• Ashley Greeno

3 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues



Do you ever hit a "mid-January slump"? December is full of glitter and parties and seeing family that you may or may not love being around. Whether you think it's the most wonderful time of the year or not, it can be exhausting. Then you take a week to "recharge" (aka watch movies and eat ALL the leftover holiday treats until you forget what day it is) before you hit the ground running with new goals and dreams. Sound familiar?


The beginning of a new year can be exciting, but we tend to set unattainable expectations for ourselves, and if you're anything like me you might be hitting wall right about now. First of all why is it so. dang. cold and DARK all the time? And second,

who needs goals when you've got The Office and fleece lined sweat pants?


Lots of people struggle with the "winter blues", so I put together a list of tools I've been using when I'm having a hard time feeling motivated. PS I'm not a mental health professional, and I don't think this is a substitute for counseling and therapy at all. It's just a list of things that help me switch my mindset when I'm feeling rundown and purpose-less in the grey days of January. I hope it helps!


Community

This one feels SO much easier/ more natural for me when it's warm. People are out and about in the neighborhood, hosting BBQs and playing at the park. As an extreme extrovert who LOVES hanging out with people... my biggest tell is when I started

choosing my sweats and New Girl (for the 19th time) over going out or being with friends (consistently). Don't get me wrong, staying in and resting is not bad thing! But being with people that fill me up makes me feel 100% better.


Tip: Compromise by staying in and watching your favorite show WITH friends. Feeling fancy? Host a "watch party" for one of your favorite shows!


Creativity

I'm a creator through and through, but even if you don't think of yourself that way, we all need create! This time of year, my work has a tendency to start to feeling less inspired, or worse, I don't even feel motivated to make anything at all. If you're feeling like this, sometimes the BEST thing you can do is create something... anything! It doesn't have to be fancy. Try grabbing a pack of Crayola markers from the grocery store and look up lettering videos on youtube, or adult coloring pages. (This is my favorite coloring book, but beware. It's rated PG-13 for language. ha!)


Of course, I'm also partial to edible creations. ;) You can grab my free Cookie Decorating Guide for Beginners and learn how to decorate beautiful sugar cookies with royal icing... plus if you start practicing now, you'll be a pro in time to make Valentine cookies!


Tip: Invite a friend or two over to bake cookies TOGETHER. You'll be building community, practicing creativity, AND staying warm by the oven. Winning all around!


Activity

This one is by far the biggest challenge for me! When I'm feeling "blah" the very last thing I want to do is get out in the cold and go to the gym... you too? I've found that I never ever regret it when I actually DO it. And I don't mean it in a "New-Year-New-You-Check-Out-My-Hot-New-Bod" kind of way either haha. I just mean a short yoga video (check out Yoga with Adriene) on youtube, or a walk on the treadmill. When I look at moving my body as a mental health/ self care activity instead a weight loss goal or another thing I SHOULD be doing, it makes a huge difference!


Tip: Have you tried hot yoga? It's not the cheapest way to workout, but it's a really nice treat and can warm you up completely! Plus, yoga is such a personal activity so you don't have to keep up with anybody else.

There are so many ways to take care of yourself in the winter, but these 3 have made the biggest impact for me. What other tips do you have for beating the winter blues? I would love to hear from you!

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