As we dive deeper into the dark abyss that is the winter in Upstate New York, we are reminded by every skin shattering -30 degree gust of wind that mother nature wants nothing to do with us. Mother Nature wants us to suffer indoors in a world where we are far away from rays of sunshine and chirping birds.
Yes, there are some people who love winter: the skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers of the world. Winter photographers jump at the chance to capture that icicle off the pine tree shot all of us have seen a thousand times. But guess what? I’m not one of those people. Never was.
If you feel like your energy has been surgically removed from your soul, and your motivation suddenly transformed from Go to NO, then you’ve got to get on board with these tips. Winter is tough for a lot of us; it’s the raw reality and it’s something we need to deal with. I am here to tell you I struggle with what many refer to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which I like to refer to as, “ a natural reaction to shitty weather.”
Sometimes the blah, as we’ll call it, gets the best of me. As it will you, but remember, the fight with blah is not a battle, but a war. A war in many different locations and situations, the blah can show up whenever. You certainly will fall victim to countless L’s to the blah during these long, cruel winter months, but its about tallying up the small victories to EQ, or sometimes even surpass those L’s.
There ARE things you can do to beat the blah, here’s what initially comes to mind.
1. Acknowledge that this kinda sucks, but be cool with it
Don’t try and ignore the blah, its unignorable. No matter how many hours you spend re-watching The Office and eating takeout, you will eventually will have that moment of clarity where you still kind of feel like shit. Once you acknowledge this is the situation and it’s not going away any time soon, you can move on to the next steps.
You need to start seeing the blah as a solvable problem as opposed to an unfortunate circumstance. Conquering the blah needs to be on your dreaded to-do list right next to groceries and work emails, it’s simply some business you need to handle. So how are you going to do it?
This is my go-to. I’d post some science stats about endorphins, but this isn’t a psychology class so I’ll just say: the more you move the better you feel. MOVE! Some call it cardio, but whatever it means for you, work some active movement into your daily routine as much as possible, because it most definitely will be of your blah’s benefit.
3. Don’t stay on the plateau
Maybe you spend 30 minutes on the elliptical and feel great, that’s awesome. But you can’t stay in your comfort zone during a brutal winter, you need to push harder for that mental reward. Some of us would call a mundane, daily-routine workout, maintaining or plateauing, and that’s a no-no.
Whether its weights, martial arts, isometrics, hot yoga, start documenting where you’re at and set a goal to level up. It doesn’t even have to be physical activity –it could be committing yourself to some sort of activity like journaling, cooking, reading or whatever it is that gives you peace of mind and helps pass the time. You want to come out on top at the end of winter feeling like you’ve accomplished something.
4. Eat smart and don’t fall victim to the boredom eating winter blues
This isn’t a new Atkins book, it’s just a reminder, eat less shit, eat cleaner food. Less breads, more vegetables and make smart choices before you just dive into the hot chocolate or whatever comfort food you have around the house in the winter. If there’s a storm coming, don’t head immediately to the boxed and canned foods in our cabinet, but prepare in advance and make sure you have plenty of fresh ingredients to cook with when you’re home bound.
5. Blah-proof your social media feeds
Did you wake up and see something on your timeline that injected you with bad vibes? Block, delete, unfollow, etc. That simple. When the weather gets you down, you don’t need any more negativity in your life about how much it sucks or all of the other shitty news we see online these days. Try and follow motivational accounts or people in the community or celeb-world that you admire and aspire to be more like. They’ll fill your feed with smiles and even more motivation and have a worthwhile day, even if you’re bundled up and questioning your fashion game.
Here are some I recommend:
CT Fletcher: @c.t.ali.fletcher
You want a guy who doesn’t give a fuck how sad you are and is solely there to push you to your physical and mental limits? Follow that man.
Jeannette Ogden: @shutthekaleup
A down to earth positive blogger who can help you pick up some clean eating habits, chill vibes, and simply someone who can inspire you to do better.
Aubrey Marcus: @AubreyMarcus
Founder of ONNIT, highly intellectual guy whose brand focuses on physical and mental optimization. Posts inspirational memes and videos, etc. You can be redirected to an extension of related accounts through ONNIT that are inspiring AF.
6. Don’t waste the “warm days”
It’s -13 degrees outside as I write this, and you couldn’t pay me to venture into that death sentence. But, it’s going to “warm up” so don’t waste those days where you can actually walk outside and breathe, ESPECIALLY if the sun is out. Find an excuse to be exposed to the elements for at least 10 minutes simply for that Vitamin D.
This is my message to you, my fellow blah victims: actively seek things within your power you can do to combat your blah. Go research, and start empowering yourself enough to become the definitive factor of your happiness. Yes the blah sucks, trust me I know, but it will soon fade, trust that.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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