I recently found myself at home late on a weeknight and absolutely starving after a long day of work, running errands, and catching up on more work. I had hit a point of desperation and wanted something quick, filling and loaded with carbs. My dinner: Kraft Dinner and half a bottle of J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon. There was something wrong with this picture and it wasn’t just the fact that my wine was 10 times the cost of my dinner. When I later told this story to a friend, her reaction was “that doesn’t sound at all like you!”. That’s when I realized I’d hit my winter blues low…
After an extremely mild fall, I was craving the winter. I wanted to bundle up in turtlenecks, knits, scarves and sweaters and hear that familiar crunch as I walked through the cold snow. I also wanted a white Christmas and an opportunity to get on my snowboard before the year was over. I felt prepared, anxious even, waiting for the temperature to drop and white flakes to fall. Little did I know, I wasn’t prepared at all… Sure enough by the middle of December I felt like I’d hit a wall. The shorter, darker and colder days were finding a way into my psyche bringing me down mentally and emotionally. One thing I know for sure is February is when it’s at its worst - year after year I find I hit an ultimate low where I don’t want to get out of bed let alone go to work, talk to people and act like I’m happy about it! Do you ever feel this way? Am I alone on this one? I always tell myself I’ll plan a trip or schedule something to look forward to and I’ve finally taken myself up on that advice: ironic that it was to a place with more snow than home??
But it worked!* Fresh air, food and a little R&R was all I needed to refresh my mindset to get back to eating what makes me feel good and exercising to keep my stress levels in check. With this renewed energy, I can’t wait to get back on track! I’m no personal trainer or nutritionist, but I think you’ll find my thoughts on how to keep motivated helpful in surviving the final months of winter.
*(If a vacation isn’t in your immediate plans, schedule an outdoor activity followed by a trip to the spa and we’ll pretty much be on the same playing field.)
Plan ahead: Use your weekends (or whatever downtime you have) to do your grocery shopping, cooking, etc. I always like to have three different meal options in the fridge/freezer which are quick to whip up or reheat for dinner!
Reward yourself: It’s the little things that count, right? Why not enjoy that glass of wine, homemade cookie or a really good book as a reward for your workout, achieving a goal at work or just getting out bed for the day?
Find your friends: It’s too easy to hibernate on the couch with a dinner like my aforementioned gourmet meal. Call a friend, make some plans and get out of the house - I promise you’ll feel better! Or if you really want to stay in, invite them over for dinner. I have a feeling you’ll make an effort to serve something better than KD.
Give yourself permission: We have good days and we have bad days. In a world where we are constantly trying to balance work and life it’s important to take a break and not feel the pressure to be multi-tasking at all times. This is something that I am working on getting better at every day.
Any tips or tricks I missed? Leave them in the comments below!