Weathering the Winter


Are you feeling tired or bored, or do everyday tasks feel like a drag lately? With December’s busy schedule behind us, it may be the ‘weather effect’ setting in.

That’s no surprise, if winter for you means buried in snow, inundation by rain, darkness or dreary gray skies. During this time of year, we sometimes experience a lull in energy.

But you don’t have to simply endure until spring’s arrival. A change in routine may be just what you need to ‘survive the winter.’ Ease your mind by trying a few of the tips below.

1. Remember to keep active, or at least avoid being stationary for too long (you’ll know if you leave a dent in the couch). Try changing up your routine. If you normally sit at home watching TV, spend time perusing the mall. If you normally walk around the block, try a 30-minute exercise video instead. The object is to quell boredom.

2. Start a project, otherwise translated: distract and entertain yourself. And, if you plan milestones or goals into your project, you’ll find reaching those goals motivational, which also helps elevate your mood.

3. Plan a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny. Your hope and imagination will voluntarily, and dare I say, potentially carry you through until spring.

4. Reward yourself with media — video games, music, good movies, or a TV series you look forward to. For example, my spirit-lifting tonic consists of episode cliffhangers of True BloodTrue Blood, HBO series (Incidentally, winter light levels are more to a vampire’s liking). Again it’s a distraction, but fun is great medicine.

5. Avoid at-length discussion about the weather. Although some use it as a conversation starter, grumbling about the weather is likely to bring down others’ moods (or bring ‘the problem’ to their attention). What’s the point, after all, since we can’t control mother nature. Unless we’re discussing global warming, then by all means I’d love to hear actionable steps for improvement. And, so would those suffering from floods and tsunamis.

6. Plan for the weather. Make your life easier by having your umbrella handy, or your snow boots ready by the door. Anticipate a gnarly commute, and keep alert to the traffic and outdoor conditions via your local radio station or mobile app.

7. Trick your brain in the morning. Use a wake-up light alarmPhilips wake-up light alarm that mimics the sunrise over a period of 30 minutes. Waking to the rising sun may not be possible this time of year, but your benefiting biorhythm won’t know the difference.

8. Cut back on ‘heavy’ foods. Otherwise known as comfort foods, these calorie-packed dishes can leave you feeling stuffed and lethargic (You may best relate to this by thinking about your holiday meals).

As the sunshine slowly returns, make an effort to do more outdoor activities. Numerous studies show that natural light is important for our health and well-being.

When all else fails, retreat to the bathroom for a hot shower. Have your fuzzy slippers ready and waiting.