Is it just me, or has Mother Nature just turned out the lights?!  I have a feeling this Winter is going to be a cold one. During the colder, darker months, most of us like to slip into a hibernation-like mode; Clothes become bulkier and can hide those few extra kilos; motivation to move diminishes and your inclination to eat ‘whatever’ is on the rise. A large number of us also become victim to what has been named ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’,  otherwise known as ‘The Winter Blues’. We isolate ourselves and become generally depressed about the state of our lives.. It doesn’t have to be like this! Personally, i find this time of year THE BEST time to reflect and re-evaluate one’s goals. I get excited at the thought of Autumn and Winter- when the rest of the world is tucking in for a good “Winter sleep”, I’m gearing up to find the next challenge i can throw at myself. The introversion that the rainy days bring is a perfect platform for planning, focusing and executing a bit of ‘self-love’ and productivity. Think of it like this: Most people wait until Summer (or just after New Years.. god, Resolutions aren’t just for December 31st!); But by this stage, if something like Weight Loss was your goal, you’ve already missed out on half of Summer! If you use Autumn or Winter as your ‘starting post’, then by the time Summer actually comes along, you’ll be fighting fit and ready to reveal the new and improved YOU!! Planning and committing are one thing, but maintaining the positivity and drive when it gets cold is another.  Here are a few tips that might help you in your quest:

  1. Get restful sleep. (At the times you are meant to be asleep!)This is an integral part of your “be positive” routine. You will find on days that you are most tired, you become negative and reach for stimulants to keep you going.  Not a great way to stay on track.
  2. Hang with can-do rather than can’t-do people. If you find that the people you are around on a daily basis are the type to say “But you’ll never be able to do that”, or “Oh, here we go again”.. then i’m afraid you need to find a new group of friends. You need to surround yourself with people who offer nothing but support. Why not consider finding a support group of like-minded souls, or joining a local club that share a common interest?
  3. Begin asking, “Does this matter?” Do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t.
  4. Finish a task. This might seem finicky, but trust me when i say it gathers confidence and a sense of self-achievement to be able to reflect upon something you have done and completed.
  5. Spend time in self-reflection and create a gratitude list- What are you grateful for in life? Often we spend too much time focused on the things we don’t have.  Become a ‘glass is half full’ person and immediately you will feel a shift in your energy.
  6. Change a routine. It can be the smallest of things, but by changing a routine on a daily basis for at least two weeks, you are guaranteed to create a new, more beneficial routine for yourself.
  7. Breathe deeply.. Take time to smell those roses, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this ten times in a row, and THEN see how quickly your stress levels can diminish!  While you’re at it, check out the beauty of Autumn around you!  We are SO lucky to have a such a beautiful country!
  8. Exercise!  I know, you’re over hearing this horrible word.. But exercise doesn’t have to be an hour at a gym or a long run through the streets. Make it something you enjoy– Put your favorite tunes on and dance with your children; Take them for a play at a playground, and do some climbing and ‘playing’ yourself; Find a flight of stairs or grassy hill and do a few short bursts of walks or runs on them.. the options are limitless, just use your imagination!
  9. Trust someone. Find someone to share your goals, downfalls and successes with.  A ‘buddy’ who shares the same focus is a very powerful asset in your path to a ‘better you’.  Dont get competitive with this person, but rather support and encourage them as well..

J

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