Now that the holidays are over, the real rawness of winter has set it. The frigid temperatures and short days make it easy to feel dreary, stuck, depressed, and unmotivated; the list goes on.
Do not fret; you are not the only one feeling like this. Your mind and your body just need some love. Winter is actually a great time of year!
For those of you lucky enough to live in La La Land or wherever the temperature rarely dips below 50°F (10°C) and the sun never hibernates, lucky you! However, there are numerous remedies and tricks anyone, regardless of if you live in Stockholm or in New York, can do to add brightness to blue days!
Escape to a winter wonderland // Sometimes fleeing is the best way to reset. A planned flee. Last minute works too. It is about having an occasion (a break) to look forward to. Escape the cold or head somewhere where the cold enhances your mood! Opt for some skiing and a midnight hot tub dip at the nape of Aspen’s mountains. Or book a villa secluded amongst tropical palm trees. The act of packing, taking off, and changing your surroundings is enough to refresh and reset — physically and mentally. Spend time being captivated by “activities that are […] voluntary, intrinsically rewarding, mentally and physically engaging, and imaginative, absorbing and effortless,” (Rest, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang). Magic, also know as active rest, will guide you. Text your BFF and book your tickets — or travel solo. This does not mean lonely; you will grace yourself with your own company, and who knows better than what you want and need than you? The ultimate form of self-indulgence. Where to next?
Get your sweat on // It may be the last thing you want to get up for when it is still dark at 7AM, but adding at least 30 minutes of sweatiness to your day is scientifically proven to boost your mood. One word: endorphins. Blast some music in your living room and have a dance party, hop on a SoulCycle bike, or flow with your favorite yogi in a candlelit studio. I promise, you will feel awesome[ly sweaty]. But really, you will feel great!
Keep warm // Warmer is cozier. Drink and heat yourself from the inside out. Dress smart, and do not attempt to pull off the college-frat-party-look of a tank top in freezing weather just because you have your “special jacket” keeping you warm. Immerse yourself in a warm goddess bath after a long day.
Talk it out // Talk therapy is one of the most beneficial tools in life. It is like having your own personal (and unbiased) teammate. Whether you talk to a confidante or your dog, voice your feelings. When you verbally materialize your emotions, you acknowledge awareness. It is helpful. Remember when the single bluetooth headphone became a thing and people thought you were just talking to yourself while perusing the isles of Whole Foods? Be that crazy, talk to yourself.
Follow the light // From November to February, living in North America feels like living in Scandinavia. You basically go to work at dawn and, by the time you have lunch and cross one more task off of your to do list, the sun is already setting. Create a summer atmosphere by following a healthy sleep schedule. After all, a day is 24 hours long, just like in the summer. Use a light machine, or turn on your bedroom lights when you awake. Ask Alexa to do this for you. Let your body get used to light at that hour. Do the same in the afternoon when you wish it were still light outside. Why not trick your brain if it makes you feel better?
Spend time outside // Just because it is cold, and perhaps dark, does not mean you need to be holed inside all day every day for the next few months! Refresh by inhaling fresh oxygen, and let nature engulf you. Get some vitamin D. You will feel recharged upon returning indoors.
Practice self love & eat well // What you put in your body is directly associated with how you performs and feel. If you do not care for what you consume, you cannot expect to feel good. Meditate and masque away!
Spend time with people you [actually] like // Toss the energy vampires and surround yourself with people who make you laugh and feel good.
Listen to your favorite beats & watch a feel-good movie // Crank the tunes, and dance it out. Music is therapeutic. Appealing to all five of your senses is the trick.
Move around the furniture // Change your perspective to change how you feel. Living in a cluttered space makes your mind feel cluttered and you are less productive. Create space in your surroundings to create space in your mind. Plus, moving around furniture is an excuse to ask for a friend’s help and have an impromptu in-house workout.
Take up a new hobby // Organize, paint, play the piano, mix music, cook. Call your bff and take that class you have been thinking about. Join a Nike Training Club group. Find a new activity to do instead of siting on the couch binging on Netflix, though that is sometimes okay too.
If problems persist, speak to your doctor. However, remember that your mind and body have to adjust to new atmospheres, light patterns, and daytime/evening schedules. This processes is eased when you help it happen. Do not judge yourself or give yourself too much tough love when feeling like this; it is better to emphasize the self love and do what you need to feel good! Seasonal depression is something many people experience. Ask a Scandinavian friend how they cope, or talk to your friends about how you are feeling. You are not alone and you will get through this. After all, how many [fabulous) winters have you already experienced?