Winter has come and bitch slapped us in the face with its cold hearted (no pun intended) ways YET again. The days are getting shorter and the nights have definitely grown colder. Actually, the days are pretty cold too as I have a personal space heater under my desk at work. Don’t get me wrong not ALL of winter is terrible. I LOVE the holiday season. Getting to spend time with the family, time off work, and going to look at Christmas lights, mass amounts of liquor. But once that’s over, the dreadful “winter blues” start to kick in. It actually makes me feel a little sad. I really feel for my friends because unless it’s to go to work or food shop, I never really leave the house until the temp gets back up to like 60 degrees.
When the lack of energy and motivation hits, so could the potential weight gain (YIKES) and maybe even some depression. Luckily, there are some ways to beat the “winter blues” that can help you get through the cold days and into the warm summer nights we all miss so much.
1. EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE:Trust me, I’m the WORST when it comes to working out. It can be the most gorgeous day out and I’m still dragging my ass outside to run. HOWEVER, exercising is a great stress reliever. When I was planning my wedding, going and hitting the heavy bag (so bad-ass, I know) was like my saving-grace. It’ll also give you more energy to make it through the day. What I’ve started to do every morning is a few push-ups, crunches, then power walk with my pup in tow. By the time I get to the office, I’m a working powerhouse! Then of course noon hits and I need another coffee or a B12 fix
2. Keeping a well-balanced diet: There is nothing more satisfying on a cold day then some warm, heavy, comfort foods. I feel like the colder the weather, the more I crave sweets and everything that I really shouldn’t be binging on. What and even when you eat has such an effect on your mood and your energy levels. You really should avoid refined and processed food like white bread, rice, and sugar (all the things that make life worth living.) Instead of white bread and white rice, you can substitute brown rice and whole wheat breads into your diet. Fruit smoothies are usually my go to drink of choice when I’m looking for an extra hit of energy.
3.Get out and Get some SUN: Good old vitamin D! This special vitamin that is found in SUNLIGHT helps to improve your mood! Why do you think people are much happier in the Spring and Summer seasons? Hello, VITAMIN D! Since the Winter days are shorter and darker, try to take advantage of those sunny days. Lack of sunlight can actually cause depression and people usually do not know why. Even if you’re stuck at the office, try to get out and walk for even 5-10 minutes. Your mood (& possibly your co-workers) will thank you for it.
4. Avoid Binge Drinking: This can be tough for some people, (like myself) because staying in with a glass of wine and watching a movie sometimes seems like the only thing to do in the winter. Also, my birthday is in January so it usually consists of a month long celebration. Also, when people are starting to feel down they turn to alcohol. But, alcohol is actually a depressant and instead of helping your mood, it can make you feel worse. Obviously drinking in moderation is fine, but I wouldn’t suggest going on a 4 month drinking bender because that just isn’t a healthy or wise choice. Who honestly likes waking up the next day feeling hungover anyway? NOT me.
5. TREAT YOURSELF: My husband thinks I am crazy, (which I guess I am… a little?) but treating yourself to something nice every so often really helps! Like right now, as I write this, I’m dreaming about going shopping after work to buy myself a nice new shirt and possibly some new boots! Having something to look forward to helps to keep you motivated. WINTER CAN BE A DRAG and seems like it’s never ending. Take the time and plan something for yourself; a spa day, weekend getaway with the girls (or guys), or just a party. (keep #4 in mind though)
We can do this people! We can get through the winter and make it to the beach with an ice cold drink in our hands (Ok, I may have a drinking problem!)