Stay Happy & Positive in the Colder Months

I am definitely solar powered. When the sun is shining and the skies are blue I tend to have massive amounts of energy. As soon as the sun goes down or it’s a gloomy day all motivation disappears and I just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. Though winters in Los Angeles are pretty mild, we have our share of grey days and getting dark before 5pm is always a bummer, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to stay happy, motivated and having fun during those dreary months. 

1. Exercise
Getting your heart pumping can up those endorphins and make you feel oh-so-good. No need for a fancy gym membership or to even go outside if your weather is particularly bad. Get some good stretching done on your living room floor, do some jumping jacks, yoga, jog in place or get an exercise DVD. Just 10 minutes of activity can make you feel energized, cheerful and ready to take on your day.

Fellowship of the Vegetable Yoga

2. Listen to Upbeat Music
It seems a lot of people like to listen to sad music when they’re down, which just perpetuates the funk and really doesn’t make any sense.  Instead, put on some feel-good tunes and let the happy take over! I’ve been really digging The Mowglis recently for their positive, super cheery songs – you can’t help but smile while listening to them. Or maybe throw on some techno that gets you up off the couch and shakin’ your groove thang (getting those endorphins going again – bonus!).

Fellowship of the Vegetable Happy Music

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself
It’s easy to just bundle up with a blanket and a book when it’s cold out and forget about the world outside, and hey, sometimes that is the most awesome thing in the world, but spending too much time alone could also damper your mood. To stay joyful, get social! Invite some friends over for a potluck or movie night, get out for a happy hour drink or check out a new local band. Do what you can to surround yourself with friends and loved ones to keep up an optimistic attitude.

Fellowship of the Vegetable Winter Party

4. Animal Therapy
Nothing beats the unconditional love of your furkids. I could be having the worst day ever and my dogs seem to know and will do anything to make me smile. Willow will crawl up onto my chest and lay her cute little head right under my chin and Henry will act like a silly clown until I’m cracking up. Its a huge comfort and truly a spirit-lifting experience. Animals definitely have a therapeutic effect and if you don’t have one – what are you waiting for?! There are so many homeless cats, dogs and rabbits in shelters that need a loving home, go rescue one and soak up the love. Not in a position to be a guardian? Spend a couple days a month volunteering at a local shelter or rescue organization. You’ll get exposure to all that furry love with the added bonus of knowing that you’re doing a good deed.

Fellowship of the Vegetable Dog Love

5. Eat Healthy
Keeping your body nourished can help ward off the blues. It’s easy to reach for those not-so-healthy comfort foods (you know what I’m talking about: heavy sauces, fried food, warm desserts) when the chill factor sets in, but try not to over indulge. Eat lots of leafy greens, fruits, nuts and ancient grains and sip on green tea. These can regulate your blood-sugar level, lessen mood swings and boost feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain making for a happier you!

Fellowship of the Vegetable Healthy Food

Hope this helps and keeps you a happy camper this winter! I’d love to hear how you battle the winter time blues – tell me in the comments below!

 

15 thoughts on “Stay Happy & Positive in the Colder Months

  1. Cadry

    Exercise & cat cuddles are a huge part of my feel good plan! Like you said, animals seem to know when we’re down and how to keep us focused on the important things. They really have their priorities in order. The winter months are really hard on me, especially in a place that gets bitter cold. I’m pretty desperate for spring once it arrives.

    Reply
  2. Andrea

    All great ideas — especially the dog hugs and exercise. I have a exercise trampoline that I bounce around on. Also a ‘happy light’ for when the winter rains come and no sunlight seems to penetrate the gloom. I think a sweater like your would also help keep me cheerful — I’m smiling just looking at it!

    Reply
  3. GiGi

    animals, friends, and animals are on my happy list, along with a great hearty soup. It gets dark too early and foggy in Northern Cal. :( oh and exercise. You nailed it with great suggestions.

    Reply
  4. Mike

    6. Alcohol

    Just kidding…. maybe? These are all good suggestions… Also try to get a vitamin D supplement… Lots of studies show that the shorter days and sunlight impacts mood in the winter because less sun exposure equals less vitamin D your body is taking in…

    Upbeat music…. Hmmm so i should put away the Mazzy Star? Damn thats my go to music when feeling blue… hah

    Reply
    1. Kylie Bennett Post author

      Haha – definitely #6!! Vitamin D is an excellent suggestion as well.

      I love Mazzy Star too – but yeah, kind of a downer!

      Reply
  5. luminousvegans

    Aww I love this post with the added pictures of you demonstrating the tips! These are all great tips. I have trouble with the exercise one because I have a love/hate relationship with my YMCA gym. I love the way I feel after I go to the gym. I hate going to the gym. *shrugs* I should invest in some at-home stuff like a yoga mat and some weights.

    My favorite tip is the animal therapy. Hugging my pups lowers my stress levels immediately.

    Reply
  6. Angie

    This is a great post! I am a Southern CA gal to my core and although the rest of the country would laugh at what I consider cold, I do not handle the winter well and want to curl up on my couch with a blanket over my head for those few months.

    Reply
  7. Bubba

    My co-workers thought I was weird, mugging in the mirror with the thumbs up salute and the half-eaten apple. Maybe that implies #7. quit working for the man. That would cheer me up.

    Reply
  8. Pili

    I miss having puppy love! I do a lot more baking in the winter, but I really don’t tend to eat must of it, sooo ;)
    Loads of great advice, I’ll try to keep it all in mind!

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Sauce | The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

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