Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

I've been having a really stressful week & if it was springtime, summertime, or fall - I'd probably be able to shake it off. But it's winter, and that's just depressing on its own. So I'm really fighting to stay positive. Notice that I say fighting, not curling up under a blanket & giving in. Over the years I've developed a few coping mechanisms to get myself through the months of January & February. Which leads me to... 

Get Some Sunlight.
I know it isn't easy to catch rays when it's 20 degrees outside, but every little bit will help! If you travel to and/or from work in the dark daily, get out on your lunch break. The fresh air & natural light will boost your mood & refresh you for the remainder of the day. 

Drink Up
Staying hydrated is a great way to kick the winter blues... and no, hot cocoa doesn't count. By drinking a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water, you'll have more energy, better skin, and less bloat. Which are all positives in my book...

It's true what they say, laughter is the best medicine. So do it often! Go see a funny movie with a friend or cozy up on your couch & watch a classic comedy! No time for a full length feature? YouTube clips can boost your mood in a matter of minutes! Check out one of my faves...

I know you might just want to come home & snuggle on the couch. I get it. But you'll feel a lot better if you sweat! Last winter, I used my gym membership to train for my first half-marathon. This winter, I don't have a deadline like that looming over my head, but I am working to tone & maintain my weight. In order to do this, I'm combining at home workouts like this one & cardio sessions in the weight room at school. Find a way to sweat! 

Sleep It Off...
I'm a huge advocate of sleep. I get 8 to 9 hours a night & I am a bear without it. Winter was made for taking naps, so go ahead and curl up for an hour or two. Just don't make it the whole weekend :) 

Embrace It.
Embrace the elements & go play in the snow! You'll feel like a kid again & get a totally unexpected workout. Sledding, skiing, snowshoeing - they all burn major calories & are a lot of fun. Take advantage while you can... 

Whip Something Up.
Winter was made for cozy meals. Nobody wants to eat stew in the summertime, so now is the time to whip it up! I love to make healthy versions of Chicken & Biscuits, Beef Stew, and other hearty casseroles while the weather is chilly. Nothing beats comfort food! 

In the summertime, our schedule is jam packed. But things slow down in the winter & we spend more time at home. Less socialization can leave me feeling a little isolated, so I make it a point to schedule activities for both Ella & I, even when it's cold. Lately we've been taking advantage of local museums & an awesome trampoline center. Of course, we still love the mall - even if we don't buy a thing, it gets us out of the house & moving around. 

This is the time of year that I book spa treatments & refresh for the busier season of my year. I try to get at least one massage & facial to rejuvenate myself and stay relaxed. I always come out feeling amazing. I just booked my own appointment for February & even though my massage is going to eat up my entire gift card. I know it'll be so worth it... 

Make Plans!
When all else fails, I remind myself that winter won't last forever & start planning our spring activities! This is the time of year that we book our summer beach house and I start to plan for all of our spring commitments. I usually pick out a few spring time races to run & make plans for April break. By doing it now, you'll have even more time to enjoy the warm weather when it arrives! 

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