Beating the Winter Blahs

fullsizerenderThe excitement of the holiday season has come and gone and you may find yourself in the typical winter rut. It’s been grey for what feels like months and it’s easy to experience changes in mood and motivation. I’ve been trying my best to find some motivation while I eagerly await spring and cottage season and wanted to share some tips with you. While some of them may seem obvious, it can actually be hard to get up off the couch and make those daily changes to feeling better. Especially when all you want to do is run to the mall for a short-lived pick me up, which is my usual go-to mood enhancer.

  1. Discover a new hobby – Find something that you will enjoy either outside or inside (and I don’t just mean finding a new show to binge on Netflix). For me, starting this blogging journey gives me something I enjoy doing, without having to go outside. There are tons of different things you can explore in your own city. Try out some new hobbies with your friends or find something to do solo!
  2. Exercise more – When you feel tired and unmotivated, the last thing you want to do is workout. But once you do, you will actually feel so much better and have a new found source of energy. I thought my doctor was crazy when she told me the way to increase my energy was to exercise more, but turns out she was right (who am I to question someone with that much education). In addition to my weekly Barre class, I’ve tried to find new fun ways of working out with Zumba, yoga and dancing all from the comforts of my tiny living room. To my surprise, I have actually started to feel a lot better daily just by doing this. I love being active in the summer when I can kayak or hike up at the cottage, but there is no excuse not to remain active through all the winter months.
  3. Read a new book – Nothing feels better to me than a Sunday afternoon spent curled up on the couch reading a good book. Go to your local library or bookstore and find something that would make you happy to stay in and read. Stay tuned for book recommendations.
  4. Clean out your closet – Spring cleaning helps me think that spring is actually coming sooner than it is. But still, feeling productive around the home and doing some major organizing can help your motivation and mood. On the plus side, sometimes you actually find more clothes even in your own closet that may have been buried at the bottom. That’s what I call bargain hunting!
  5. Utilize your lunch breaks – If you’re working in a 9-5 job and have a dedicated lunch hour, then take it! During the warm weather I could go for nice walks or sit outside and soak up the sun to use up the hour given to me. Since winter started, I mainly just sit and eat at my desk while continuing to look at my e-mails. This is a bad habit that I’ve been trying to stop. I don’t get paid for this hour so why in the world would I still continue to do work? You need that lunch break and small breathers throughout the day to keep your sanity and increase your motivation and productivity. Now during my lunch, I walk around the University campus (inside if it’s too cold out) and enjoy our employee indoor walking club twice a week. If I end up staying in my office to eat, then I use the time to browse Instagram or start thinking of new blog ideas.
  6. Socialize more – Do you feel like you see your friends less often in the winter too? Nobody wants to go out and we all just want to stay in with Netflix. But you will feel so much better if you make a plan to go out with your friends and stick with it. Still on that post-holiday budget like I am? Why not just stay in with your friends and find a movie to watch together instead?
  7. Pamper yourself – I love a great spa day no matter the season but it feels especially good in the winter. If you’re on a budget then plan a day all to yourself to have a bath, put on a face mask and give yourself a mani/pedi. It doesn’t need to be professional and expensive to feel good and you will feel relaxed and invigorated after!
  8. Find some outdoor activities – I’m not exactly the sporty type who can go skiing or snowboarding without injuring herself, but if you can then go for it! Find other ways that you can get excited about the snow (if you have any) and enjoy the multitude of outdoor activities that winter has to offer. I wait until the temperature is above freezing, but then I find a nice outdoor walk to be relaxing and a good source of energy. It at least gives you a good excuse to go home and drink a hot chocolate in front of the fireplace after – or Netflix’s fireplace channel.
  9. Enjoy sunlight when you can – This winter seems like there has been a lot less sun than usual, so whenever it does peek out behind the clouds we need to take full advantage. Even just opening your curtains will help you feel warm and enjoy some Vitamin D. Go for a walk or even for a drive just to enjoy the sunshine. If you can open your windows to some nice bright light in the morning, this will help your day get off to a good start.
  10. Eat or drink something warm – Fuel your body when its cold out with something hot like tea, hot chocolate or make some soup or chili for dinner. When its freezing out, your body will thank you for feeding it something warm which will provide instant comfort. While it’s easy to do take out in the winter, try to remember to maintain a healthy diet to help you with your energy levels.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what other ways you try to maintain your motivation and positivity throughout the winter. Feel free to comment below to share!

Happy Winter 🙂

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