For most people, winter, is a time of nagging cold that’s best spent indoors and curled up in a warm blanket.
In the beginning, the change in temperature feels great. The air is crisp and fresh and the shift in scenery (if you live where it snows) is exciting.
But a few weeks in — especially when the glow of the holidays has faded and the New Year is well under way — and the winter starts to gnaw at you slowly, making it hard to stay active and energized, whether it’s at work or home.
You can’t get too much winter in the winter.
– Robert Frost
Fortunately, staying energized really comes down to sticking with the basics. However, there are things you can do (including some self-inflicted Jedi mind tricks) to help you stay productive and energized — both physically and mentally — throughout the Winter.
Set an enticing Spring goal
Having goals that excite you is numero uno in terms of helping you maintain your excitement in any endeavor. However, this same principle can be used for the Winter time.
Think of something you want to achieve by the Spring which you can start working on now and let that be your motivation to stay active over these cold, dark Winter months.
It could be a fitness goal or a financial goal tied to a special vacation you’ve been wanting to take. Whatever it is, make sure you pick something that excites you and requires you to put in work over the Winter to make it happen.
Stay active in little ways
It really is true that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. The more active you remain over the Winter, even if you do it in little ways each day, the easier it will be to get yourself going throughout the week when it’s time to really take action such as sticking with your studies or working on a big project.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is the mind-body connection. Many people live their life as if the mind and body are completely separate entities. But what we do to one always affects the other.
What that means is if you do a little extra walking each day (or take the stairs instead of the elevator), start eating a more nutritious lunch at work, or get yourself into the gym one or two more times each week, you’ll have more energy to do everything else throughout your week during the Winter, whether physical or mental.
Get the right amount of sleep
Be wary over the Winter of not only letting sleep deprivation creep in but also sleeping in and getting too much rest.
It’s easy to let your routine falter after the holidays, what with all the parties and get-togethers. Next thing you know you’re running on empty for a few days straight and it starts affecting your performance and motivation.
However, you also have to look out for the opposite as well. When our bodies get too much sleep, we end up waking feeling like we’re more tired than when we fell asleep.
So, if you let the lazy warmth of the holidays take over, you could end up getting too much sleep many days and wonder why you feel more tired after a full nights sleep rather than rested.
Make interesting (and frequent) plans
Remember that whole thing about staying in motion? There are little ways like we talked about earlier but there’s also a bigger way to do that effectively as well. One of the best ways to keep yourself productive and energized is to get active with friends and loved ones more often outside of the holidays (especially after).
After the holidays is really when the excitement winds down. But you’re left with most of the Winter still ahead of you and little to look forward to but your same old routine.
To combat that, think of some new things you can do with friends and family over the rest of your Winter and always keep something to look forward to this or next week that will help you liven the Winter dredge up and keep you moving.
You could visit the snow if you’re from a warm climate, go hiking, attend a concert, or even a simple luncheon and some stimulating conversation with an old friend can help energize you for days.