You peek outside and there’s that heavy mass of grey clouds that seem to echo your feelings of lethargy. The damp mist of precipitation makes it feel like every day is a rainy day and the New Year’s resolutions you set seem silly since it feels so much better to curl up in bed with those leftover holiday cookies.
It’s not easy to stay motivated during the winter months since the days are shorter and every day feels like the perfect day to stay home from work and avoid the oppressive weather.
While it takes just a little bit of effort, there are scientifically proven methods you can employ to help you beat the winter blues. While exercising is the natural choice for stimulating a positive mood, here are some of our other favorite ways to stay motivated on that slow march toward spring:
- Stimulate Sunlight
Your body naturally craves daylight during the winter months so one of the best ways to help beat the blues is to throw open your curtains and sit next to a window to get as close to light as possible. Many people have found massive relief from buying a lightbox; studies have found that just 30 minutes a day can be as effective as antidepressant medications. If anything, buy a couple mirrors so that the light in your home can bounce around to create more brightness!
- Call That Friend You’ve Been Meaning To See
While the last thing you want to do is leave your house when it’s cold out, it’s incredibly important to make time to socialize. Netflix and your couch will always be there when you get back, so call up a friend, put on your shoes, and go meet up for coffee in a cozy cafe or walk to a dog park and simply enjoy watching the pups frolicking in the snow. If winter is really getting you down, consider throwing a tropical themed get together where you crank up the heat, watch movies set somewhere warm, and drink refreshing fruit smoothies.
- Crank Up The music
A 2013 study found that listening to upbeat or cheerful music significantly improved a participant’s mood in both the short and long term. Try creating a Winter playlist that includes your favorite songs, we recommend including some beachy tunes to help your mind escape to the tropics. Need some inspiration? Check out this list of the Top 65 Happy Songs That Will Make You Smile Playlist.
- Embrace The Power Of Hygge
Warm coffee pots, fresh cinnamon buns, glowing candles, comfy cashmere socks, fuzzy blankets, and togetherness. The United States is seeing a huge rise in popularity of this term and books galore are being published on this Scandinavian concept of self-care and happiness.Hygge is a Danish term defined as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being and, by the way, is pronounced “hoo-guh”. While the word does not have a direct translation in English, the word cozy is the closest word that relates to feelings of relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude. Check out this great graphic that will help guide you to the hygge life.