Technically, our darkest days of winter are behind us. Although we are now gaining about two minutes of daylight each day, January is still dark for many people. The energy of the holidays is behind us and we move into survival mode, surviving the mundane dead of winter. Here are a few things you can do to make this time more bearable:
Get outside as often as possible, especially if it’s sunny. We need exposure to the sun, so do what you can. Maybe you work during daylight hours. Can you take a 15 minute break at some point during your day to get outside? Bundle up if you need to, but get out there.
Exercise. You have to move your body, it’s just part of being human. If you don’t, you will suffer grave consequences…literally. You will most likely shorten your life significantly by not moving. Combining sun exposure with exercise is ideal. If you can get outside to walk, hike, run, snowshoe, cross country or downhill ski…whatever works for where you are, you will treat your body and mind very well. You don’t have to go outside to exercise. Go to a class, participate in an online exercise program, use a DVD. You can even groove to the music for a half hour. Pick fun tunes and dance like no one’s watching. Find something you like that gets your heart rate going and do it (as long as it’s healthy and legal!). Of course, as all disclaimers say, make sure your doctor gives you the ok and be safe about what you are doing and aware of your own limits.
Take time to watch the sunrise or sunset as often as possible. Notice the fauna around you. Be aware of your outside environment and see the beauty even in this dark, seemingly dead, season. Noticing nature in action can lift our spirits. Being in tune with what is happening in the world around you can sometimes help you endure it.
Use this time to tackle inside tasks like organizing your kitchen junk drawer or going through those growing piles of paper. When the days get milder and longer, you are not going to want to be inside so do what you can now to free up outside time for later. Tax season is looming. You can start gathering all your documents so you have a jump on those who wait until the last minute. Organize your closet. As you accomplish these tasks you will be energized to do more and you’ll forget the dark days of winter!
Start creating your own list of things you can do to help you not just get through the dark days and nights of winter, but enjoy them!