It’s the middle of January in Minnesota and I am wishing for warmer days. During these dark, cold winter months in the northern state I find that it is easy for my motivation to drop and my mood to lower. Those Floridians have no idea how not seeing the sun for a week can make you feel like a human version of a sloth! I find that I am not alone in feeling drained, fatigued and gloomy during these long months of January, February and March. As such, I have made it my mission to not let these months lead me to hibernation but to continued activity and excitement. Here a are few lessons I have learned along the way.
- Keep Exercising. I work out in the morning and let me tell you getting up in the cold and the dark is no small task. I debate with myself daily about getting up or choosing to sleep in instead. It’s a battle, but I find that when I do make the small journey to the gym and begin, I find my energy is increased and I am more mentally alert. Keeping active is so important for not only our physical health, but our emotional health. If you cannot go to the gym, do an at home workout or choose to walk more often to stay active.
- Take care of your health. I do not know what it is but I find myself perpetually sick during these months. It is necessary to focus on making sure I am taking my vitamins, drinking fluids, getting enough sleep and watching my diet to maintain my physical health and immune system. You need to be feeling health to stay active and alert during these cold months.
- Find excitement. When it is cold outside I tend to enjoy staying in, watching television and eating comfort foods. While delicious and satisfying, the routine can get dull and feel old after a few weeks of sub zero temperatures. I find that I need to make plans with friends, try a new restaurant or participate in a winter activity in order to add excitement and change to my winter routine. The excitement can improve your mood and make the winter season go by a lot faster.
I know I will be working hard on these tasks to get me through the next few months! Let us know if you have any other ideas to get you through the gloomy winter days.
Written by Elizabeth Hamburger, MS, LMFT
Photo credit: pexels.com