I like the holidays just as much as the next person, but once we toss the tree and pack up all the lights, I’ve had enough of winter. Totally. Over. It. You’re probably thinking, over it? It’s only just begun, right? And I guess that is in fact true, but in northern New England it’s not unusual to get a dusting of snow on Halloween, and one last blizzard in late March. That can make for one hell of a long season.
I hate being cold, and I crave the sun. The bleak, gray days and sub-zero temperatures of winter used to have me down and out for a good three months (or at least until it was time to set the clocks ahead for spring.)
A few years ago when we moved back to New England from southern Ohio (where mild winters are the rule), I knew I was going to have to do something if I didn’t want to feel like a complete shut-in all winter long. Here’s a list of some changes I made that have helped me get through the season with a lot less frustration and keep my spirits up.
1) Work Out–exercise relieves stress by releasing endorphins, or “feel good” chemicals in the brain. It also gives you more energy throughout the day, which greatly improves your mood.
2) Add In More Whole Foods–eating a lot of processed foods like refined sugar and carbs will zap your energy, lead to mood swings, cause “brain fog” by reducing your ability to concentrate, and lead to depression. Introducing more veggies, fruit, and lean proteins into your diet will stabilize your blood sugar and hormone levels, and eliminate these symptoms.
3) Soak Up The Sun–Sunlight provides us with mood enhancing vitamin D. Being that there are fewer sunny days in the winter, many of us become vitamin D deficient, which can leave us feeling down. Make it a point to spend time outdoors and sit near the windows when a rare sunny day appears–even just a few minutes can make all the difference.
4) Try A Winter Sport or Activity–while it may be your first instinct to avoid the cold, try embracing it. Invest in some quality warm weather gear, and learn to ski, snowboard, or snow shoe. After years of my husband and kids begging me to take ski lessons so we could all have something to do together as a family, I finally bit the bullet, and did it. And you know what? It was fun! And because I was dressed for it, I stayed plenty warm.
5) Plan Something Fun To Look Forward To–winter can seem endless, so plan a weekend away, a spa visit, or some other fun activity to break it up. For the past few years, we’ve taken our bigger family vacation (to a warm location) in February. It works out perfectly! We have something to look forward to after the holidays, we get to escape the cold for a week or so, and when we get back, there’s just a few short weeks of winter to make it through!
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