Short Days and Cold Nights
It’s no secret that the winter months can take a toll on our psyches. Shorter, darker days and longer, colder nights can make even the most positive person feel a bit down. And winter can become super isolating when fewer people want to get off the couch and go out—snowy or rainy weather will often get in the way of making plans. But before you get the seasonal sadness, spend a little time preparing for winter and put some practices into place to stave off feelings of loneliness and a lack of motivation. Here are just a few ideas to get you going.
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Start a Gratitude Practice
One of the best ways to start preparing for winter is to beef up your appreciation for the many, many wonderful things about your life. Get in the habit now of starting your morning (and ending your day) by writing down a few things you’re grateful for. If you establish this practice before winter sets in, you’ll enter the season with a more upbeat attitude. Plus, when you’re feeling down you can look back at your past entries and bask in your track record of gratitude, which will inspire you to keep the habit up.
Make Your House More Homey
Since we tend to spend more time indoors in the colder season, part of preparing for winter should include doing some of those home-related to-dos you’ve been putting off. Maybe you’ve been wanting to clear out your dining room so you can host more dinner parties or turn your spare bedroom or garage into a workshop that you can devote to your favorite hobby. Now’s a great time to engage in an indoor home project since you’re going to be stuck inside—at least a little bit. It may be as simple as fixing your broken heater or buying a few nice-smelling candles to make sure you’ll be warm, comfortable, and cozy when the cold gets underway.
The struggle to find workout motivation is real when temperatures drop. Preparing for winter, however, entails getting into a solid, active routine. This way, you can keep your endorphins flowing all season long. Find a yoga studio close to your house that you can hit up before or after work, enlist a workout buddy to come to the gym with you or just commit to taking the stairs when you get to your office. There are plenty of online workout programs to try too. The more you get your blood pumping, the better you’ll feel mentally and physically.
Winter is the perfect time to take long baths, slather on luxurious lotion, and indulge in face masks. It may sound silly but taking time to take care of your physical body is an important part of preparing for winter. Establishing feel-good rituals will carry you through the season—and keep chapped skin at bay.
Limit Your Screen Time
When we can’t go out, many of us turn to our phones to feel connected to the outside world. Unfortunately, seeing carefully curated images of all the fun everyone else is having doesn’t do much for our self-esteem. While it’s fun to zone out on social media and see what everyone’s up to for a little while, be sure you’re not getting stuck in endless scrolling sessions. Instead, put limits on how long you stay on your phone now, so when winter comes along, you’ll already have good habits established.
Get Out of the House
When you’re feeling antsy, get off the couch and go outside. Even if it’s raining and even if you’re in your ratty sweatpants. Go around the corner and get a coffee. Browse your library. Go see a movie. Get into the habit of getting out and about—and around other people. That way, you can avoid feeling stuck in your house when the winter season hits. If you start preparing for winter now, you’ll be more likely to get up and get out later in the season.
Get together with loved ones and consult your calendars so you can spend quality time together this winter. Plan to go see a play, host a dinner, volunteer, book a vacation, or partake in a retreat. This way, when winter comes, you’ll have so much to be excited about.
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