Winter is creeping up on us in New York state. Snow has been falling regularly and the temperature is steadily dropping into the single digits. With the cold creeping in, I find it harder to get myself outside and easier to eat junk foods. Here are some tips to help you get out of the cold weather funk and into a better routine.
- Join a gym or do in-home exercises: We have a treadmill which means that even when it’s snowing and entirely too cold/icy for me to enjoy long bouts of fresh air, I can still get cardio in. I enjoy the pre-programmed incline exercises on my treadmill that mimic hiking. If you don’t have a treadmill, you can do any home exercises. Now is a great time to start an exercise program if that’s your thing or start your own routine. Jump-roping is a great exercise if you have some safe open space in your home – the exercises don’t take a lot of room, the equipment is easy to store, and it’s fun! You can also try out ab exercises such as bicycle crunches, sit-ups, and planks.
- Take the stairs: Instead of using the elevator at work every day, walk the stairs. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s a great habit to get into. Also, try parking farther away from the store you are shopping at so you have to walk further. Just please make sure the area is well lit and you are safe first.
- Swap out your comfort food favorites: The winter months always have me craving warm comfort foods. Instead of mashed potatoes loaded with butter, try a baked sweet potato with salsa. Try a vegan chili recipe or vegetable soup for a healthy meal. Swap out that hot chocolate for an herbal tea. Making healthy choices during the holiday season will leave you feeling less bloated and guilt-free.
- Get out of the house: I often find myself cooped in the house when its freezing cold outside which can increase my anxiety and make any bout of seasonal depression worse. Sometimes I have to just force myself to get out of the house, no matter how much I want to stay indoors. Even if you are just going to the store to pick up a carton of almond milk, get out of the house every day.
- Drink a lot of water: Even though you aren’t sitting in the summer heat, you still need to hydrate! Make sure to drink plenty of water. I am horrible at this. When I am home, I will go until the afternoon without drinking any water. I just completely forget to drink water when I am at home. It’s a work in progress. So don’t be like me…drink plenty of H2O.
- Indulge yourself: It’s okay to indulge in your guilty pleasures at times. Does the holiday season get you in the mood for baking? Try out a new recipe! There are so many awesome recipes available online that are vegan, delicious, and easy! I recently pinned the recipe for the “cranberry blueberry crisp” that I made for Thanksgiving. It was super delicious and easy enough for me to figure out (which is really saying something). Check out the recipe on my “Vegan Baking” board at Love Always Elizabeth on Pinterest.
- Do what you love: I have crocheted since I was about thirteen years old and every winter I have the urge to start creating new items. I’ve already crocheted several scarves, but I hope to do DIY projects this year too. Now is the time to get your craft on and find your creative outlet.
- Reset for the upcoming year: With the year winding down, now is the time to evaluate how the past months have gone and to reset for the upcoming year. What goals would you like to make for next year? What would you like to change or do differently in the upcoming months? Now is the time to evaluate these things (such as time management) and spend time setting goals for the future.
Winter is such a beautiful time of the year. It’s full of family time, holidays, amazing food, and so many other memories to cherish. Don’t let the cold weather blues bring you down this year. Seasonal depression is real and if it’s something that you experience, it may be time to talk to your doctor about possible solutions (such as vitamin D supplements) if applicable.
Take care of your physical and mental wellness.