I have made the conscious decision to embrace it. I can’t fight it because I won’t win. But it is part of living in Canada and I can’t live in my basement for the next 6 months. I grew up in Canada so this is not new to me so how come I haven’t been able to embrace it by now?! To be honest, I don’t really know. Mentally the winter takes a toll on me, I find myself losing motivation to be active and spending more time curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and Netflix. I know that moving and being out in the fresh air always makes me feel better but when it is -30 outside I just can’t seem to make myself get off the couch. I can’t be the only who feels this way?
Now I am a planning/goal oriented kind of person so I came up with a game plan to attack my winter blues. Here it is….
1. GET MORE ACTIVE. When I look outside at the winter and I start to get discouraged I will remember the feeling I will have after I exercise. That feeling of being invigorated by the fresh air and positive endorphins pumping through my body. I will think of those people who don’t have the chance to get outside and do something good for their bodies and mind and I will be grateful for the ability that I have. I will think of Drake, my long lost scar from Hamstring Avulsion surgery 3yrs ago that had me bed ridden for almost 8 weeks. Then I will look at the couch and think of how I will feel if I choose to lay on it for the next couple hours. I will make the conscious decision to get layered up and go sweat for just 20mins, which almost always turns into longer. Did you notice the word I used there? CHOOSE. We always have a choice.What outdoor activities will you choose to do more of this winter?
2. LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Now I still haven’t figured out what exactly “the something new” is but I do know that my routine is feeling a little stagnant. I have been religious about the gym for the last year and I feel really body strong but mentally I don’t know if I can handle the gym routine for another 5 months. I know that learning is important to our growth and I am thinking that maybe it’s time to explore something new just for fun. Remember when we would exercise for fun?! Sometimes our exercise becomes training and more obligatory depending on goals or races we have but what happened to doing it because we enjoy it? What is something you would like to learn this winter?
3. MAKE PLANS with friends. If I commit to getting together with friends I will almost never bail, unless there is a foot of snow on my car and new episodes of Scandal just came out. No wait, isn’t that what I am trying to fix?! I know that during the winter I need the accountability of other people relying on me to get me out of the house. Sometimes I think it’s funny that just committing to ourselves isn’t enough. Aren’t I the most important person in my life? It’s weird how that works but it’s also very common to need that outside accountability and I have learned to accept it. Especially if making plans with friends means drinking wine:)
4. SLEEP 8-9 hours a night and don’t let myself sleep-in on the weekends. My body tends to work way better on a consistent amount of sleep. I have already found sticking to only 8-9hours of sleep a night hard for me. I think it’s because of the darkness in the mornings. In July, when my alarm goes off at 6:30am to hit the gym I am up and at it without hesitation but now a days when my alarm goes off I turn it off and go back to sleep. People have told me to get one of those light alarms that slowly get brighter when your alarm goes off and to be honest, I haven’t tried it. What I have found interesting is that in the recent weeks of sunshine I have been getting outside for my walks and runs again and I find that I am getting up much easier when that alarm goes off. This supports research that says that just 20mins of sunshine a day will help reset your internal clock. The circadian rhythm is our internal body clock and it helps regulate sleep, hunger and happiness and….it responds to sunlight! Did a light bulb just go off?! Sunlight…light bulb…get it? Haha! Anywho….just 20mins a day. That is nothing. They even say just sitting by a window basking in the sunlight for 20mins will suffice. Who can’t do that?! We have all walked by our dog or cat laying in the beam of sunlight on the floor and said, “man what a life they have?” So get on the floor and join em! We won’t judge:)
5. I will DRESS APPROPRIATELY. I am that crazy person who walks around in their sandals and sweater in the middle of January. I go from the house to my car to the parking garage to my office, all the while freezing my butt off the entire drive to work. So stupid! I can literally hear my Mom saying, “What if your car broke down?” So planning ahead, I have brought my winter boots up from storage and put all my flip flops away for the winter. I know my feet will appreciate it the next time I have to clean off a foot of snow from my car.
So this is my game plan to battle the winter blues. I hope you enjoyed it, learned from it and laughed a little:)