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I am not a fan of winter. If I could, I would sign up for hibernation any minute. Some of my problems with winter are merely superficial: I don’t like the cold, I never know what to wear, I don’t like melting snow, or the slippery, icy roads. However, the lack of daylight and vitamin D which also often comes with winter, makes me prone to suffering from winter blues or a (minor) winter depression. Until a few years ago, I just resigned to the fact that ‘winter wasn’t my season’. I would just wait for summer. But with all this climate change going on, I cannot really afford to wait for summer anymore. It’s winter for almost six months now! That is when I decided to make a conscious effort to not only survive winter, but to actually thrive during the ‘merry season’.
What is great about winter?
The first question I asked myself, was: “What is absolutely great about winter?” And don’t get fooled by your first “Nothing!” instinct. Not everything winter-related is bad. For me, some highlights of winter are:
❄️ Candles! And since it’s dark early, I can light them early!
❄️ Winter tea, I love the smell of cinnamon, apples, and all that other warm stuff
❄️ I can walk around in a blanket all day
❄️ Hot baths feel even better when it’s cold outside
❄️ It’s easier to sleep enough
❄️ I don’t feel like going out, which can save a ton of money (provided that I don’t do some online shopping instead)
❄️ New Netflix releases
❄️ Holiday season (granted, I don’t like all of this, but I do like it when the city streets are decorated with gorgeous lights)
❄️ Fresh start of a new year in January
Try to make a list of things you particularly like about winter. Maybe it’s your birthday, or the best time to go on a trip. If there are a few positive things you can focus on during winter, it will distract from the things you absolutely hate.
On cold days, it is so easy to just stay inside. However, it is really important that you get outside, every day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes. I recently took a course by Mel Robbins (from CreativeLive, they really have excellent courses, so be sure to check them out!) and she talked about exercising. About how important exercising is for your mental and physical wellbeing, and that a lot of us don’t feel like doing that very often.
Even though I’ve created somewhat of a habit with running, I can still find it hard to get out there and do it, especially in the winter. I don’t do it every day, and there are days that I don’t get out at all.
…even if it’s just for ten minutes
So when Mel instructed one of her coachees to take a 10-minute walk EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. – it struck a nerve. That’s what I should do! It’s hardly ever as cold outside as it looks from the inside and it really makes you feel good.
Last week, I went for a run and absolutely enjoyed it. Everything looked so gorgeous!
And don’t pretend that you cannot find time to go outside for just ten minutes. Walk the store, take a walk around the block, do whatever. Rain or shine. Just do it. It’s just TEN MINUTES! And I promise you: the energy it’ll give you will make you a lot more productive.
Besides the fresh air, and being away from technology, it will also give you some additional vitamin D. Research has shown that a deficiency in vitamin D can play a role in depression and possibly even other mental disorders. The best way to get vitamin D, is to expose your skin to the sun. A.k.a.: get your ass out there!
Since you’re staying in most of the time and probably don’t spend a lot of time wandering the streets, shopping or doing other ‘cold’ stuff, you might as well take some time to create plans. November and december are especially great months for this, since you can create momentum in those months, and kick off the new year with a great start.
You can create new plans regarding your work or business, but also come up with health-related plans. Whatever they are, be sure to write them down. Putting things on papier will help getting ideas out of your head and into practice. Practice writing as a daily habit.
Work on personal development
And the same goes for this: if you’re already staying in, don’t waste your time on checking out all those series on Netflix that you actually don’t want to see. Spend some time on your personal development instead. What skills do you need to execute your plans? What can you do to create or hone those skills? I’ve been working on my blog, for example, and have noticed that I find it hard to ‘be visible’. It often holds me back and makes me skip on chances that would be great for my business. So that’s something I’m working on right now. Finding that confidence to take the next steps to success. Even saying that out loud is a step for me 😉
Read, write and make winter a time to enjoy, enrich and relax yourself. I’ll promise you: you still may like summers better, but winters start to get a lot more acceptable if you do this!