Well hello, you fabulous thing!
How was your week? Filled with Valentine love and fun things? Or, was there the obligatory nah, blah and boring stuff thrown in too?
If so, you’re not alone, and unfortunately it’s par for the course – it’s life. BUT, how we think about the not so wonderful in our life changes the outcome. Perception is projection and keeping a positive spin on life can truly make a difference to your mindset and more.
I learnt a lot about this concept from my husband in the early days of our relationship as a direct result of his early morning (often irritating) behavior of bouncing around the house like Tigger with a coat hanger stuck in this mouth type smile. I’ll share his secret, shortly.
Sometimes our days are severely lacking in pep.
My energy is the lowest it has been since I can’t remember when. I have had this newsletter in the back of my mind for days, to’ing and fro’ing about what to write. I just couldn’t find the energy both physical and mental; my get up and go just got up and left!
Instead of checking off my list I:
–Binge watched a few episodes of Tiny House Nation (I have no idea why I am so fixated with this show?!)
–Emptied the laundry basket
–Ate a large slice (ok, maybe two) of the most delicious chocolate orange cake a client kindly gave me
–Took a power nap – which ended up being much longer than anticipated.
I didn’t only procrastinate once, but numerous times. I put off tasks, telling myself I will feel like doing it tomorrow and each night I am ready for bed by 8 p.m. Surely this is not normal? Actually – it is. Thinking back to the Neanderthal days, when people slept when it was dark and hunted when it was light, this makes complete sense. Alas, today came and I needed to “eat my frog.” So here I am 6 a.m. on Friday morning at my desk, large cup of coffee in hand, eating my frog.
Let’s tackle the February blues.
I grew up in the UK and now live in Seattle where both climates leave a lot to be desired between the months of November and March. If you read last weeks newsletter you may remember I briefly touched on the subject of taking Vitamin D and surrounding yourself with positive people to help you get through the next month or two. I practice what I preach but this was still not enough for me, so in the hope this helps you, I have given you a heads up on what is keeping my head up and off the pillow for the last 48 hours, and long may it last!
1. Bottle the Sun – I have upped my Vitamin D dose to 5,000 IU/day. According to my naturopath, the average person can take 5-10,000 IU/day living in the PNW/UK, especially if you are inside most of the day. Don’t take my word for it, ask your doctor to test your levels and prescribed accordingly.
2. Siesta, please – I say a h*ll yes to power naps. According to many articles I have read the optimal time to nap is between 8 and 23 minutes. 8 minutes will feel like you are floating in the land of nod, and 23 will leave you rested but not groggy and still able to go to sleep when it is your normal bedtime.
3. Fuel Matters – Comfort food may be all you want to eat, and that’s fine, just remember to get your anti-oxidants by mixing up the colors and varying your fruit and veg. You can’t feed your body like it’s a lawn mower and expect it to behave like a Ferrari. A balanced diet will help keep the colds and flu at bay, it will also give you the energy you need.
4. Drink your water – One ounce per day for each kilo you weigh or half your body weight in pounds. I know its harder to do this in the winter, so try warming it up with a slice of lemon or increase your intake of herbal teas.
5. Move your body but listen to your body – One great workout is better than two mediocre ones. Sometimes you feel you should workout but you just don’t feel like it. You know your body, you know the difference between taking a much deserved rest or procrastinating. You do you.
6. Multi-vitamins – Take one each day
7. Warm your bones – When it gets too cold or your body starts to ache more than usual perhaps try some hot yoga, a sauna, steam, salt caves or some Epsom salts baths (light some candles, put on some music and relax).
8. Maximize your productivity – What time of day do you produce your best work? Not everyone is a morning person. My web designer was a night owl, she would send me emails as I was starting my day and she was going to bed! Identify when you are at your best, block the time out and just do it (eat the stupid frog!)
9. Get outside – I know you know this, but let me say again that getting outside in nature has calming and healing effects. How many times have you ever gone out for a walk/hike/outdoor class and it has not lifted your spirits? Enough said. 20 minutes is all you need.
10. Practice Hygge – You may not be aware that you already do this. Pronounced Hoo-ga, this Danish word is a noun, an adjective and a concept all in one. Think: curling up by the fire reading a book, watching TV, candles, lounge wear, thick socks, cozy blankets and throws, hot chocolate, hunkering down and generally being at one with comfort and enjoying every moment. I know, this sounds like a pipe dream to many but with a little planning you can make time to take time, even if only for one hour a month. Take the hour when you can get it, one persons power nap, workout or coffee with friends can be your hygge.
The Secret Sauce
Back to my husband, Mark. Every darn day he wakes up naturally anywhere between 5 and 6.30 a.m. and in the 23 years we have lived together I have never seen him in a bad mood in the morning. He maintains that no matter how tired or stressed he is, if he starts the day on a low his day will continue that way. Which can lead to another low day, and another, and eventually weeks, months and maybe years of lows instead of highs. He’s right. If we only think about the negative we will feel negative. When we think about the positive and we will feel the same way, exuding an energy which is contagious.
We may not all start our days the way he does (I know I don’t). But when we tackle our days with the tips I mentioned above and a desire for the best we set ourselves up for success and ultimately can beat those winter blues.
So make some fun plans with your bestie, organize something to look forward to and hang in there, spring will be here before you know it!