If you’re anyplace like I am, it’s cold, gray, and anything but tropical. This is the time of year when it’s really (really, really, really) hard to be an optimist. But in my perpetual quest to see the bright side, I’ve thought of a dozen ways to enJOY the moment despite the weather, the winter, and the weariness of January.
1. Quit believing everything you think. Your mind is telling you that it’s too cold, it’s not sunny enough, you need to go on a diet, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s human nature to focus on the negative. How many negative thoughts are running amuck in your mind? The easiest way to stop them from multiplying like rabbits is to be aware of how much negativity you’re manufacturing. Wouldn’t you rather manufacture something else?
2. Focus on comfort. Do you have a favorite pair of slippers? a cozy pair of socks? a sweater that you love to wear when it’s cold? Now is the time to grab it. Wrap yourself up in feel good fabrics and favorites.
3. Be kind to yourself. This isn’t the time of year to beat yourself up about all that you’re not doing. Give yourself a break this month and give yourself permission to take it easy after a long day. Get the essentials done … and the rest can wait.
4. Music, music, music. Find that song that makes you want to move. A great pair of headphones and 3 minutes and you can totally turn your mood around.
5. Stay away from energy drains. Now is not the time to call up that friend who always has the world’s worst, saddest, or depressing story to tell. Surround yourself with others who are trying to see the bright side during these dark days.
6. Mix it up. Try doing something out of order or unusual. Breakfast for dinner, a movie on a weeknight, burgers, corn on the cob and baked beans for an indoor cook “out.” The element of surprise will bring a smile to faces around you.
7. Color. Paper plates with a new design, a coral shirt that you usually reserve for spring … how can you use some color to brighten up your days?
8. Inspiration. Take a quick trip around the internet for quotes, music, and videos that inspire you. Now is the time to give yourself a few extra minutes to soak in something that resonates with you. I always take a look around TED talks this time of year.
9. Go to the Library. It’s free, easy, and has a world of whatever you want awaiting. Peruse the travel books, especially the ones with pictures. It will give you the motivation to keep working so you can take a great vacation in the summer.
10. Find the Funny. Nothing gets the endorphins flowing like a good laugh. Have you checked out Awkward Family Photos yet? What a brilliant idea. And don’t miss the Awkward Family Stories – you can get to them from the home page. Hys-ter-i-cal.
11. Start a Project. If you’re not the type to sit still and wait winter out, maybe a good project will lift your mood. Project Life is a great place to get started.
12. Master a Mantra. When all else fails, have a go to phrase. Mine is currently “Spring is on the way.” Just thinking about all of the things that are happening already in preparation for Spring brings me hope. And that’s a big Hooray!
Read It: If you have a favorite book, now might be the time to dig in and re-read it. A great read can lift your spirits!
Do It: Explore some of the links listed above and share them with some friends. Everyone appreciates being the recipient of a nice email.
Think It: “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Victor Hugo