- Take a nap! Aside from the fact that sleep helps our bodies recovery from the day, sleep does SO much more for us (replace skin cells, grow muscle, repair damaged tissue, synthesize hormones)! Having a restful night’s sleep can also lessen our sensitivity towards negative emotions.
- Spend time with loved ones! Even for introverts, the feeling of being surrounded by people who genuinely care about one another is so… blissful. As Harvard researcher, Daniel Gilbert said; “We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”
- Get outside! Fresh air makes everything better. It’s a fact. Don’t believe me? Go for a walk, feel the wind passing over your fingertips, welcome the sun’s warm embrace, smell the scent of nature - the flowers, the trees, the animals, listen to the sound of moving water… waves in a lake, the ripples of a river, or the power of rapids… Nature is healing!
- Help others. If you do good, you’ll feel good! Maybe helping constitutes itself as purchasing a gift for someone, spending time with people, volunteering your time, donating to a good cause… there are dozens of ways to give back!
- Meditate! Turning inwards is immensely helpful in day-to-day life. Not only does it help us clarify our priorities, but it physically makes us healthier. Meditation over a long period can actually alter our brain structure!
- Practice gratitude. Being grateful for what you have is such an exhilarating feeling. It’s so freeing to realize you don’t need more. Grab a journal and start jotting down 3 things that happened at the end of each day. Try to make them different each day and then watch as your happiness and overall gratefulness skyrockets!
- Exercise! Moving your body is not only healthy for you, but also helps you to clear your mind. Even something as simple as a short walk can help immensely!
- Stop complaining. When you complain, you’re highlighting the negative. Once you stop doing that, you’re making room for some pretty amazing moments!
- Fake it till you make it. Feelings follow actions. If you’re upset, scared, angry, try faking a smile for a few seconds.. feels silly but the moment you change your mind and physical body, you’ll notice a shift in your emotions. If you’re angry with someone, try doing something thoughtful for them, you’ll notice this feeling of anger will slightly release. It’s really soothing.
- Take control. Your life. Your happiness. Though it’s true that we are all born differently, some of us are Eeyore, some are Tigger, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from taking control over your own life! When you begin making conscious steps towards happiness, you’ll notice your mind, body and soul begin to crave it!
Ah winter… the time of year when a large portion of people go into hibernation and await the sunny, warm days of spring. As a self-proclaimed lover of winter; snowboarding, snowshoeing, playing with my pup (who can barely peep out of the deep snow), hiking, road trips, warm fires, delicious foods, staying in during snowstorms... the one thing that gets to me is the fact that nightfall comes as early as 4pm.
I try to get everything I need done by then because I know that my body will start thinking it’s bedtime after being in the dark for an hour or two and my productivity plummets. I guess it’s good that I’ve been going to bed around 10 as of late, I wake up earlier naturally, without that alarm blaring in the middle of a wicked dream.
To me, winter is both the time to get outside and bask in the natural beauty that comes with it, and it’s also the time to stay inside, wrapped up in a warm blanket on the couch and feed your soul. Start a good book, play some games with family and friends, watch a film, play with your animal friends, eat and drink delicious foods, celebrate the holidays!
Although the winter may seem cold, dark, almost dead at times, you have to keep in mind that when spring comes, all of the energy that was stored over the wintertime is blooming and winter is what allows many seeds to fully prosper.
Think of yourself as one of these seeds. Though you may want to just cuddle up alone to be still and quiet, which is completely ok, don’t let yourself feel alone.
Listen: to your mind, body and soul. Listen to you loved ones, as they speak about their lives, their hopes, dreams and plans. Maybe write in your journal, record your dreams. Just pour yourself out onto the pages.
Fuel; your body with healthy foods. Fuel your mind with quality books. Fuel your soul by spending time with people who make you feel good. Deepen your relationships with people who matter to you.
Explore: what this world has to offer! Each season brings with it so many unique and beautiful qualities that it'd be a shame to just let them pass by without a second glance. Living in the countryside, I'm blessed to have a very white snowfall (no grey slush), however it's also a LOT colder out here. That being said, dress warmly, layer up, cover up your face with a good scarf or balaclava and go outside to explore! Take a walk and see what animals are out roaming the snowy world. Listen to some of the winter birds singing. Feel the snow pack as you take each step. Try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, go tobogganing, make an outdoor bonfire, drink hot tea on your walk... the possibilities are endless!
Our world is ever changing and we should really learn to explore the beauty in it all, even if you don't feel like it, throw on your winter boots, bring some hot apple cider and go for a walk! You'd be surprised how good you'll feel afterwards.