12 weeks of winter can put anyone into the doldrums. And this winter has been unusually cold and harsh in parts of North America.
If you’ve been hibernating, and cuddling up with a loved one, that’s not so bad. But when you spend too much time inside, sedentary, and alone, it’s no wonder that you’re feeling a little blue!
To top it off, the groundhog seeing his shadow and all of the political rhetoric might be enough to put you over the edge.
Don't despair. A trip to a sunny destination could undoubtedly lift your spirits, but if that’s not possible, here are some ways to get out of your winter rut, channel some inspiration, and feel good:
1. Play outside.
Make a point to get out at least once a day, especially on sunny days. Find joy in the little things, like falling snowflakes and building a snowman.
If you can participate in an outdoor sport, that's even better. Take up skating at the local rink or test your endurance with an afternoon of snowshoeing. You’ll be ready for some hot cocoa and happy to return inside!
2. Plug in a Himalayan salt lamp.
Negative ions in the salt lamp neutralize and purify the air and give you more energy. Actual verified studies on the effects on mood show mixed results, but the soothing glow alone is enough to warm your soul.
3. Jack up your Vitamin D.
Vitamin D seems to be the panacea for everything nowadays! And, if you live in the Northern US or Canada, you are more likely to be deficient in this sunshine vitamin. But can it cure the blues? Researchers at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario think it can lower the odds of depression. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor or get your levels tested. Many physicians say it’s perfectly fine to supplement during the winter months when you’re mostly indoors.
4. Start your day with a power juice.
There is nothing like a jolt of carrot juice, parsley, and chia to get your day going! Add whatever your taste buds are craving, along with some vitamin C, D, and even a probiotic, and you’ll be good to go. You might not even be missing your second morning Joe!
Pick up a juicing recipe book and have fun experimenting.
5. Get thee to a yoga class.
Yoga is well-known to rejuvenate the mind and body. Just make sure you pick an easy-going program, especially if you’re new to it. The point is to connect with your breath, massage your spine, and move gracefully.
If you can’t drag yourself out of the house, then watch a yoga video so you can still reap the benefits.
6. Practice mindfulness.
Be here now! If you don’t think daily meditation is for you, you can still get tremendous benefit from practicing everyday mindfulness.
Several times throughout your day, stop yourself. Let your thoughts come and go, without judgment. Feel gratitude for all you have in your life.
When you’re eating, slow down and see your food. Notice the colors and smell. Really taste each bite.
Bundle up and go for a mindful walk through your neighborhood. See the houses as if for the first time. Notice the snowflakes on the trees. Feel the crisp, cold air on your face, and the warmth of your breath. Hear the crunch of the snow under your feet. Feel the earth.
7. Watch a comedy – TV or standup.
There is nothing like a good laugh to get your groove back on! Lighten up. Find joy in little things. And even if you can’t make it outside, you can make a conscious choice to watch the Comedy Network instead of cable news.
8. Inject your day with inspiring music.
Music has the power to heal by changing thought patterns. Researchers believe sound penetrates our bodies, affects our heart rates, and literally moves us. Here are some of my favourite pick-me-up songs:
- One Day You Will by Lady Antebellum
- Good Life by OneRepublic
- A Beautiful Day by India Arie
- Scare Away the Dark by Passenger
- Brave by Sara Bareilles
- Something Big by Shawn Mendes
- Return to Innocence by Enigma
- Now by Dave Carroll
- Spirit Bird by Xavier Rudd
With these tips, you can keep your sanity – and better yet, enjoy the winter season to the fullest. Try just one of these tricks each day and notice your energy levels rise and your mood elevate.