by Dr. Wendy O'Connor, Positive Psychologist + Life Strategist for Women

Beat Those Winter Blues!

Guys, I KNOW! The winter can feel so long. So dark, so depressing. I totally get it. And I'm here to share with you the things you can do that will take the edge off your bluesy season. Let's say good bye to those winter blues and hello to seizing the season! Too much? Lol.

Trick 1: Yep you guessed it, exercise. As if we haven't had this tip beaten into our heads enough times, I am here to remind you of yet another value of getting that workout in. When we exercise, our brain releases serotonin and other neurotransmitters that boost our mood. So when we can't rely on the sunshine to do it for us, exercises will help us along the way. And an added bonus? You'll feel a sense of accomplishment AND you will feel healthier. It's win-win-win.

Trick 2: Another way to boost serotonin is through light therapy. If you wake up to a sunny sky, bundle up and get outside to reap the most benefits of bright light, including the serotonin as well as advancing your circadian rhythms so you can sleep well at night. Otherwise try out a light box. Use it for about 20 minutes each day and notice the mood benefits. Here's one that is popular with my clients.

Trick 3: Plan some fun! Make a winter bucket list and plan activities, adventures, and dates with your self and others to enjoy the season more. Even consider a new hobby! Skiing, snowshoeing, or knitting perhaps? How about some jam-making? Having things to look forward to helps us cultivate more positive emotions, and focus on what we feel thankful for versus what we don't have (sun, warmth, longer days, etc.) PS I would LOVE to see your winter bucket list, screenshot it and tag me on social media! @drwendyoconnor

Trick 4: Meditate with Kindness. Daily meditation and acts of kindness have been shown to both reduce stress and improve happiness, so make a list of meaningful ways you can engage in acts of kindness. Add them to the calendar, and as you engage in each act watch your blues be replaced with the warm fuzzies. Meditation doesn't have to be intimidating, seriously. Download Insight Timer, push play on a 5 minute meditation and just relax. Let your mind be guided by the soothing voice that leads you through an exercise to ease your worries and sadness by creating space in your head.

Trick 5: Last but my favorite is hygge. The danish word for 'cozy mood' will get you through the winter blues in no time. A couple of years ago I read this book and loved its teachings about how to stop fighting against the winter, and to start enjoying it in a meaningful, cozy way. For example, pick winter recipes you might not cook in the summer months, buy yourself new cozy pajamas, adorn your home in furry blankets, snuggle by the fire with a good book, create winter music playlists to listen to while you cook, or buy a winter candle scent that you look forward to lighting as soon as you walk in the door. Winter can be enjoyed, if we are intentional about it.

Do you have a topic you would like to hear more about? Follow me and DM me with any and all topics you're in need of some inspiration with. I LOVE hearing from you guys, and I'm always just a message away. And while 1:1 coaching spots are sold out at the moment, I have an incredible women's group you don't want to miss out on. It is your time to take care of yourself and your needs, and design a life you love. And I'm here to show you the way. Sign up for your complimentary call here.