How To Stay Positive During The Winter

Well, here we go again!

Bring on winter.

If you aren’t a regular on the slopes or at the ice rink, the struggle to find something to get excited about during the winter can be challenging. You know that every time it snows, it’s now going to take you an extra 10-15 minutes to get dressed up and drive anywhere you want to go.

It’s been known that some people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and as a result need to work even harder to fight off the symptoms.

Depression, fatigue, difficulty thinking, sleeping in, and staying in bed are all ways that we struggle to stay motivated during the winter.

As I reflect back on some of the lessons I have learned and what you may be up against in the coming months, here are five ways to help you stay positive during COVID this winter.

Spend Time Outdoors

Last winter with the gyms being closed and in full-on lockdown, I knew that I had to do something to make sure I stayed both mentally and physically well.

To help create both a goal and accountability, I did the #75Hard Challenge.

One of the specific reasons I took on this challenge is because it requires you to do two workouts per day, and one must be outside. What this did for me was it forced me to get outside every single day, no matter how cold it was.

Not only did I get fresh air, it helped break up my day and it gave me a chance to be in nature where I often had poor cell phone reception, and created an opportunity to relax my mind and disconnect from the busy day.

Even if it’s just for a few minutes, when the winter blues set in, one of the most effective things you can do is get outside. You will feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and create a mental break in your day.

Make a Routine a Priority

In addition to forcing me to get outside, the #75Hard Challenge helped create a routine for me.

Every morning I:

  • Did a 45-minute workout
  • Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book
  • Ate the same healthy breakfast
  • Started the process of drinking 1 gallon of water per day

Every afternoon/evening I:

  • Got outside of my house for 45 minutes
  • Got to be early, because I knew I was following the same routine the next day

That routine gave me a foundation and accountability when we felt like we had none.

That routine helped me feel like I had some sense of control when everything in the world felt out of control.

The #75Hard Challenge and routines may sound difficult for you to do, but you can adjust to your level of difficulty and what you need.

If you take some time to establish a routine and get outside of the house, it can help you stay positive during the winter months.

(NOTE: If you need a keynote or workshop to support your wellbeing solutions, contact Kevin here!)

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

I remember when I was experiencing the Post Olympic Crash and was dealing with anxiety. At that point, I had never tried meditating, but I was desperate for anything that would improve my situation.

I started using the Headspace app, and I’ve shared the story before with friends how it began with a free 10 session trial.

During the first eight sessions, I didn’t feel like I was experiencing any benefit, but during the ninth and tenth session, I got it. That’s when it clicked.

Your goal when you meditate isn’t to stop your thoughts as much as it is about noticing and accepting your thoughts.

When you “let go” of holding onto your thoughts, they begin to settle, and as a result you experience a much calmer mind.

Studies have shown that meditation can improve anxiety levels up to 60% of the time. It helps you decrease stress, be more present, lower blood pressure, increase clarity, focus, and so much more.

Headspace isn’t the only method to practice mindfulness. You could use the Calm app, Insight Timer, or even just consider your time spent outdoors as meditation.

If you are looking to stay positive this winter, try and incorporate some form of mindfulness and meditation.

If you are looking to stay positive this winter, try and incorporate some form of mindfulness and meditation. Click To Tweet

Prioritize Self Care

If you have been following my work for a while, you know I am a big proponent of self-care.

The Resilience Toolbox wouldn’t be what it is without making sure you look after yourself in pursuit of your goals.

In my opinion, there are three main components to self-care.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Sleep
  3. Exercise

When it comes to those three areas, you may enjoy reading about how to be resilient .1 step at a time. In the article, I break down several different ways you can focus on small, baby steps, just like in The Hero Mindset keynote to help you become a hero in your own movie.

How do we become a hero to ourselves in the practice of self-care?

  • You schedule breaks in your day.
  • You put your phone on silent when you go to bed.
  • You give yourself permission to sleep in on weekends.
  • You take time to make a healthy meal.
  • You step outside of your house for a 10-minute walk, even if that’s all you can do.
  • You call a friend to hang out, even if you feel like work is piling up.

Prioritizing self-care means that you find the small moments within your day and your week to do something for you. This will help you stay positive during the winter.

(NOTE: If you need a keynote or workshop to support your wellbeing solutions, contact Kevin here!)

Seek Professional Help

Knowing that the winter may get the best of you, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

When Covid first hit, I took some time to utilize a public resource called Mind Beacon. It is a self-guided course, and I found it very easy and simple to follow.

Many of the strategies they share parallel what I teach, but even for myself, hearing the tips from someone else helped reinforce for me to keep doing the small things that make a big difference.

I’d also encourage you to reach out to your employer and leverage Employee Assistance Programs/Employee Family Assistance Programs. Providers such as Life Works can support and guide you to receive the proper care you need when you need it.

You can also call Crisis Services Canada at 1-800-456-4566 or text 45645.

I have shared before that when I was in crisis, I called the suicide prevention line and have no shame around that. It helped me get help when I needed it, and it’s what helped turn things around for me at that time.

You can read more about that here, but know that there’s no shame in asking for professional help to help you stay positive this winter.

There is no shame in asking for professional help to help you stay positive this winter. Click To Tweet

In Conclusion

If you are in any way familiar with winter, you know that it’s always going to be “a season to get through”.

The best way we can get through it easily and in much better spirits is to find ways to help make the most of what we can do and embrace what we have control over.

I’d encourage you to really take a moment and read the article I mentioned earlier in this blogpost on What Is #75Hard and What I Learned From Doing It.

It was a complete game changer for me last winter in helping me get outside, and you don’t have to be as intense with it. Find what works for you.

Just like with The Hero Mindset, the goal is that we develop our mental resilience on a daily basis to become a hero in our own movie.

That is how you can stay positive during COVID this winter.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you strengthen your mindset:

5 Easy Attitude Shifts for Resilience

How to be Patient Managing Change

What To Do When Nothing Is Going Right

Whenever you are ready here are the 3 best ways I can help you:

  1. Get a FREE copy of my autobiography (click here)
  2. Looking for a speaker for your next event? (Contact Kevin)
  3. Learn more about The Resilience Toolbox Workshop (click here)

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