Fight those winter blues

Do you feel the winter blues setting in?

The cheeriness of the holiday season has been packed up, and the grey skies are still hanging over us. The bills from our holiday indulgence are arriving, and our enthusiasm for the gym is already waning.

Are you feeling like sitting on the couch eating potato chips might be the best remedy? Hold that thought – help is on the way.

I look for every bit of inspiration I can find in the dead of winter. I want little successes to keep my momentum, so I can last through till spring.

This week, I’m going to share some of my best ideas in hopes that they might work for you too. (And if you have any you’d like to share, please send me an email or post on my Facebook page. I’d be happy to have new ammunition against the blues.)

The first step for me is stay active.

I wasn’t great at physics in school, but I do remember: “An object in motion stays in motion.”

The cold grey dreary nature of winter makes us want to curl up on the couch. But if we remember something we enjoy doing besides this, we find a way off the couch.

I like to work out and walk the dog, but you could meet a friend and walk, run, ski, skate or snowshoe. Start small – even going around the block beats melting into the cushions.

Aim to do it a few times a week, and reward yourself with a treat like time in the hot tub if you have one or a cookie, maybe. Let’s be healthy and make them Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

The next step is eat right.

Everyone deserves a chance to wallow with a bag of potato chips or a tub of Haagen Dazs once in a while, but we can’t live there. (If you are currently munching and reading this, go back to the last paragraph and decide on your activity before proceeding.)

Eating right is easier when we are active as our metabolism makes us naturally hungry. I am a big fan of eating breakfast, and there are a multitude of ways to enjoy this meal.

If you’re the adventurous type, here is a list of creative, healthy ideas.

If you aren’t a fan of starting the day with a meal, then at least have a smoothie with some protein or nut butter in an energy bar or on toast helps fuel you for the day.

If you are concerned about your weight, a salad for dinner is a much better recipe to a healthy body than skipping breakfast.

The third step is the most important: reward yourself.

Keep track of your successes, and maintain your momentum with rewards. To avoid the temptation of impulsive, bad choices that you regret later (think too much Haagen Dazs), plan out your rewards when you decide your goals.

For example, when you complete your three walks for the dog one week, you can confirm an evening with friends or a nice soak in the tub. Enlist the help of friends and family to keep you accountable and encourage you.

The last step in the process is keep your sense of humour.

When you plan your walk on a day with a snowstorm, don’t dismay – just take it as time off for good behaviour.

You can also take credit for the extra energy you’ll spend shovelling the driveway the following day. I know as I have gotten older, I’ve had to come to terms with limitations in my workouts and having to watch my diet more.

When I get frustrated, I look for an easy win to get a boost – my favourite workout and breakfast combo or even a day off from the routine. If you need help smiling, try watching a classic comedy movie.

Twice in the past week, I have heard a quote that apparently comes from Winston Churchill. I’m thinking the universe was trying to tell me something, and I took it thinking of the cup half full…

  • “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

I looked up other things Churchill said, and this was another quote:

  • “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

So, here’s to your efforts to beat those winter blues. I’ll see you out there.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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