Regardless how many sunny days your neck of the woods experiences during the winter months, there will be cold, grey days that may lead to the winter blues. Consequently, this week, try on some of the following strategies for curing the winter blues and enjoy the remainder of the winter months. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
• Soak up some sun or some light! On a grey day, build a fire, turn on the lights throughout the house, and make sure all of the blinds are open during the day to allow any light of the day to penetrate through the windows.
• Get out of the house! If the day or your body does not permit you to enjoy the plethora of winter sports at our disposal, then at least get out of the house, bundle up and go for a walk which may brighten your mood.
• Workout! One of the best mood elevators is to exercise. Just the very act of walking through the door of the gym will brighten your day and once your workout is complete provides you with some control over the day which is empowering. Not to mention that you will have adhered to your exercise program goals and that is the best feeling of all!
• Try a new workout program. Perhaps a program that you have wanted to try and have not had the time to pursue, will spark the light within you that has dulled during the grey days. Additionally, the socialization and camaraderie will often be just what the doctor ordered to have you smiling again.
• Avoid sitting in front of the television unless you have a great movie to watch with friends or family. Then, get moving again!
• Grey days are great for cleaning out your pantry and refrigerator to make room for the most nutritious and delicious whole foods.
• Now that the pantry is organized and the refrigerator almost empty, go to the grocery store and purchase healthy, whole foods. Afterward, create a wonderful, hot soup or stew that is healthy and savory. Then, enjoy the meal with your family and friends.
• Speaking of family and friends, take the time to spend with those you love. The feelings of good will spread throughout your mind and body brightening your day. Remember, they may have the winter blues too!
• Avoid the internet when possible. Use this time productively to provide your mind, body and spirit with good energy. Avoid sitting at the computer for long periods soaking up overwhelming, negative information. Instead, enjoy the fire you built and read a good book (after you work out, of course!).
• Clean out your clothes closet! Grey days are great for accomplishing fundamental chores. This way, when the skies clear, you are ready and able to get outside and soak it up.
• Plan a vacation for a sunny destination in the near future. Sometimes, just planning a trip for a change of scenery elevates the mood giving you something to look forward to soon.
Lastly, remember that this too will pass. The sunny skies will return and until that time, taking the actions featured above will get you on your feet and moving in a healthier, happier, more productive direction!