2019 is off to a cold start here in KY! The first snow falls of the season were this past week, and while it was gorgeous, it definitely signals hibernation season! It’s hard not to get a little bit of seasonal depression January-March, but I’ve turned to a lot of healthy habits that help me beat the frigid temps & 5:00 pm darkness. Read on for my advice on how to stay active, positive, & healthy this winter.
1. Schedule ME Time: I always feel like during the holidays, our schedules can be so jam packed that we lose sight of making ourselves a priority. Then we head into the dreary months & it’s easy to keep down that path. Set a time at least once a week, to take a time out from daily life & do something that makes you happy. It could be scrapbooking, reading, yoga, or even just a weekly phone call with a long distance friend to catch up on life. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing– make it a priority! This will help your mind stay sane during winter.
2. Write Out Your Thoughts: Isn’t it amazing how powerful sleep is? I am 100% a completely different person when I get a good night sleep. There use to be plenty of nights where I had insomnia because I simply couldn’t turn off my mind. Then I would find myself less productive the next day because my body was so tired, it couldn’t even coordinate with my mind (anyone else?). So I started leaving a pad & pen on my nightstand. Once I get in bed, if my mind keeps listing off things for me to remember to get done, or simple thoughts or worries, I grab the notepad and write it all out. I’m talking everything– grocery items I just remembered I needed, work related notes, ideas for my daughter’s birthday party, a concept I want to blog about, or a name I heard that could be cute for a future pet (I know I’m nuts)! Whatever thoughts, worries, excitements, or lists you have on your mind, put them on paper before bed & I promise you, you’ll sleep better & be more proactive the next morning.
3. Plan Out Your Meals: Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they tend to eat out more in the summer & eat at home more in the winter? I got myself into a really good routine where I do my grocery shopping on Sunday or Monday, and I plan out lunch & dinners for the week. I do not “meal prep” but I do get all the ingredients for what I’ll make throughout the week. I have my fridge stocked with protein, veggies, and fruits and I commit to eating them because I’ve already spent the money on them. Not only does it keep me from heading out in the cold to spend money at Chipotle, but it gets me eating healthy, keeps my immune system up, & just makes me feel good! If you find yourself constantly heading out to eat, try this for a week and see how much better you feel + money you save. Plus, it’s fun to experiment with new recipes while you’re cooped up inside.
4. Organize: I am one of those organized obsessed weirdos so I love to organize all year around, BUT I must say the winter is the best time to organize! If you’re not one to organize or always feel like you don’t have the time, NOW is the time. Organize something you’ve been wanting to but haven’t made time for. Is it organizing your closet and getting rid of old items? Is it organizing your desk at work? Is it organizing your pantry that is scattered with cans & food boxes? Start small and try to organize at least one or two things this month. It makes you feel more efficient & also passes the time you spend indoors during the cold season!
5. Pamper Yourself: Find time to pamper yourself. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip to the spa or an expensive facial. For me it’s at-home masks & bubble baths. Something simple that lets you unwind at the end of the day & take care of your body. I always love trying new beauty products (I have linked some of my favorites below), and I tend to lean towards the ones for skin in the winter months. It is so important to take care of your body & even just trying a new face moisturizer or deep conditioner can give your confidence a boost at a time when it’s common to feel dull from head to toe.
6. Put Your Goals on Paper: This one sounds cliche but I find it so important to actually write out your goals on paper & stick it where you can see it each morning. When one year ends & another begins, the first thing I do is switch over to a new calendar planner & in the front section I write out my goals for the year. Then I break down my goals for each month. The winter months can leave you feeling lazy, lonely, or maybe even lost. Sitting down and writing out your goals for the future months can really spark a fire inside you. I find it very therapeutic and it motivates me to look ahead and get excited about what is to come, & what I want to achieve. So start planning today, what you want to accomplish this spring or summer!
7. Change 1 Bad Habit/Try Something New: Habits…we all have them! I have plenty of habits that I constantly tell myself I’ll change, but coincidentally don’t get around to it. I have a bad habit of starting a book & diving five chapters in, and then not making time to finish it. I also said I was going to try this new kickboxing class months ago, and have yet to sign up! Whether it’s wanting to stop hitting the snooze button & wake up an hour earlier, picking up a new hobby, decorating a room differently, or making more time for your spirituality each day, start it now when you’re mainly indoors! It can keep you positive, occupied, & feel very rewarding.
8. Stay Active: I recently did a Q&A on my instastory, asking you all what content you wanted to see from me in 2019. An overwhelming amount of you said you wanted to hear more about my fitness routine… ya’ll know how to make a girl feel good. I will be doing a full fitness post here soon, but right now I want to focus on the importance of being active in the winter. It’s not just good for your body, but it’s insanely good for your mind. All it takes is 20 minutes a day of being active. I get that not everyone can make it to the gym religiously, especially when it’s cold out and all you want to do is cuddle up on the couch– I’m one of those people. But there are so many great ways to keep active & in shape at home too! I use the Tone It Up app religiously. If you haven’t heard of it before, Tone It Up is an awesome program created for women who love fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. The app is free to download and it comes with hundreds of on demand exercise classes & daily moves, that you can do right in your living room. I try to use this app everyday & sneak in a 20 minute workout while Vivie naps, or plays. If you’re not in to strength or cardio, they also have yoga videos. Not only will you break a sweat & feel sore after these workouts, but you’ll also notice an increase in mood (hello endorphins) & sleep!
Photography by Katie Marie Photographie
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