If you’re like me, this time of the year can be the most difficult time of the year. I’m a sunshine-loving gal from the South. Winter is R O U G H for me. I enjoy snowy winter days… for about 2 days. After that, though, the fun is over! Ha! 😛 So today I’m sharing my top 5 tips for a healthier happier Winter!
Staying healthy (emotionally and physically) during the winter can be challenging.
First of all, it’s so much more difficult to get up and moving when it’s grey and cold outside! Exercising becomes trickier, especially if you enjoy the sunny outdoors like me. Eating healthy is suddenly more challenging, when casseroles and sweet treats are everywhere!! But it’s also a difficult time emotionally if you struggle with any form of general “Winter Weather Blues” or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Life is too short to spend so much time wishing our days away or being grouchy or gloomy! That’s why I started making my Wintertime “Happy Lists” and developing principles and habits to warm my heart during the cold months of the year.
These are a few of the tips that I’ve found helpful for keeping me on track (or to get back on track) during the Winter Blues:
1. Embrace each day through a daily routine. Create a wake-up routine that warms you, body and soul. This might look like setting the alarm on your coffee pot the night before so that freshly brewed coffee awaits you when you awake, or preparing a cozy stretch spot (I love to set my yoga mat right in front of our fireplace). You may want to also consider:
- Light candles to create a cozier atmosphere
- Listen to audio books or music that inspires you while you get ready in the morning
- Take a few minutes to do some slow stretches and get your blood flowing
- Drink a warm beverage like coffee or tea
- Make your bed! This is a simple habit that can start your day off on a good foot, creating an atmosphere of order and focus
- Start a gratitude journal, or intentionally reflect on positive possibilities that the day holds
- Dress to impress! How we dress and care for ourselves has a huge impact on our self-esteem and mood
Choosing just a couple new habits to incorporate into your daily life can create a positive ripple effect throughout your entire day! Just remember to keep it simple. Don’t try to do it all. Find what works for you. 🙂
2. Review your grocery list- or make a grocery list if you don’t have one! This may sound funny, but when I’m feeling “blue” or unmotivated, little things like updating my grocery list app (we use the free app Out Of Milk so that we can share and track our shopping lists from either of our devices) affects the quality of our meals. Using a grocery list when you go shopping is great for helping you be more intentional about the money you spend, what items you buy, and what meals you prepare that week. Choose some easy, quality fresh foods that will make wholesome and versatile meals throughout the week. Remember: you’re much less likely to eat junk if you don’t keep junk around! 😉
3. Find (or create) reasons for celebration! Wintertime is all fine and dandy when you’re decorating and preparing for family gatherings or Christmas parties, but then mid-January-itus hits, and we can start to wonder how we will ever survive until Summer (at least, that’s what I do). If you follow me, you’ll know that I try to plan fun activities, parties, or events to help me keep my spirits up during these dreary months. Plan a themed party, make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day (whether or not you have a special someone! Make a big deal out of people in your life that you appreciate and plan something special to pamper YOU), try a new workout class, or learn something new. Whatever you choose, write it down and plan how you will accomplish each of them, share it with a friend, and then DO IT!
4. Be kind to yourself and others. Take a bubble bath, make a batch of cookies for that neighbor (don’t eat the other half!), buy a new workout top (hey, I’m just talking clearance rack shopping, ladies!) and then wear it to a fitness class, plan a coffee date with a friend, write a thank you note, and DON’T beat yourself up if you’ve had a low day or gotten off track with your health or relationships- embrace TODAY! Treat yourself and others with gentleness, kindness, and honor.
5. Change your words. Choose to improve how you talk about yourself and others. Be more intentional with your words (even if unspoken), decide to speak only uplifting and encouraging words. This is often most difficult with ourselves! But start working on this today and you may be surprised at how this intentional mindset-shift will lift your perspective! Take hold of every thought about yourself and others and ask “is that true?” and then “is that helpful and uplifting?”
And, remember: Don’t beat yourself up! If you have a rough day, just shake it off! Apologize to yourself (and others if you need to), determine to improve from there, and then focus on the heart and attitude that you want to cultivate. 🙂
I hope my 5 tips for a healthier happier winter inspire you as well! What are your top tips for surviving the Winter months?