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Ten Tips to Stay Positive During the Winter Months
December 1, 2021

Ten Tips to stay Positive during the Winter Months

Along with the snowflakes, winter can bring about Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) due to less hours of daylight, colder temperatures and spending less time outdoors and with others. Prior to retirement, we remember all too well the days when the sun set at 4:30 and our commutes home from work were in the dark. Now, during retirement, it can often be even harder to cope with, especially without the distraction of work. The good news is that there are things you can do immediately to combat the symptoms of S.A.D. and tips to stay positive during the winter months. We’ve come up with a list of 10 tips to help you beat the winter doldrums:

  1. GRATITUDE: Start practicing daily gratitude. Be a little more grateful for the smaller things in your life. A roof over your head, running water, three meals or good health. They often seem small, but they really are important. If you start to practice a more grateful life, it can help you to maintain positivity.
  2. VITAMIN D – We take a ton of vitamin D and D3. It’s good for your immune system as it builds up a lot of antibodies. Did you know that 41% of the U.S. Population is vitamin D insufficient? Taking a supplement or getting outside throughout the daytime hours every day will help build this important vitamin back up to where it needs to be. Talk with your doctor before taking any supplements and about what a healthy range is for you.
  3. EXERCISE MORE – No excuses! It’s dark out, I’m tired, It’s cold… Take those reasons off your list. Get outside and move your body, you will feel better for doing it.
  4. USE POSITIVE WORDS – When someone asks how you are, use positive words to describe how you are feeling. A very good friend of ours, who has also been a client, chooses to respond to “How are you,” by saying “I am exceptional by choice” or “I am extraordinary by choice.” She always goes above and beyond, which trains her mental attitude and her mental internal talk. Try it, you will be amazed at what a difference it can make in the conversation and over the long term how you generally feel.
  5. SPEND MORE TIME COOKING – There’s research around this! You have the ability to spend more time in your kitchen during the winter hours. Use this time for cooking healthy meals, trying new recipes, or even inviting folks in for a dinner club.
  6. GET OUTSIDE – Schedule your day so you can get outside into natural life. While the days are shorter and the mornings and evenings are dark, there is daylight out there and available for you to enjoy. Schedule a morning or mid-morning cup of coffee time to step outside. Maybe the end of the day is better for your schedule but make sure at three o’clock, before it starts getting too get dark, that you go outside. Just 10-15 minutes a day can make a big difference and naturally recharge your Vitamin D. I built in my outdoor time to catch the sunrise and the sunset, now a favorite part of my daily routine.
  7. STAY BUSY – Keeping busy is important to staying positive and engaged in life. Anchor some things on your calendar; volunteering, learning a new indoor hobby or taking your outdoor hobby, like golf, and finding an indoor place where you can exercise and really grow and develop in that hobby. Join a book club, volunteer at a local non-profit organization, tackle a home renovation project. Plan ahead so that you know each week during the winter months has something on the calendar that you can look forward to.
  8. PLAY MUSIC – Choose Music vs. TV. We have Sonos speakers in every single room of our house. We play music all day long throughout the house. As you walk around, there’s this level of music in every single room that just makes you feel good. Studies have shown that listening to music is proven to improve your short-term disposition. And guess what? The music may inspire you to get moving with some dancing or exercise!
  9. SOCIALIZE – Get out. Be with people. Don’t hibernate, you are not a bear! Find ways to engage with people, invite people in and seek out opportunities to connect with friends or people in your community. Find things to do and get out to socialize.
  10. EMBRACE IT – This is temporary, sometimes just embracing the winter months and the knowledge that it will pass in just a few months is helpful in not getting stuck in a rut.

Of course, when all else fails you can always plan a trip to someplace with warm weather, blue skies and slightly longer days. That always can help break up a winter rut and improve your outlook!