I dropped a hint yesterday that I was going to be unveiling my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) plan, and after yesterday’s impromptu shopping spree … here we are!
After returning a shirt yesterday, I dropped into a new store … just to peek, and I left with not one, but three coats. Yup, three. I intended to return one after I got a second opinion, but now I’m thinking three might actually the magic number. One short and cas, one formal-ish, and one no bullshit, and all fuzzy and warm.
I realized one thing visiting Portland last year, and having friends and family happily live in places like Alaska and Montana and Colorado: they’ve got good gear!
Part of my problem with this strange east coast climate (mild one winter, bitter the next), I’ve got crappy gear. So yesterday, I fixed that.
Step one, for SAD plan: Stop complaining about the cold and get yo’ ass some good gear;)
2. Try a happy light. I’ve never used one, but I know people who swear by them. I’m ordering one this week. Do some research though to make sure you pick the right one. (The one linked here is just an example.)
3. Try some Qi Gong and shake things up a bit. I’ve written about Qi Gong here. Everything I know I learned from Youtube;) But it works. Shake out that stagnant energy!
4. Get outside. Get on that new gear and get outside. Take advantage of the sunlight, and the brisk air will wake you right up. Trust me;)
5. Dance breaks. I got Beyonce radio on my Pandora and TYOMD radio on my Spotify. 5 minute dance breaks when you’re feeling stagnant is a total gamechanger. Don’t be shy. Shake what yo’ momma gave ya!
6. Change your language. Rather than waxing tirelessly about the cold, the wind, the rain, the darkness, our lethargy, and our obsession with Netflix, let’s speak more positively about the energy we do have and all that we’re accomplishing. Remember energy is generated. You have to put in to get out.
7. Exercise. This is a great time of year to be looking at a membership of sorts or a class drop-in option, just in case getting outside (in all that awesome new gear) is impossible. Fight the resistance to hibernate on the couch with a grill cheese on the skillet and canned tomato soup on the stove. Also, switching up your routine can be helpful. Try working out in the morning when it’s light, since coming home to blanketed darkness is really tough on the motivation factor.
8. 90 minute blocks. Behavioral scientists have been studying productivity for years and have come to the conclusion that 90 min is about our max on productivity without a break. Set yourself up for success by blocking time and staying focused, then take your much needed breaks (guilt free) in between: dancing, qi gonging, eating, sleeping, etc.
9. Prioritize. As the days get shorter and shorter, beginning your day with your highest priority item will get the ball rolling on knocking out your daily top 3. I’m a big proponent of the 3 priority plan. When we keep pushing the big stuff later and later into the day we often end up doing without entirely. Then we feel guilty. Guilt begets stress. Stress begets releasing of hormones. Wacky hormones begets exhaustion. Do you see where this is going?
10. Play. Snowball fights. Skiing. Snowboarding. Ice skating. Igloo building. Snow angel crafting. Knitting. Board games. You name it. Have at it.
I leave you with this: So, those are all my suggestions to date. Tweak and personalize your own. But have a plan, my man. For real. The next six months depends on it.
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!