It’s that time of year when it’s getting a little CHILLY! Our early summer wake up routine has likely been replaced with the need for comfort, warmth and perhaps just 5 more minutes of sleep (which turns into hitting the snooze button a dozen times). We are getting less hours of sunlight and naturally the body is going into relax mode earlier of an evening. Our motivation levels may begin to decrease and we may find it challenging to stay productive. We may struggle to maintain an exercise routine and healthy eating plan and to complete important tasks and projects. It seems much more enticing to stay in bed or snuggle up in front of the TV. We begin to waste precious time and energy and put off important goals. While the need for hibernation and comfort during winter is a natural body biorhythm and life cycle, how can we make the most of this time and stay inspired (and not hide in our cave like grizzly bears).
Adjust the heater timer to warm your home or bedroom before your morning alarm goes off. If the temperature outside the safety of your warm bed is as enjoyable as inside then the excuse is gone.
Remix your Alarm
Rather than your regular boring alarm; pick your favourite song to wake up to each morning. It doesn’t need to be your best dance floor anthem but something that lifts your mood and energy and creates a positive anchor in the brain.
Plan your day, week and month
Creating plans or a to-do list at the beginning of the day, week or month can help you feel more focused and motivated during the winter season. If you have lots of important tasks to accomplish and your lacking inspiration and motivation, you can also try using a daily action planner. When you can clearly see your important tasks written out in front of you, you create an intention and accountability and you will have less excuses for not doing what you set out to do. A good 4-5 hours of focused work is better than 8 hours staring blankly at a computer screen so set your intentions, get focused and get into action.
Embrace the cold
Last week we wrote about mindfulness and mindful walking, winter is a wonderful time to fine-tune your mindfulness practice. Taking a mindful walk in the coolness of winter can be refreshing and invigorating. Take a brisk walk and rather than focusing on being cold, take the time to focus on things like the steam that comes off your breath and the feeling of warmth that is created in your body as your heart rate begins to increase. The coolness in the air should give you a greater sense of alertness and aliveness and can be a great remedy for creating clarity and lifting brain fog. Winter walking creates vitality and can help you get your spring back in your step.
A Cup of Tea is all you need
To help curb comfort eating and to create warmth in the body, introduce herbal teas to your daily ritual. Warming teas like ginger and lemon, chai or peppermint are great for not only creating a warming effect but are excellent for a little boost of energy. You can also try adding Cayenne Pepper to your Lemon & Ginger tea as it’s a great source of Vitamin A & E, boosts metabolism and helps to prevent and fight those yucky winter cold and flu bugs.
Make it count
If you are going to stay in bed a little longer each morning or snuggle up earlier at night then using that time to do something productive is a great idea. You could try a 10-minute meditation in the morning, use the time to bring awareness and warmth to each part of your body and prepare your mind and set your intentions for the day. At night you could snuggle up and write your plan for the next day or if you use something like a journal, you can write your thoughts for the day that has been. Winter is also a fantastic time for self education- find a great book to read, or an online course to keep your mind sharp while you snuggle under your blanket.
Written by Roy McDonald
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