Your winter depression is getting in the way of your healthy lifestyle. You’re finally feeling winter blues hitting you hard this year, and it is making it really difficult to get out of bed in the morning or leave the house at all. You don’t even want to look at your workout clothes right now because winter makes you feel like resting and hibernating instead! However, before you let winter depression take over your life completely, consider some ways that sporty people keep active through winter. And remember. “No matter how much time goes by, winter will always end…” – Cedric Hohnstadt.
Sometimes winter is the worst time to be healthy and sporty. Dealing with winter depression can make exercising seem like a chore. However, winter isn’t an excuse to give up on your healthy habits. Here are some ways to stay motivated when exercise feels like too much of a hassle:
1) Make staying healthy fun:
-Listen to Podcasts or music while you workout;
-Start a blog so you have a place to share your triumphs and struggles;
-Purchase a trendy and comfy sport outfit;
-Invite friends over for ‘Fit’ competitions.
2) Treat yourself well so you feel good about being active. Keep it interesting by trying new classes or types of workouts throughout winter, such as Zumba.
If winter depression is the only thing between you and your exercise routine, do some quick research on winter depression to remind yourself that winter doesn’t have power over you. Read through some motivational winter quotes about staying healthy. If you need it, learn how winter may affect your mental health. Remember though that winter isn’t always caused by depression – cold weather can cause physical aches too! Do research if cold temperature affects your body or mood so you know how to stay healthy.
Find a sporty friend! Having someone with whom to exercise makes all the difference in motivation! Make plans together to meet outside for winter runs or winter sports.
Work out at home. If you’re unable to leave the house, it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise; however, with the winter months comes winter weather and winter workouts! Most people think of winter activities like skiing or ice skating as requiring lots of cash, but there are plenty of winter workouts you can do at home for free! Here’s my favorite winter workout—it doesn’t require any equipment (besides a yoga mat) and gets your heart rate up quickly:
Gentle Physical Activity
You know the type: Everyone sits at computers all day with their butts glued to high-backed, plush chairs; they complain about feeling both tired and stiff; they sit back in their seats when the boss steps out for lunch (and fall asleep); they relax when she panics over messed up spreadsheets (and wake up with neck pain).
If you’re in an environment like this—or if your lifestyle doesn’t allow much opportunity to move around in general—but you want to get healthy, try doing a gentle physical activity where you can. If this is all possible in your office setting, great! But if it isn’t, don’t worry. It could be that you can’t get your sweat on every day, but even gentle physical activity is exponentially better than nothing. However, taking 10–15 minutes out of your day for some healthy gentle physical activity can make a real difference — and all without having to sacrifice other things in your life.
Sitting at a desk all day? Take an occasional stroll around the office or simply stand up more often when talking on the phone. Have stairs nearby? Take them instead of an elevator whenever possible.
Adjust Your Nutrition
You should adjust your nutrition accordingly as well. Do you do a workout routine that wears you out? The thing about working out is it requires energy and, after your workout ends and your muscles repair themselves, they need to be refueled.
When you work out a lot, there’s room in the calorie budget for health and “fun” foods. But when you can’t work out as much (or at all), that wiggle room shrinks considerably. Normally you would workout and replenish your calories with “fun” foods or even some junk food because of the workout, but what do you do if you can’t work out at all?
It’s easy to keep eating like when you were working out – or even more since you feel like you deserve it! So right now I am extra mindful of what I eat and selective about “fun” stuff because if not, I could end up gaining weight instead of losing it!
Workout nutrition is something that a lot of people don’t think about when they work out, but it can be a big part of how well you recover after a workout and how much energy you have.
During this workout pause, cut back on carbs, and increase healthy fats (check out this article about how to do that). Of course, healthy, complex carbs like grains, starchy veggies, and legumes are still important, but your body doesn’t need as many of them when you’re sedentary because you don’t have any workouts to fuel up for. Cutting back on carbs helps maintain metabolic flexibility during this inactive period. However, still, make sure to get plenty of lean proteins since they help keep feeling satiated between meals. Never forget about the vitamins!
Find Inspirational Stories
It’s important to feel those feelings and not ignore them. Starting today, it’s time to start feeding your mind with stories that will empower you.
At the same time, it can be hard to find your way back to a positive mindset on your own. The interviews are always with inspiring people, including authors, doctors, and scientists — many of whom have overcome incredible adversity.
If so, you should consider subscribing to the “Inspiring Stories” podcast, it will help you find inspiration when you are feeling down. Follow the stories of successful women on Instagram, which can also help you feel more empowered and less insecure about your own struggles. The stories will inspire you to make better choices in life, see the beauty in every moment, and most importantly — remind yourself why it’s okay if things aren’t exactly where you want them to be right now. The following stories are full of inspiration for everyone who needs a little pick-me-up during their day.
Do Unproductive Things You Enjoy Doing
Do you feel like you need to be doing something productive? Just relax.
You don’t actually have to do anything. It’s okay to relax and take a break from the world of workout videos, high-intensity workouts, or weightlifting programs. In fact, not putting in the effort is often beneficial when it comes to recovering from injury or illness.
Your mental health needs downtime just as much as your physical needs it for optimal well-being. Without time spent in a totally relaxed state, burnout becomes inevitable—and I have been there before myself already!
So relax and hold space for those unproductive things that you enjoy doing. Try sitting down with a good book, watching Netflix, scrolling through countless TikTok videos.
Has your motivation suddenly disappeared? First of all, find motivation. What is one thing that motivates you? Remember: Mindset + Motivation = Movement. It’s easy to get lost in our day-to-day life and workout plans can easily fall through the cracks. But don’t worry, there are still ways you can find happiness, hope, and healthy activities to enrich your workout routine!