I don’t know about where you live, but where I am there is about a foot of snow on the ground! As we near the end of February, it feels like spring should be right around the corner. However, if you live in the northern hemisphere as I do, then you probably know that just because the calendar may say spring is on the way, doesn’t mean the winterish weather is over. This fact can be extremely depressing! It seems winter will never end! Well, don’t despair too much because below is a list of 9 tips that will help you survive and have some happiness during the remainder of winter.
Tip 1: Have a “winter-friendly” exercise routine. The winter weather can make exercising more challenging, but exercise is key in helping you to feel good and maintain happiness levels. There are a large range indoor exercises you can do during the winter. You could try swimming, setting up a stationary bike in you living room, or try out a wide variety of work-out classes at gyms. If you really feel like you still want to exercise outside, try a winter sport. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and ice skating are great work outs!
Tip 2: Try not to eat “comfort foods” with a lot of carbohydrates. When you are cold, meals like macaroni and cheese may be something you are craving, but eating too many carbs can cause you to have a “sugar crash,” and then feel tired and sluggish. Try to boost your fruits and and vegetables!
Tip 3: Try not to isolate yourself. It can be easy to hole yourself up in your house like you are a bear in hibernation. It can be so cold outside that going anywhere may not even feel like it is worth leaving the house. Staying home can feel lonely though, so in the winter it is especially important to make a concerted effort to make plans with friends and family.
Tip 4: Plan a trip. You can either plan a mid-winter get-away to a warm climate, or plan a vacation for spring or even summer. If you can escape the cold now, do it! If you are planning a vacation later in the year, you may still be in the cold now, but at least you have something fun and warm to look forward to.
Tip 5: Become inspired by your environment. Wether or not you are an artist, you can be inspired by the winter climate. Take time to appreciate the way the sun shines through an icicle, how pretty the snow looks swirling from the sky, and the muffled silence that comes with snow falling. For example, I actually took the picture for this blog!
Tip 6: Look forward to spring. Start to plan your spring wardrobe and your garden. It may not be spring yet, but starting to plan for it by looking through gardening books and doing some online shopping can help you get into a spring mindset.
Tip 7: Get enough vitamin D. Talk to your doctor to see if you are getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because our bodies have the ability to make vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential to your skeletal and immune system, so during the winter (when you are exposed to less sunlight) it might be a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement.
Tip 8: Expose yourself to light. Even though most of the winter days are dark and gloomy, take advantage of those rare, glorious, crystal-clear days. Bundle up, grab your sunglasses, and soak up as much of that precious sunlight as you can.
Tip 9: Enjoy a hot chocolate. Studies have shown that chocolate can increase blood flow, which could improve your brain functioning and mood. If you have a cold, chocolate has also been shown to be a cough suppressant.