5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

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Oh, hey Winter. You’re here. Missed you, girl.

(Not really.)

This is my fifth Winter in California, and it’s extremely mild compared to the ones I’ve spent in New York, Boston, Vermont and abroad.

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Admittedly, Winter is my absolutely least favorite season: it takes my tiny frame hours to warm up, the grey skies make me miserable, I feel house bound in the cold, I don’t think I’ve ever successfully dug my car out of a pile of snow by myself, my shoots always get cancelled, I can’t exercise… I could go on and on.

Here are the 5 very best ways to beat the winter, as told from my 25 years experience as an East Coaster…

Find a Project

Remember that dress you’ve been meaning to sew?  Or better yet – that novel you’ve been working on? That wall in the office needs a fresh coat, and damn, haven’t you been trying to fit some Yoga into your schedule?   I find that winter is the best time to sit down and make a list of projects I’ve been just putting off, and taking a day, or two, to either get them done with some loved ones, or make them yours!   I find that sectioning my projects off into weeks of the month really helps!  That way, you have 7 whole days to get it done, and you can begin to look forward to doing the next thing!  There’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and you get to spend time in one place without feeling like you are forced to be there.plent

 Create a Garden

Mother Nature never takes a day off, so why should you?  I find that Winter planting is SO rewarding: planting seeds is rewarding because they will begin to bloom most likely right as your days are getting longer!  And hardy winter plants are doing more than just surviving when the winter comes: they are thriving! Having a garden during the winter creates inspiration, adds texture and a touch of the unexpected in the landscape when our springtime favorites are taking a long winter’s nap.

 Read a Big Book

Now, I don’t mean a looooong book: I mean a BIG book!  A book with BIG, Life changing ideas!  There are a TON of inspirational book communities on the interwebz, but if you need a tipping point, Goodreads is a GREAT start!  However, tons of your favorite TV hosts, book clubs, and gurus have guests on, & book recommendations that can help you stay current, informed, and inspired about Life and possibilities! I even just wrote and published one myself. 🙂

Learn Something New

The sense of accomplishment in learning some new is unprecedented.  I think this is a great way of saying: Improve Something.  Change your diet, learn Chinese, learn how your cell phone works, take your old computer apart. As a musician, I take my Winter to learn a new instrument.  People often gain weight in the winter from indulging in junk foods, alcohol and cigarettes in order to “kill time”.  The idea that you can be consistently practicing or learning something different not only provides a great distraction from that extra trip to the fridge – you get to share it with others as well!

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Chase the Day

When the days get darker earlier, I get up earlier.  Adjust your schedule so that you fit a daily walk in during the BRIGHTEST parts of the day!  People who live within 30 degrees of the equator seldom suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), thanks to long hours of daylight and bright sunshine. Head further north or south, however, and symptoms become more prevalent.  My road trip from the East to the West coast last year literally felt like I was escaping Fall!  Booking a holiday now even for January or February will give you something to look forward to, but in the meantime: work with what you have!  It’s been entirely proven that the amount of sun you get directly affects your mood, so when the sun peeks through, take a lunch by the window or take a walk around the block!

Want more tips to get through a tough time?

Grab a copy of my book today!