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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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!
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!