With the days of meeting friends on a patio, practicing yoga in the parks, or dipping in the lakes long gone, it’s easy to understand why so many people experience “winter blues”. The relentless, bone-chilling cold holds us captive indoors. We wake up before the sun, and it’s dark again before supper. But the darkness doesn’t have to creep into our lives and affect how we feel.
Even in the colder months, we can keep our inner lights shining bright and choose happiness. Like most anything, our happiness takes commitment, time, effort, and practice. It may not be easy, but we are our best investment, and nourishing our spirits has a boundless ROI. When nurturing the spirit and fending off the winter blues, making daily choices to support our happiness and cultivate a positive mindset is essential.
Use Positive Self-talk and “I am” Statements and Affirmations
Our inner narrative affects who we are and how we feel. Using empowering self-talk and thinking positively about ourselves naturally fosters a sunnier disposition and a positive outlook on life. It also boosts confidence and an overall sense of well-being. In addition, “I am” statements can dictate how we feel, so consider, “I am happy” or “I am worthy of happiness.”
Lastly, affirmations can promote positive thinking and act as any self-fulfilling prophecy, meaning when we believe something about ourselves, we likely act in ways corresponding to this belief. So consider, “I honor my spirit,” “I will dare to be present,” or “I am stronger than my excuses.”
Random Acts of Kindness
Improving someone else’s day can be one of the best ways to improve our mood and live better. Try texting a note of gratitude to a friend, complimenting a coworker, smiling at a stranger, or making a donation.
Exercise releases dopamine and endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good chemicals, boosting your mood, motivation, focus, and energy levels. Consider bundling up and exercising outdoors to bask in the benefits of the crisp fresh air and sunshine.
Maintain Healthy Eating
We are so lucky to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables even when our local farms freeze over. Continuing to eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients will improve mood and increase energy. Conversely, calorically rich comfort foods or processed foods may leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and even more vulnerable to seasonal illnesses.
We all have the same finite 24 hours in a day. We spend many of those hours doing things we have to do… or “get” to do. Either way, those things must get done to meet our basic needs. However, be sure to dedicate some time daily to whatever ignites your soul and makes you joyful.
Limit Screen Time
More time indoors often leads to increased screen time and scrolling. Be mindful of the media you consume and how it affects your mood. Unfriend or unfollow any social media accounts bringing you down or causing you to experience negative emotions.
Express Gratitude When we express gratitude for what we have, it profoundly affects our happiness. Expressing gratitude rewires the brain to manufacture positive emotions, optimism, joy, and empathy. In addition, if we perceive our current life to be extraordinary, we will believe our future life’s greater potential to be extraordinary.
Gratitude doesn’t just make us happier; it is happiness in and of itself. And lastly,
Keep the Promises You Make to Yourself!
Danielle Venticinque is a health and wellness guru, an author and mompreneur CEO. Amid the 2020 pandemic she founded Thrive Betterments (ThriveBetterments.com) personal growth jewelry and products. Designed to empower women, her jewelry line establishes 6 daily habits of prosperity and wellness focusing on positive mindset and goal attainment. The betterment bracelets are a stylish, wearable progress report cultivating accountability and self-management. Danielle thrives in Saint Paul, MN.