Hey everyone! Would you believe it; we are well into November, and we only have six weeks left of 2019 – where on earth has all that time gone?
It’s the return of dark mornings, dark nights starting at 4pm and for most of us in the UK, a LOT of cold weather… all things which can have a negative effect on our overall health and wellbeing, which brings me on nicely to what I want to talk to you guys about this month; staying motivated in the winter months.
Trust me when I say that I get it, it’s so hard to wake up in the dark because it just isn’t natural to wake up then! More often than not my alarm will wake me up but I also wake up on my own with natural light so in the later months of the year, it’s a big adjustment period – that’s for sure. For me, during this time of year, I make a conscious effort to ensure I do things which help me to stay motivated and give me the buzz of energy I need for the day ahead, no matter what the weather is like.
I always joke that I’m a sun worshiper and even when there are just a few minutes of the sun shining in, I literally feel like I’m a battery being charged by its goodness; there really is nothing else like it. So when I wake up to dull skies and rain, of course it certainly isn’t as motivational and it makes perfect sense that so many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although I haven’t suffered with it personally, I can see how during these months it’s so tempting to want to curl into a ball and not do anything and I suppose activities just seem so much more of an effort, don’t they?
To stay motivated during these months I ensure I have a solid morning routine as for me, this is when the foundations for the day ahead are being laid. I try to stick to the same routine which also helps with the consistency of it all and I feel a lot more prepared for the day ahead when I have a firm routine. I make an effort to go over my gratitude list out loud within the first 5 minutes of waking up which stops me from scrolling through my phone or noticing the darkness outside during these months. I’ve said it before in different pieces but it bears repeating; going over what I’m grateful for each day really does help me to get into a good mindset as I’m not giving myself time to think about anything negative but rather taking time to remember everything that I have, how genuinely lucky I am – and it only takes me a few minutes too.
During the winter especially, I make more of an effort with my self-care as, like many others, I find it much easier to become run down during this season. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m busier or because of the time of year, or maybe it’s a bit of both.. can you relate to feeling more run down / tired during this time?
When I feel like this, I love taking hot bubble baths – I can’t tell you how much joy this gives me, especially when it’s dark and I light a few candles… see, there are a few benefits to these early dark evenings! I love to read too so I make time weekly to read at least something, be that a magazine, article, book or otherwise.
I love eating, and I mean LOVE eating more than my usual amount during the winter and going to the gym usually goes straight out of the window too if I’m honest; how’s that for some #RealTalk? Don’t get me wrong, I understand how beneficial exercise is to your overall wellbeing, especially mental health, but I tend to focus more on yoga and inner wellbeing during these months. Plus, doing yoga in my own home is just so damn easy and I don’t have to make the effort to get to the gym – it’s whatever works for you!
With food, I make an effort to eat foods which make me feel good even more so during this time of year because the cold weather especially leaves me craving healthy and nutritious foods, such as vegetables, fish, soups etc. Of course, it’s also the time to indulge in comfort food, something I do often and I allow myself to. I’ve never worried too much about what I eat, because from Monday – Friday I eat a very balanced and healthy diet, then on the weekend, I tend to splash out a little… it’s all about balance!
The final thing I do to stay extra motivated during the winter months is to make plans, maybe with family, friends, colleagues… anything! When I have things in the calendar coming up which I can look forward to, it really gives me that extra boost. It could literally be anything like going for coffee with a friend, going to the cinema, having a movie night with friends or family, etc. None of this needs to be expensive or fancy, it’s just nice to give yourself something to look towards to during the bleak months of the year.
When I have a solid morning routine, take extra care with looking after myself, eat well, do yoga and plan various activities during the weekend, it does help me greatly in feeling positive, despite the weather or time of year. Of course, I know all of this is personal preference, but I strongly recommend you consider doing even just one of these this season and I’m happy to give you guys links to resources too if needed! Just comment down below! 🙂
Until next month,