It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining in through my window, warming my face, and we are supposed to have a high of a whopping 37 degrees! While I can feel spring in the air, I have a feeling there will still be a few blustery winter days ahead.
I always thought seasonal affective disorder was a myth until this winter. I have definitely felt myself dragging my feet and I don't really have a reason to. Now don't get me wrong, I love winter, but there comes a time when I am ready to move on to the next season! And that time is now! I've missed the sun and I've missed my outside time. So over the cold months, I've tried to find ways to fight off my cabin fever and stay afloat until spring finds us. Here are five tips I have tried and have seen results from.
1. Exercise and eat right
We hear this all the time, but it can be hard to do. I absolutely love working out when I can do it outside. However, when I am confined to doing my cardio indoors or on a treadmill, I get a little bored and discouraged. There have been many days this winter where I think, "I'm cold. I don't want to change into my workout clothes and go to the gym." But on the days I do that and stay home, I regret it. I always end up feeling sluggish. I've found that fighting through the torture and starting my day with getting my body moving really helps my mood. Those endorphines can fight off any case of the winter blues. Eating veggies and fruits helps too, and drinking lots of water. I recently stopped drinking soda and replaced it with water. It's amazing how much better I feel!
2. Take advantage of the sun when it decides to come out
Winter doesn't mean the sun dies or goes away. There are still plenty of cheerful and sunny days during the cold months. When those days happen, get your tush outside! Your body is begging for that Vitamin D! Sure, you might have to wear several layers of clothes, but it's worth it to get numb fingers in exchange for a little soaked up sun. Brian and I have been good about taking lots of walks this winter. When the weather is nice, we pull our boots on and head outside like there's no tomorrow. We have really enjoyed taking winter walks along our favorite river trail in town. So take a walk, go sledding, build a snowman. Just get yo' bad self out of your house.
3. Play with your space
Since you are confined to the indoors a lot more in the winter, don't let your living quarters bore you. Be innovative and find ways to express your creativity in your home. Last month, I finally opened the door to that one room in our home. You know, the room where you throw all your boxes of stuff, lock the door, and pretend it doesn't exist? Oh, you don't have one of those rooms? My bad. Well, I finally cleaned that room out. Then I went on and made some wall art to hang, thrifted an awesome globe to set on an end table, made up our futon all cute, and now the scary room is a presentable guest room. It's actually one of my favorite rooms in the house now. It's funny how changing something up that you are around every day can affect your mood. So rearrange your furniture, get rid of that junk, and start the latest home decor project that you pinned on Pinterest.
4. Have something to look forward to
Spring break has often times been my saving grace when it comes to not losing my mind during this time of year. It helps to have a trip to plan for on those miserable and stormy nights. During the blizzard warnings, you can distract yourself by swimsuit shopping or finding the perfect pair of sandals. And when I say have something to look forward to, it doesn't even have to be a major trip. Plan on having a themed party with your friends. You can fight off any winter blues with planning party treats, games, and decorations. Looking forward to something fun, no matter how big or small, is a good way to stay busy and happy.
5. Treat yourself
I think I've taken more bubble baths this winter than ever in my life (okay, slight exaggeration). But I'm fine with that, because those bubble baths have kept me sane. After a busy day of trudging through snow and ice, set some time aside for you. Light some candles, fill your tub with bubbles and bath salts, and read your favorite book while you soak the blues away. Buy yourself a new bottle of BRIGHT nail polish. Fun colors on my fingers always stop me from feeling depressed. Rent your favorite movie. Give yourself a facial. Take a nap if you need one. Rewarding yourself with little treats will help motivate you to take on the negative degree weather.
So there are my five simple things I've been using a lot since January. Hang in there friends. Umbrellas, tulips, baby animals, tan lines, and pastels are in the distance. We got this.