We’ll admit it: January can get us down. While the New Year always rings in a fresh start with hope and excitement, January’s weeks (and coming months…) of gray skies, plummeting temperatures, and 4pm sunsets can become mentally and emotionally taxing. But each year, the sunshine and springtime always come, and in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to stay upbeat and positive during the gloomier months.
Create a daily exercise routine
Everyone knows that exercise creates endorphins, but it’s also just good for the soul to have a positive accomplishment that you can be proud of at the end of every day. If you love routine, stick with the same practice daily. If you want to mix it up, assign a different activity for each day of the week! Go for a long walk on Monday, hit a class at The Body Lab on Tuesday, take a rest day on Wednesday, go skiing on Thursday – you catch our drift.
Don’t get hung up on resolutions
While it’s great to set intentions and goals for the new year, make sure you’re treating yourself with grace and patience in the process of achieving them. It’s easy to feel discouraged if you break or bend your resolution earlier than you’d hoped, but remember that habit-building and goal-achieving take time. Take the pressure off of resolutions and pat yourself on the back for any progress you make – with persistence, baby steps can become miles. The stress of a ‘new year, new you’ can make a resolution-break feel end-all-be-all, but each day is a fresh start. If today wasn’t your day, there’s always tomorrow. Read this recent New York Times article to learn more!
Find things to look forward to
Make plans that give you something to look forward to, whether it’s a weekend ski trip, spring break in Florida, or just a girls’ night in next Saturday. Make time for friends and family, plan a trip, join a book club – whatever makes you happy and gives you the motivation you need to push through the gloomy days.
Embrace the hygge lifestyle
“Hygge” is a cozy way of life popular in Danish culture. Defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being,” this is a great mindset to lean into if you feel yourself succumbing to the winter blues. Instead of grimacing at the freezing temps and cloudy weather, lean in to the glass-half-full approach: winter’s chill means many nights spent cozying up on the couch or near the fire, enjoying a charcuterie board and a book. When you put it that way, January doesn’t sound half bad! It’s okay if you want to jump into your pajamas at 4pm; accept winter for what it is and take this time to enjoy the simple, quiet pleasures this season brings.
At The Body Lab, we believe in self-care all year round, whatever that means for you. Make sure you’re prioritizing your physical and mental health this winter – and if you could use a boost of endorphins, stop by for a session today!