So how are you managing with your post-holiday blahs? By now, you’ve suffered through one or two billing cycles and are feeling the pinch if you over-indulged a little at Christmas time. Given the weather, the lack of sunlight, the post-season let-down, and the pressure of finances, January and February can be the most distressing time of year.
You are not alone.
How does everyone else manage to survive the cold dark months of winter when the cash flow doesn’t allow for an extravagant trip south? Here are 5 suggestions to beat the winter blahs:
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1. Get outside. Spend as much time as possible outside. Sure the weather can be a bit of a downer this time of year, but winter holds a host of treasures if you know where to look. Think about your favourite summer getaway spot – a picnic, a hike, a view. Have you ever seen it all frozen and covered in snow? Check it out. Take your camera. Absorb as much daylight and fresh air as you can. Clear the cobwebs from the brain and you’ll be surprised at how cleansing the experience can be.
2. Get busy. Trade your tv/down/couch time with productive activities that cost next to nothing. Get a head start on your interior spring cleaning. Start with a closet. Work on a cupboard. How about the windows? If you can fall into bed at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment, sleep comes so much easier.
3. Get active. Oh, I know, the urge to find a warm blanket and hibernate is overwhelming. But with only 27 days until Spring, it’s time to get moving. Your body will complain at first. Don’t listen to it. It’ll thank you come April when you’re happily planting bulbs in the garden, cleaning up lawn furniture, and washing the car. Look forward to the active summer you want to enjoy – don’t wait for it to arrive. You’ll miss the first few precious weeks trying to get those frozen muscles going again.
4. Get in touch. Take some time now to keep in touch with friends and family. Phone calls and emails, Skype calls and letters, are all great ways to let those you care about know that you’re thinking of them – and not just at Christmas. The people around you are likely feeling the same winter grays as you and will enjoy and appreciate your reaching out to them. One call = two people uplifted. It’s a good deal.
5. Get planning. Take stock of what’s going on now and get thinking about what’s coming up. Check through your year and look for events, birthdays, repairs, renovations, and any other detail over the coming months that will require your attention, effort, time, and money. Keep track of these things and ask yourself what you can do now, next week, regularly, to prepare for upcoming obligations. Your anniversary comes every year and you both agree to stay in with a pizza because you can’t afford a big night out. Start putting away a few dollars a week now. (A mid-August date is six months away, and $10 per week in the piggy bank would be a $250 night out, complete with dinner and a night in a hotel.) Wouldn’t it be nice to actually be ready for it? Don’t leave everything until the last minute.
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Sure it’s easy to just give in to the winter blahs. Especially when finances are screaming in agony. But attack the areas of your life that you can control and affect with vim and vigour, and you will find your energy and purpose increasing every day. Spring will be a welcome friend, instead of a new challenge.
What about you? Do you plan for Spring? Do you count the days? What kinds of things do you do to pass the winter blahs more happily? Share your comments below.