This winter has been rough. Just about everyone I talk to has something to say about it. The bitter cold, the rain and ice, the heavy and persistent snow. The weather has moved from being a backdrop to our day-to-day to a daily annoyance. Even my dog has pretty much refused to go outside any more! I have always struggled with winter. I find that I thrive more in warmer times of the year, and I don’t really like snow. However, I live in a climate where cold and snow is a regular experience from November through April, so I’ve had to come up with a few things to perk me up when the winter blues set in. And no, I’m not talking about a lavish vacation to a warm destination - although that’s great if you can swing it!
Don’t Skip Exercise
I have found in the past that the exercise routine is the first thing to go when it comes to winter. I love getting outside for exercise, and snow and ice sports are just not for me - at least not regularly. That’s why I do my best to keep the gym workouts going all winter long. Even when the weather is bad, I try my best to go. There’s something about that feeling when you finish a workout and you feel warm and limber that makes driving home in the snow not so bad. Keeping up with a regular workout routine is a great way to boost your spirits, and it also gets you feeling more body-confident as you move into the warmer months!
A few of my friends joke that we prefer to hibernate in the winter. It’s definitely harder to get out the door when it’s always dark outside and it’s cold and snowy too. There’s generally less going on in the community, so you may be at a loss for what to do that’s better than sitting on the couch under a blanket. However, it's important to keep your social connections alive in the winter. Regular social engagements on the calendar give you something to look forward to, and can stave off loneliness and boredom that sometimes comes with the season.
Get Your Rest
Know that winter is a time of rest for everything else in nature, and it’s also an excellent time for us to do the same. Prioritize rest, incorporate new and indulgent forms of self care, visit a sauna or steam room, get a massage, or spend extra time reading a book with a cup of warm tea in your hand. It’s all about balance, but if you’re feeling tired or strung out, give into doing something a bit more restful.
Acknowledge That It’s Temporary
Winter doesn’t last forever, and spring will be here before we know it. If we stay in the moment and consider that although the winter has dragged us down, it is only temporary, we can cope more easily. Make time to notice how it’s staying lighter a little bit later each day. Think about fun things you might want to try this summer and start planning them now. The beauty of our seasonal climate is that we get to experience the full cycle of nature. Before we know it, we will be onto the next season of life.
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