how to fight the winter blues

It’s a freezing cold, rainy day as I type this, and I’m wishing for summer more than ever. I’m definitely a warm weather girl, and winter hits me hard every year. I think I overlooked the cold when I was home for winter break, because it was the holidays and cozy and not ~too~ cold yet. But being back at school for spring semester, the past few weeks have been very cold and gloomy and I’ve been very uninspired. I was so motivated when I wrote out my 2023 goals, and the first few weeks of January I felt like I was on my grind. But the past few weeks I’ve definitely found myself slipping and feeling really lazy, and I think it has a lot to do with the weather. I really want to pull myself out of this little rut and re-motivate myself, and that really comes down to discipline and not letting the weather affect me so much! Today’s post is a roundup of things I do/am trying to do this winter to stay inspired and happy in the cold winter months.

ESTABLISH MORNING + NIGHT ROUTINES // This is something I really haven’t been the best at so far this semester, because I start classes at different times each day. I feel my best when I have a consistent morning routine, and it sets the tone for my entire day. Even if I have to wake up early, I find that I never regret it and love having time to myself in the morning. My ideal morning routine is: journal, gym, shower/get ready, do my devotion, and head to class. Once I find a morning routine that works for me I’ll definitely do a post on it! I’ve been pretty good about a night routine, and I try to be in bed early to have time to read. I love to do my skincare, watch an episode of a show while I journal, plan my day for tomorrow, and read until I fall asleep.

HAVE PLANS WITH FRIENDS // Some weeks can feel so monotonous with the usual cycle of workout, classes, meetings, dinner, and bed. Texting friends at the start of each week to make plans gives me something to look forward to, and being social always gets me out of a rut! I love to plan workout classes with people, get lunch/coffee on campus between classes, go on walks (if it’s warm enough), make dinner together, or pick a show to watch! My friend Rebekah and I have been hanging out a few times a week to watch a show together and it’s so fun to look forward to chilling/unwinding at the end of the night.

ROMANTICIZE THE LITTLE THINGS // While the cold, gloomy weather can make everything feel boring, it helps me to romanticize my daily habits and make them feel more fun. Have lots of homework? Treat myself to coffee and work from a cute coffee shop. Rainy day? Get cozy and read in bed. Working out? Blast a pump-up playlist and get in a hype mindset. Extra time in the morning? Light a candle, make some tea/coffee, and have a long devotion or journaling time. Need to study? Find a chill playlist to have on in the background (I love the Harry Potter soundtrack). It’s all about making the little things more exciting!

TRY NEW WORKOUTS // I definitely get in a cycle of doing the same workout every day: usually a 3-4 mile run and a quick pilates workout. While I do love running, recently I’ve been wanting to switch up my weekly workout schedule and try something new. My campus gym offers free classes, so I want to go to spin more often, maybe try a barre/pilates class, and get more into weights. I think trying new workouts helps you break out of a rut and get more inspired to exercise, and it’s a fun thing to do with friends! Working out helps with the winter blues in general, because I tend to just want to stay inside, bundled up. I always feel better after I exercise!

GET OUTSIDE FOR WALKS // For me, this is only if it’s a warmer day, but I’m definitely a baby about the cold. If it’s sunny and I can bundle up, I love to get outside for a walk! I’ll usually call my parents or listen to a podcast/audiobook, and it feels so good to get some fresh air. I love walking around campus on a sunny day, or parking in town and walking around the surrounding neighborhoods.

TRY SOMETHING NEW/SWITCH IT UP // This kind of goes along with my “romanticizing things” point, but I think it’s important to switch things up from your usual routine. This could be a new workout class, a new recipe, a new study spot, a new coffee order, hanging out with a new friend, etc. I need to remind myself to try new things, because as much as I love routine and consistency, I can start to feel in a rut when I never do anything new.

EAT MORE SMOOTHIES + SALADS // Recently, I feel like I’ve barely eaten any fruits or veggies, and I miss all the fresh, healthy foods. I haven’t really taken the time to make myself a healthy breakfast before class, which I definitely want to be better at. I love using my Nutribullet for a quick smoothie or making a loaded salad with lots of toppings. They have so many nutrients and cooking can be a great way to unwind and be off my phone at the end of the day. Note to myself to do this more often!

Writing these points out is definitely getting me inspired to make some changes to my life and not let the winter gloom get me down. I think setting goals and being motivated is great, but I need to learn to not rely on inspiration and instead stay disciplined. I know these things will help me feel better and become my best self. So even if I don’t feel like doing them, staying consistent will make a big difference!

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