|Last Valentine's Day, which we spent shoveling snow for a friend and sledding. Talk about energizing!|
I don't know about you, but this is the time of year where I have to fight not to become couch potato girl. It's gross, it's been cold for far too long, and there's either been too much or not enough snow. Plus the holidays are over, the days don't seem to be getting any longer anytime soon and most people are starting to kick their New Year's Resolutions to the curb. It's no wonder January is considered by the large majority to be the most depressing month of the year.
I'm desperately looking for ways to stop myself from going into hibernation. Here are 27 things I am doing to try to stay energized and uplifted while I wait for spring. 52 days, just in case you were wondering.
- Stick with it. Whatever your resolution was, stick to it and find a small way to reward yourself for doing so.
- Plan your garden and look into ordering seeds. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but it also means you won't miss starting plants you want to have this year.
- Be careful about how to talk to yourself. If people ask how you are and your go to response is, "I'm tired," then that's how you're going to feel.
- Unplug. Find something to do with your time that isn't staring at a screen.
- Fit a little fun into every day. Watch a silly Youtube video, dance, or meet up with a friend.
- Have a ritual at the end of the night that leaves you feeling peaceful. There is a "no television in the bedroom" rule at my house. It can interrupt your sleeps cycle and you're more likely to stay up longer. At the end of the day, I write down 5 good things and then read until I fall asleep.
- Keep upbeat or relaxing music on, particularly on dreary days.
- If gardening doesn't sound like your cup of tea, or if you need more than that, start looking into outdoor events in the spring. Put a few on your calendar.
- On the rare occasion there is a nice day, get outside!
- Make sure you're eating a healthy and well balanced diet with lots of whole foods.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid toxic people. There are people that are so negative that its impossible to avoid being worn down by them. Stay far away. And if you can't then keep your interactions brief and find something super uplifting to do after. Also, don't be one of these people. Frankly, they suck.
- Make your worries silly. I started doing this a lot after I read about it in a magazine. Let's say you're worried because you're about to have a performance review at work. Take it to the extreme until it just becomes laughable. "I'm going to get a bad review." "I'm going to lose my job." "My family will have to leave our home and become a band of nomads and use leaves for toilet paper." Make it so crazy you find it funny.
- Reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones. "I have to go to a staff meeting after work," becomes, "I get to sit with people who have similar goals, and miss 5 o'clock traffic." This is one of my downfalls, but I'm working on it.
- Don't try to be constantly upbeat, that's exhausting. Instead allow yourself to be frustrated, but put a cap on it. Think, "I'm going to be mad for 10 more minutes, and then I'm going to distract myself with [insert fun activity here]."
- Write. It doesn't even have to be about anything, just let your thoughts flow onto paper for a fe minutes.
- Stay warm. There's a reason we refer to people being "frigid" or "giving a cold shoulder." We see cold as negative. If you are cold, find a way to warm up.
- Celebrate what makes you awesome.
- Surround yourself with a scent you love.
- Cook something you know you make well and share it with others. My grandmother telling me she enjoyed my soup last week made my day.
- Cross something, no matter how small, off your to-do list.
- Dress in bright colors. I don't know why but this always makes me feel better. Or just wear your favorite outfit.
- Commit a random act of kindness for someone else.
- Go on a fun date with your spouse or significant other. Or, if your single, spend time with your best friend.
- Eat something spicy. For some reason this gives me a little more pep in my step. I don't know if there's research to back it up, just that it helps me.
- Read or listen to a book. I started on a mission to read 100 books this year. I've finished five and am working on two more (one audio, one print). I never realized how much happier and uplifted reading made me until I stopped and then restarted doing it.
- Try something new. I don't care what it is, but do something that is totally unique to you in terms of experiences.
How are you fighting the January funk. Tell me about it!