It’s usually not until January that I start to feel the winter slump. I pull out my jeans that are a little more, let’s say, comfortable, I put my sweatpants on as soon as I get home and I start to transition into a house hermit. Only leaving, when necessary, for brief periods of time and only when the weather is deemed tolerable-sunny, no wind and no ice left on the ground from the night before and preferably not colder than 35 degrees. This is my sad, yet warm existence come winter! I find the winter to be a good excuse to eat things that I wouldn’t in the other months, not brave the cold to get to the gym and basically throw everything I know about being healthy and active out the window! Isn’t that what everybody does????
This year though, I’ve made some small changes, ok maybe really small changes, perhaps we will just call them slight differences from the year before. Besides, slow forward movement towards a goal is still PROGRESS right?! This time around I sat down and took inventory of all the things that I love in the warmer months. Things that bring even slight joy to me and I tried converting those things in some way to the winter months. Here’s what my list looked like…
Summer loves: trips to the beach, the sun, gardening, horse back riding, fresh salads, hiking, walking my dogs, paddle boarding, live music, fishing, weekend getaways, working out outside, dinners on the back deck, grilling and reading in the hammock.
This is the short list (I assure you) and as I was creating it, it became very apparent to me why I have such disdain for winter. On any given summer day, I could do at least 5 maybe 6 of the things from this list. ALL IN ONE DAY… I could wake up early, walk my dogs, pull some fresh veggies from the garden, head to the barn for a quick ride, meet some friends to listen to some live music, come back and relax in the hammock while dinners cooking on the grill and finish the night on the back deck after a full day of adventures! Oh, my heart is saddened by all that is lost. But that’s now why I’m writing this, I’m writing this because this year I’ve vowed to do something different. To not mourn the summer but to highlight the small glimmer of happiness winter can provide.
So here’s my list of summer joys converted to winter kinda joyful things
Trips to the beach- First off, I had no idea that beaches still existed in the winter! Well maybe I did but I never thought about visiting one this time of year. So I went, and it was amazing! We took our shepherd; we had the entire beach to ourselves and dare I say it was slightly romantic. It was exhilarating to feel the cold, run up and down the beach and to listen to the sound of the waves and smell the ocean. I almost forgot that I was cold and despise winter.
Gardening- for this one I decided to just buy a few cacti to bring some of the outdoors inside. I’m terrible with house plants and these little guys are surprisingly resilient! Believe it or not, they kind of help. In the summer we have a lot of fresh flowers through out the house and these little green guys fill those empty spots nicely.
Fresh salads- why did I ever stop eating salads in the winter to begin with? Who convinced me this wasn’t allowed? This is an easy one to maintain and you can warm it up with different proteins and dressings! We are now eating salad for at least one meal a day. Happy, happy ,happy!
Live music- I was ecstatic to find that this still exists even after day light savings. I’ve had to look for new venues, but it can be found!
Working out…outside- I’m not even going to pretend that I found a happy medium here. I will never be the girl bundled up, running outside in the winter. Nope, not even for 3 minutes. But I did help shovel during the last storm, and I did start a snowball fight. Calories burned, I was outside, and I did kind of enjoyed myself. I also joined a new gym and I’ve been inside it a few times this month! Go me!
I could continue breaking down my list with alternatives, but I think you get my point. Winter is a terrible inconvenience at best for me, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence for my mental and physical health! Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way and get moving. No excuses and if there’s a time when I’m really stuck, I know that there are other things like supplements that can certainly assist! When I’m really bummed, I talk to the doctors about California Poppy, Kava and a few other herbs that can help with mood and feelings. I make sure that I’m getting adjusted because everything starts in your nervous system and most importantly, I talk to people that actually enjoy winter and will share what they love! You’d be surprised by how much someone else’s positivity can do for you!
So, if have as little love for winter as I do maybe create your own list and If you love winter maybe try inspiring someone with your favorite things to do!
Happy New Year!