I love watching the seasons change, it’s this magical time when you really feel the Earth’s energy and movement. As a lot of you may know however, the winter season, although very beautiful at times, can really throw me off my A-game. I absolutely LOVE the spring and summer time and I feel so good when the weather is bright, warm and sunny. When it’s cold and grey however, I definitely feel a shift in my mood and energy levels. Over the years however, I’ve learned about a few techniques and practices that I notice help me a lot when I feel myself drifting away from my normal positive self. I hope these 5 tips will be helpful to you as well!
1. GOOD LIGHTING
One of the biggest aspects of the warmer months that I miss, is the longer hours of sunshine and light. I just love seeing sunshine pour into the windows of my apartment, and especially in the early hours of the day when I’m doing my morning routine. In the winter however, when I wake up around 6am, it is dark. Very, very DARK. It also tends to get dark very early as well when I’m still busy working and wanting to be productive.
To offset this, I light up my apartment by turning on enough lights to make it feel like day time, as well as my oil diffuser which has a warm yellow light as well (I use mood boosting citrus essential oils like lemon, grapefruit, orange and bergamot – LOVE these and would highly recommend!). Having lights on instantly helps to lift my mood by seeing that it’s brighter at home.
Of course in the evening when I am winding down, I turn down the lights to be softer, but during the day time this is essential! On this note, when it actually IS a sunny day outside, I love to wrap myself up real warm, and get outside for a walk!
2. WORKING OUT
One of the BIGGEST mood enhancers is definitely exercising. I rely on this even more so during the colder months as it literally gets your own warmth and internal fire reved-up. Working out releases lots of good mood boosting chemicals including endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine! When in motion, our bodies are literally producing a pharmacy of feel good chemicals, and we feel the effects of these long after the workout is finished.
As some of you may know, I believe in doing some type of movement DAILY. It doesn’t have to be an hour long session at the gym (it can be, but not necessary for everyday). Getting in a 20 minutes at-home pilates or yoga session works great too (you can do a YouTube search for great classes!). Or you can always take your workout outdoors by going on a walk or a hike. The point is to get your body intentionally moving most days out of the week.
Working out is also amazing for lowering stress and anxiety overall, it’s great for building self esteem and self confidence, it increases energy, improves sleep quality, lowers blood pressure, strengthens and tones your muscles and is just an incredible self-care practice.
3. PERSPECTIVE & GRATITUDE
I once read an article about how for the most part, children don’t judge the weather. It’s very rare you’ll hear a little child complaining that it’s raining or cold. Children tend to be more accepting and less judgmental. Having younger siblings in my family, I immediately saw how this was true. It’s funny because the weather is like it is, and us complaining about it will not make it better. It will only make it worse, and remind ourselves how much the cold bothers us. Even though it’s difficult to be totally un-judgemental about the weather, it’s definitely something I try to practice more and more.
Instead of complaining about the weather, finding little things to be grateful for can totally change your day around. For instance, something that is special this time of year, is how cozy you can make yourself feel by bundling up in warm clothes, scarfs, hats and boots. Cuddling up on the couch with a warm blanket, either alone or with a loved one, with a warm cup of tea in hand, is a feeling that is priceless. Embracing and not trying to change or control that which we cannot, is a huge life lesson that can be applied to lots of other areas in life.
4. A WARM JACKET
This brings me on to my next point, which is to invest in a great warm winter jacket! The puffier and cozier, the better! 🙂 Know that it’s going to be cold, so without only thinking about fashion, also embrace the comfort and warmth factor. There are lots of great coats and puffers these days that are both warm and stylish. I recently got this black one from Zara which I love and this beige teddy coat from Mango is also amazing! Woolrich also have really great high quality coats that will definitely keep you warm!
5. LISTEN TO A GUIDED MEDITATION / PODCAST
It’s so good to keep the good vibes flowing, especially when the weather is taking a toll on your mood and energy levels. I love starting my day with a few minutes of meditation. I do this after I’ve had my warm water with lemon, and been to the bathroom (watch this video here on why this is so important). I feel light and clear, and then I grab my headphones and sit down in my living room. I like to do a simple guided meditation, usually lasting 10 minutes. I focus on my breath and try to stay present in the moment. Meditation has been shown to lower anxiety and stress, boost mindfulness during the day, increase productivity and so much more… plus it’s free and can be easily incorporated a few minutes everyday.
Podcasts are also great! These are a few of my favorite health and wellness podcasts I love to listen to:
- Kimberly Snyder’s Feel Good Podcast
- Ed Mylett Show (on YouTube)
- Super Soul Sunday
- Mind Body Green
- Goop Podcast
- The Skinny Confidential
- The Lavendaire Lifestyle
I hope these tips are helpful to you! I’d love to know in the comments below what your recommendations are as well!