Written by Meredith Frick

It’s the dead of winter. The holiday cheer has come and gone and new year excitement has dulled. For most of us, the days are short and the temperatures low. Peeling yourself out of bed is a daily struggle and getting your workouts in is even harder. Have no fear. Try these six daily actions to banish the winter blahs and sail into spring on top.

Add value to “the little things”

Think about your daily routine. What is a mundane, overlooked activity that is incorporated into your daily routine? For most of us, our commute to and from work can certainly be a dull part of our day. Instead of dreading your commute, find a way to make it more enjoyable. Engage your mind and download a Podcast or an audio book of interest to enjoy while driving. Call a friend or family member to catch up during the drive (using a hands free device of course). Your commute can become a tool to engage your mind.

Keep a thankful list

This is especially helpful when you are stuck in the blahs. Keep a list of what you’re grateful for. Use this list as a way to appreciate small changes in behavior, new events, and special moments throughout your day that would normally go unacknowledged. For example, “I am thankful I took the time to meet an old friend for coffee this morning, instead of mindlessly drinking my normal cup at my desk.” Putting this event on paper allows you to appreciate the opportunity to reconnect with others and leaves you with a grateful mindset. 

Adopt a mentality of “mood follows action”

Think about how rejuvenated you feel after a good workout or a long run. More often than not, you finish feeling enlightened and in good (or at least better) spirits. Now apply that principle to the rest of your day. What actions can you take that set you up for a positive mindset? What can you physically accomplish that puts you in a good mood? Maybe it’s checking things off your to do list or giving your dog an extra walk.

Practice self-care

Self-care never goes out of style, and for a good reason: it is the foundation of confidence. When you take care of yourself, you feel good about yourself.  Although simple, self-care is commonly overlooked by many of my clients. Find small ways to implement self-care into your daily routine that suits you best. At the end of the day, self-care is the act of appreciating your body and mind in whatever way is best for you and it comes in all different forms. Carve out time for reading, do your nails, lay out your clothes for the day ahead- whatever helps to quiet your mind.

Own your meditation

If you are like me, you cringe when you hear the word “meditate.” And let’s be honest, none of us have time to sit in silence for an hour each day to reflect. Fortunately, you can incorporate meditation practices in various forms based on what helps you the most. For me, running is my meditation. It is the one part of my day I can escape to clear my mind, work through nagging thoughts, focus on my breathing, or focus on absolutely nothing at all. When I finish running, not only do I feel grounded, my mind (and body) feel refreshed. 

Give yourself something to look forward to

The middle of winter is an excellent time to plan something to look forward to. Book a trip for the spring and spend the winter planning the details of your adventure.  It’s been found that people who travel actually get a greater boost of happiness from the anticipation of the trip than from the trip itself. So, even if you have to wait to take your trip, you’ll still get a happiness boost now from the anticipation.

Meredith Frick is a Certified Nutrition Health Coach based in Richmond, VA, and a former member of the Health Warrior Tribe. Meredith is the founder of Whole Body Healthy, LLC and meets one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their personal health and lifestyle goals through a holistic lens. Outside of work, Meredith can be found running with her dog, Oakley, or planning her next trip.

Need more winter tips? Check out our crowded gym hacks.