The holidays are over. The dreams of sugar plums and cherished Christmas memories are now a thing of the past, alongside the holiday tree awaiting removal. We are officially in the thick of old man winter, which is – for me – the worst time of year. Apparently, I am not alone. According to the majority of polls, January and February rank among the least favorite months of the year with March in third place.
I grew up in the sticks in a household that had one TV and no one around for miles. As you can imagine, my days were long and boring. The only thing I could do was count down until spring. As an adult, I realize the short time we have here on Earth and prefer not to wish my time away! So, I’ve found a few ways to shake the cold, dreaded winter months.
Hit up the sauna. I recently found the advantages of ‘sweating.’ A sauna session flushes germs and dying cells that help prevent illness. It also reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation, which can improve feelings of well-being. The physiological effects from the warmth of the sauna can help combat winter depression, as well. The benefits have been profound for helping me during these freezing winter months. A good rule of thumb is to take a trip to the sauna two-three times per week for 20-30 minutes each time. You’ll thank me later! 😉
Plan a vacation – or better yet, go on one! There’s power in anticipation. One study found that anticipating a pleasurable future event can help us to get through a difficult present situation. So, go ahead and plan a trip. You could also go somewhere tropical during the winter! A few years ago, my husband and I started booking our annual vacation during the winter rather than summer. It was a great decision. I never thought I would look forward to January until we started vacationing in sunny Montego Bay during January and February. And, each year, we add another day. This year, we leave at the end of January for a ten-day getaway. Ya, Mon! 🌴
Foster a fur-baby. Call me a crazy cat lady, but pets just make you feel good! The mental health benefits of pets are backed by many studies (17 academic papers don’t lie). Some folks I know aren’t quite ready for a fur-ever pet, so why not foster? There are thousands of animals that need a temporary home. Even if you’re not an ‘animal-person,’ you’ll reap the benefits of a purr-fect escape! 🐈
I hope these tips help you to infuse a little warmth this winter!