cold weather blues

If there is one thing this seemingly never-ending winter has taught me, it’s how to find joy in life when it’s nothing but white, gray, and dark brown outside.  There were days when it seemed like even the sun didn’t want to come outside—and who could blame it?  Negative 50 degrees?  No thank you!  However, as someone who has bills to pay and work to do, I had to brace myself and venture out into the Midwestern version of the Arctic Tundra.  Since I prefer being outside to enjoy the bright colors of spring, summer, and fall, this winter was particularly rough.

One of the things that helped me this winter was finding new challenges, both personally and professionally.  There’s a clichéd New Year’s Resolution that a lot of people make to “Try Something New Every Day.”  I’m a bit of a creature-of-habit, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, since this winter continues to drag out, I’ve had to broaden my horizons a bit.  Some areas I have been more adventurous in include.

  • Trying new recipes. Who knew I would actually like quinoa and kale chips?  Granted, this stemmed from my goal to eat a little healthier this year, but I was pleasantly surprised.
  • Be more creative.  A few of my friends and I recently took a painting class, and it was a great experience.  I’m no Van Gogh, but I enjoyed it regardless.  I also have a cake decorating class on my list of to-dos.
  • Challenge myself with new workouts.  Working out (along with the healthier eating as mentioned above) is a necessity, whether I like it or not.  This winter I have tried some more challenging HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, hot yoga, and strength training.  Exercise is a great way to boost your mood!
  • Tackle that last item on your to-do list.  I’ve found that since I have more time to stay inside, I’ve accomplished quite a few things.

Along with trying new things, another way to boost your mood if you have the winter doldrums is through interactions with other people.  Staying engaged with activities at work, visiting friends, even something that seems insignificant like going out to eat can brighten your day, since interacting with other people can often take your mind off of your troubles.

Last and certainly not least is to relax and take time for yourself.  Feel like spending the day lounging on the couch in your PJs with a good book?  Do it!  (As long as it’s a weekend!)  Go out for a spa day with some friends, go shopping, take a weekend trip, or eat that piece of cake that you maybe don’t need…all of these things will help you feel better.

It’s important to remember that, even though it doesn’t feel like it, the seasons will change and winter will be over soon enough.  However, with the cold days lingering, and the hint of snow still in the air, don’t forget to take a little time for yourself to keep those blues away.

How do you battle the bad weather blues?

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