Ditch the Winter Doldrums

Tuesday, January 07 at 11:10 AM
Category: Arvest News

For some, it comes when all that ripped-to-shreds wrapping paper has been stuffed into the trash and the Christmas decorations are taken down and crammed back into the attic.

For others, it happens when those New Year’s Eve champagne bottles have been tossed into the recycling bin. Still others feel it after Super Bowl Sunday.

Whenever it strikes, the onset of the winter doldrums can be disheartening. After all, the days are short and the nights are long, flu season is in full swing, and the frigid temperatures tend to keep us indoors and isolated.

There are a few tricks, however, to help you keep midwinter melancholy at bay. So, while you endure that seemingly endless wait for spring, remember to:

Release those endorphins. The natural feel-good chemical our bodies produce during exercise is a great elixir for the winter blahs. By making a commitment to raising your heart rate, you can also lift your spirits.

If you live in an area where winter sports are available, lace up your skates, strap on the skis or take a ride on that sled you’ve got stashed in the garage. All of these activities not only will reduce the boredom of the season, but get your adrenaline and blood pumping.

If you don’t happen to live in an area where these activities are an option, focus on getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, whether that involves a trip to the gym, a walk around the neighborhood or simple exercises you can perform at home. Remember, the work you do while battling the winter doldrums will help you look your best when it’s time to shed those extra layers.

Surround yourself with friends. Now that the hubbub of the holidays has ended, your calendar might look wide-open.

In the dead of winter, a lot of us tend to leave our calendars open, make fewer plans or decline social invitations. However, spending time with friends can be crucial to our well-being.

Another benefit to staying engaged with friends is the laughter and good times which can combat the gloominess winter often brings. Be sure to inject some fun into your winter weeks by planning a party or something simpler like a movie night or game night with those whose company you enjoy the most.

Allow a small splurge or pamper yourself. A little retail therapy or a spa session can go a long way in brightening a dreary winter day.

This is true even if one of your New Year's resolutions involves fiscal responsibility. Sometimes just a small item or something like a no-special-reason manicure can lift your spirits. Being frugal, even when also being frivolous, can keep you guilt-free.

Learn something new. If you’re feeling trapped indoors, perhaps chained to your TV, break free from the monotony and lethargy that often accompanies the winter months.

Spice up your winter by challenging yourself to learn something new and giving yourself something to look forward to each week. Whether it’s a cooking class, an introduction to martial arts or anything in between, discovering a new hobby or passion can give you a sunnier outlook on life.

Embrace the light and color. Remember the wondrous transformation from black and white to Technicolor in the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz”?

Because winter often seems bathed in a never-ending array of grays, take every opportunity to illuminate your daily life. Throw open your curtains and blinds, buy some colorful flowers or a houseplant, or even spruce up your wardrobe with a splash of vibrant color.

Doing so can add cheer to you and your surroundings. Don’t be drab!

Above all, be positive. Studies have shown optimists live longer, healthier lives. Do your best to maintain an upbeat attitude, and you'll get through these ho-hum winter months before you know it.

Ryan on 1/16/2014 at 9:54 PM
That is if you don't have 4 crushed vertebra and trying to move by yourself....

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