve and why – and get back on that horse. Get out of a winter rut by trying something new. Give a winter sport or an indoor activity or craft a go. Embrace the time and space we have for reflection at this time of year to stretch you out of your comfort zone creatively, physically or intellectually.
3 Final Thoughts On Chasing Away the Winter Blues:
1. Keep it in perspective. I was reminded that our weather is really not that bad when a Canadian friend was talking about winter at home. One day it got to minus thirty, and her eyelids froze shut. Froze shut! Exactly.
2. Now that we are past the 21st June we are actually on the way back to Summer! The longest day has passed. You are on the way back to sunshine already!
3. In my opinion, one never needs an excuse to go shoe shopping, but we should enthusiastically embrace any that do fortuitously come our way.
And you can’t ignore Mother Nature can you?