It’s a cold winter in Philadelphia and while I might seem like a happy-go-lucky person on social media, I’m also a human being who gets depressed sometimes, especially when the temperature drops.
Over the years I’ve learned some tips and tricks on how to keep my spirits up and even come to embrace the chill in the air.
Here are a few of my winter blues survival tactics:
This goes for all four seasons but taking a moment in the morning to express gratitude for what you have sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. I used to be pretty general about it but now I’m back to praying.
- Keep moving.
A body in motion stays in motion, right? I know it’s hard to find the motivation to work out in the winter, but you need the endorphins now more than ever. While I’m not as disciplined in the colder months, I still workout at least four days a week and on days I don’t, I walk a lot. Rather than focusing on why you don’t want to go to the gym or to yoga, think of how amazing you’ll feel afterwards. Because your blood is circulating better, you’ll even be less cold.
- Embrace comfort food.
Sure, it’s the beginning of the year and everyone is obsessed with turning a new leaf for the new year — but Rome wasn’t built in a day. One of the best things about winter is comfort food (and bulky sweaters and elastic waistbands.) From pasta to pizza to chili to eating pastries the size of your head every morning with a big latte, if there’s a silver lining to winter, it’s comfort food. Enjoy it!
- Appreciate the moment.
This kind of ties in with gratitude but as Eckhart Tolle teaches: “There is no pain in the present moment.” When we are constantly worrying about the past or what’s going to happen in the future, it causes stress and unhappiness. If you find yourself slipping, just bring yourself back to the present, wherever that may be. Maybe you’re walking to your car and it’s so cold you can see your breath. Pretty cool, huh? And then that cold feeling in moderation is great for waking you up right? It’s nice that you came from a warm house and you’re walking over to a car that’s going to be warm, too. When you appreciate these little things, it changes everything.
- It’s okay to not be moving at hyperspeed.
Many of us these days have full-time jobs with side hustles, and sometimes our side hustles have side hustles. We’re all juggling a lot, and then on social media, we’re only sharing the good moments, which makes us all feel like we need to be doing more. Well, guess what? You’re doing just fine and it’s okay to not be super productive — especially in the dead of winter. Winter is a great time to slow down, reflect and assess where you are now and where you’d like to be. Exhausted after a long day at the office? Chilling out with an episode of “This is Us” with a glass of wine and a bag of Savor cookies sounds like a good way to unwind to me. (That was a really personal example, obviously.) I could have done work for a course I’m taking but I didn’t feel like it. Tomorrow though, I’ll be ready to hit the books — refreshed.
- Schedule time with friends ahead of time — especially if you’re single.
Being single in the winter is tough because while all of your friends in relationships are Netflix and chillin’, you are missing out on that human interaction part. Schedule time with friends like you would schedule time for a date or for a work meeting, because it should be a priority. No one wants to randomly go out when it’s cold but if you make plans a few days ahead of time and the tickets (to whatever concert, museum, gala you’re going to) are already purchased, you won’t bail and neither will your friends.
- Don’t drink too much and sleep in when you can.
The winter weather already has you down — make sure you take it easy on the alcohol. Even one drink really messes with your sleep and being well rested will help keep your mood level throughout the day.
These are just a few ideas and they won’t work for everyone, but figured I’d share.
If you have your own winter blues survival tactics, comment below. <3