Cabin fever, winter blues whatever you call it, this time of year can be tough on your mind, body and soul. Lack of sunshine, post-holiday depression, and the current economic crisis can make everyone feel edgy. The good news is that, according to Thomas Moore, author of A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do, these down times are periods of incubation which ultimately lead to a better understanding of life’s meaning. But the process doesn’t have to be a total drip. Here are some short-term coping techniques to feel instantly more positive.
1) Be healthy. Stress depletes the immune system, so eat well, exercise regularly and get eight hours of sleep each night.
2) Choose positive thinking. It is up to you to buy into thoughts or simply let them go. Ask yourself if a concern is limiting (i.e. pessimistic, self-rejecting) or expansive (one that sees possibilities). Cultivate expansive thoughts and release anything negative.
3) Give yourself a daily perk. Work into your schedule a short break to indulge in one thing you love. Examples: A favorite song, or savory snack, or a book you can’t put down.
4) Start a journal. Write down whatever comes to mind. Try to fill up 2 or 3 pages without stopping and don’t censor yourself. Read your entries a few hours later and validate your emotions, decide on some changes or just be with what is.
5) Avoid frenemies. Only interact with others who are sensitive to your needs and who you truly look forward to seeing.
6) Pick up a hobby. Learn a new sport or skill that has always interested you, even if you see no practical use for this knowledge. Acquiring new perspectives will restore your self-esteem and even boost your energy.
7) Volunteer in your community. All spiritual traditions agree that serving a good cause and offering relief to others are the best remedies for our own ills.
8) Give yourself a new look. Whether it’s a new hair cut or simply trying out a new shade of lipstick, a mini-makeover can do wonders to boost your self-esteem and keep you feeling optimistic and happy. Go to the Makeover Studio right now!
By Susan Reimer Torn, IAC-certified mentor coach, founder of Scentient Beings and self-proclaimed spa junkie.