Spring may be just around the corner, but for most of us, these last few weeks of winter are the hardest time of the year. The further north you are, the less sun you have most likely seen over the last few months, while the cold, wet, and snowy weather plus the abundance of viruses and infections making the rounds during winter means this is the time of the year where we feel truly run down and at our lowest ebb.
You may experience a general lack of energy coupled with feelings of apathy and depression, making it very difficult to motivate yourself to do anything worthwhile. Studies have shown that people are generally less productive during winter, regardless of which job they do.
But fear not. There are a few ways you can get that spring feeling a bit earlier and bolster your resistance to the final parts of the cold season.
1) Get out of the house
Our natural tendency is to go into a sort of hibernation during winter, especially the final few months. Plans to get more exercise, live healthier and explore new places are put on hold until spring, leaving many people in a what amounts to suspended animation. The key is to force yourself to go and do stuff in nature. One of the great survival techniques you’ll find amongst people who live in really cold areas is the fact that they carry on with their daily lives as normal despite the weather. Once you get some momentum going it becomes easier, we promise.
2) Take up a winter hobby
There are many things that work best in really cold weather so why not start doing some of them to pass the time. Try ice skating or skiing or, if you’re not the physical type, try your hand at ice sculpture. The key is to start being active. Once your body gets over its initial resistance you’ll be surprised at how invigorating and energizing cold-weather activities can be.
3) Reconnect with your inner child
An evening spent around the dinner table with friends or family playing board games or building an intricate puzzle is a great bonding experience and the type of slow pleasure we often overlook as adults. Put away the digital devices and take the time to really connect with others. Happy people have been proven to have more energy and this type of close, intimate bonding is a true happiness boost
4) Get some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D helps boost your immune system, fights depression and even helps with weight loss. The lack of this key vitamin is closely tied to the prevalence of Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in people who live in places that have a serious shortage of sunlight during the winter. While Vitamin D occurs naturally some bards, it is very hard to get enough of it purely through diet. We suggest investing in some good Vitamin D supplements and taking them throughout autumn and winter.