Fight the Winter Blues and Stay Motivated

For many people, the winter months are a time to be endured, rather than anticipated.

Chalk it up to the bitter cold, the perils caused by snow and ice, and the fact that the sun is shining less than at any other time of year. There’s no doubt about it—the winter blues are a force to be reckoned with.

If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated this winter, here are some suggestions for weathering the cold and increasing your productivity.

Get exercise.

When it comes to physical activity, the winter months can make things a little complicated. On one hand, New Year’s resolutions ensure that more and more people are hitting up the gym, pursuing fitness and weight loss goals. But, according to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of those resolutions fail by mid-February. Plus, icy roads and freezing temperatures don’t exactly make outdoor activities like running or biking very easy.

And yet, it’s vitally important for people to get exercise, no matter what time of year it is. So, find a way to get some activity in, even if it’s just moving around a bit at home or in your office. Once you get those endorphins going, you’ll feel ready to tackle some of those other pressing tasks ahead of you.

Go outside.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like the cold, this might seem counterintuitive, but there’s a good reason for bundling up and braving the outdoors. For one thing, exposure to sunlight has been shown to help people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is the clinical term for winter (and sometimes autumn) depression. In addition to the extra sunlight, a bit of fresh air is sure to leave you feeling refreshed—even if that air is a bit chillier than you might like.

Hunker down and get organized.

Apart from the lack of daylight, one of the most demoralizing things about winter is that extreme weather conditions can dictate so much of what people are able to do with their day. If you’ve lived anywhere that sees more than a couple inches of snowfall at a clip, you’ve probably experienced the frustration that comes with canceling plans.

Rather than viewing the winter weather as a constraint, consider it an opportunity. If you’re not likely to spend as much time, for example, on social calls, then you’ll have more time to devote to getting organized. If you’re a real estate agent, this means getting ready for the spring market. (By the way, if you need a little help with that, check out our free guide!)

Visualize your goals and rewards

Sometimes, when the winter blues are really getting the better of you, it can be hard to push yourself to be active or productive. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the big picture. Though you may be having a difficult time staying on track, making sure you do will mean great things for you in the long run.

Are you looking forward to a summer vacation? Are you working to hit your quarterly sales goals so you can buy a nice gift for someone you care about? Print out a picture of whatever it is that’s motivating you. Place those pictures somewhere prominent in your work space. When you have a tangible reminder of what awaits you on the other side of winter, it’ll be much easier to endure the shorter days and unpredictable weather.

Regardless of which methods you use, the important thing is to not be discouraged. By setting specific, measurable goals and practicing some crucial self-care, you’ll be back on track to success in no time.

Written by Kevin McElvaney

Zealous wordie and reluctant writer of short bios.