It is that time of year again, winter is here. If you live in a climate like mine, the weather has turned cold and the nights are much longer. It's easy to want to curl up in the house for several months and not do anything, which can lead to a case of the winter doldrums.
I wanted to share with you some ideas to help you keep that wonderful "I'm alive!" feeling that often accompanies spring and summer. I hope they help, if you are one who finds yourself feeling stressed out or lacking energy this time of year.
1) Exercise Regularly - I know, I know. It's cold and dark out and you don't want to leave the house. I feel that way sometimes when it's time for me to hit the gym or take the dog for a big walk. If you can't bring yourself to go out, workout at home. Put on some music and dance, walk up and down the stairs over and over, do some push ups, use any exercise equipment that you might have collecting dust in yourself. Even if it's just 15 minutes/day - do it. I have to remind myself that I will NEVER regret having gone, whereas if I don't go, I will ALWAYS feel like I let myself down.
Try to find something that you will love doing, maybe yoga, swimming, pilates, walking with a friend, or taking your kids tobogganing (a great way to make memories as well as get exercise).
2) Go Out With Friends - Fight the urge to sit at home. Get out with your favourite people for a coffee, walk, trip the museum, dinner, a movie, shopping or whatever you love to do in the summer. Make sure you schedule it ahead of time. It gives you something to look forward to in addition to developing those oh so important human connections (the real ones, not just the social media ones).
3) Physical Touch Helps - hugs and kisses and other ways of touching help our brains to release those feel-good chemicals. Make opportunities for touching someone you love each day. Sex is terrific for this too, so shave your legs, ladies and get busy!
4)Eat Well - I know comfort food is calling my name when the temperature drops. It's key for me to continue eating loads of fruits and veggies all year long. I don't enjoy salad as much in the winter, but I do love a healthy, hearty soup. I try to make a huge pot of vegetarian chili, minestrone or other veggie soup each week and have lots of leftovers.
5) Make a Winter "Bucket" List - Think of 10 or 20 things you want to do this winter to get you out of the house. Try a new sport such as skiing, rock-climbing, or snowshoeing. Try a new activity such as painting ceramics at a shop, learning more about photography, making Christmas ornaments, knitting or whatever you've wanted to do that you've been putting off for another time. Commit to yourself and do it.
Making sure that you have something to look forward to each week helps you to feel more alive.
As always, I wish you happiness and love!