How to beat the winter blues

Health

Winter is a time of year that brings up many mixed feelings for me…on one hand I love the crisp frosty mornings, with the sky so fresh and blue it practically glows. Or the rainstorms where you can snuggle up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea and a good book. There is nothing quite so cozy as hearing the pitter-patter of rain on the window panes!
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However, winter also brings with it the dark and the cold, which make it so difficult to stay upbeat…

One of the biggest struggles I have had over the past couple of months is motivation. As the weather cools down I catch myself making excuses as to why I can’t go to the gym, or why I don’t have time for yoga or meditation. And instead of springing out of bed ready to face the day, I lie there debating whether I can steal another 10 minutes under the covers. Does this sound familiar to you?

Even meal preparation has become a chore, and I’ve reverted to throwing together half-hearted lunches that are never satisfying enough and always leave me craving a mid-afternoon snack. Which is a habit I definitely need to break soon…food is my happy place!!

So this got me thinking…how do I break through and put myself back into the ‘I can conquer anything’ mode? Because even though it feels like there’s no end to the dreary mood and sluggish mindset, in reality all it takes is a little willpower and some strategic preparation to get back on the healthy, happy buzz again! So if you are like me, and you find the negative emotions dragging you down, here are some tips to get you through and out the other side:

1) Prioritise your energyFullSizeRender
Take a minute to sit down and ask yourself what is really important to you. Dig deep, untangle the trivial things from what truly matters, and decide on what it is that you want. Write down your biggest goals and values…you know, the ones that keep you up at night and fill you with a burning drive! These are the things that you need to prioritise. These are the things that will fill you with energy, and each step towards achieving these meaningful goals will strengthen your motivation and have you building momentum in no time.

2) Plan and prepare
Once you have a clear idea of where you are going and what your driving force is, it is important to lay out the path for success before you get going. Things like: packing your gym bag the night before a workout, preparing nutritious ‘building blocks’ on the weekend so you have healthy meal options ready to throw together quickly, or even just adding a couple of tasks to your daily TO DO list that you can check off once completed. Be prepared and make life simple for yourself. It’s much harder to find an excuse not to follow through when you’ve already laid all of the ground work!

3) Partner up 
Find someone with similar goals who is willing to be your accountability partner. Sometimes it is easier to rationalise giving up when it is only yourself that you’re letting down…but when someone else is thrown into the mix, it becomes harder to shirk your responsibility and you are more likely to stick with it. Plus, it’s far more fun having someone to share and celebrate success with!!

4) Treat yourself!
A little daily incentive never hurt anybody…and it’s such a positive way to keep the motivation flowing! So find something that makes you really happy, whether that’s a facial treatment, a delicious treat (for a healthy but scrumptious option, check out this healthy chocolate bark recipe), or even an extra hour watching your favourite TV show, and when you achieve your daily goal make sure you treat yourself! You’ll find that you enjoy the treat so much more when you know you have earned it…it gives you little glow of pride.

5) Listen to your body
Lastly, it’s important not to over do it. This is something that I sometimes am guilty of, and as I have found out for myself, it only ever pushes you further back than where you started. If your body is telling you that it needs a chance to rest, take that time to recuperate and reset. This isn’t a weakness, it’s simply being smart! Try a bit of yoga, or some meditation, as these are tools designed reboot your battery and help you to refocus your energy. A little bit of tender love and care will pay off in the long run…

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So if you find yourself lacking in motivation, here’s my advice to you: give yourself a break, re-centre your attention and reconnect with your goals. Fill yourself with a purpose that will lift you out of the dreary mood, and focus your energy on the things that matter most to you! You’ll get there in the end…

Charlotte xx

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