Four ways to beat the winter blues


Although it was elusive at first, there’s no doubt that winter is finally here. This week in Sydney we’ve had the coldest day in 20 years… and boy was it cold! While I appreciate that our 10 degrees Celsius days are nothing in comparison to what our friends in the Northern Hemisphere go through every winter (#respect), as the days get shorter the winter blues inevitably sneak in.

If you’re anything like me, the cold weather comes and without fail looking after myself becomes so much harder. Life rotates through work, lounging in front of the heater, sleep and red wine. Oh, and of course, cheese…

Am I right?!

It's time to beat the winter blues

And it’s not just the comfort food that you need to watch out for. When you are in full Netflix mode, it’s impossible to stay on track with your personal and professional goals.

It’s time to step away from the remote! While you won’t find me running laps in the rain, I’m committing to getting through the cold without all my goals going down the drain.

Here’s our game plan to beat the winter blues:

1. Make the commitment

If we are going to make it through winter sans “lifestyle layer” (as one of my favourite Snapchatters theleanlawyer so aptly puts it) or general apathy towards life, we need to commit to some goals upfront.

I love three-month plans… and conveniently a three-month plan will get you through the darkest of winter days. Phew!

Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, break it down into a realistic plan for the next 90 days. My goal is to break the writer’s block phase I’ve been going through, so at the start of winter I brainstormed heaps of new things for my blog, and then created a timeline for me to follow to stay on task. Watch this space!

If you want to get healthy, or keep up the good habits that you built over summer, why not find a fun run or event on the other side of winter to train for? Whether it’s a 5km run, half marathon or even a body challenge, pick something that will keep you motivated and get you through the cold.

2. Get organised

Organisation is really the key to success… particularly in winter and you just want to curl up on the couch.

Take the time at the start of the week to map out the week ahead, scheduling the time you need to hit your goals right alongside work and social commitments. Try and get into the habit of treating your “me time” the same way you treat any other non-negotiable… like a meeting with your boss!

Get organised by writing down your goals, creating a list of things that you need to do to get there, and then start to give yourself deadlines.

Being organised, and breaking down your goals helps make them feel more achievable. And when it feels like something is possible, you will be more motivated than ever to achieve it. Remember, your goals and to-do lists have to be achievable, otherwise we will be back to full winter blues in no time.

3. Get active

Even if you are pushing for a promotion or a new job, making the time to get some exercise in every day really does make a huge difference. As my fit friends always tell me, you will never regret making time to exercise… except maybe the next day when you are trying to walk.

If you are really in the grips of the winter blues and it all seems too hard, why not join or create a 30-day challenge for yourself? A friend on Instagram is currently doing a 30 day Class Pass challenge, “because they say something worth doing is worth doing for 30 days, consecutively”.

Take inspiration from @elysejenkins as she hits up Pilates, weights, yoga, trampoline jumping classes, spin and all sorts of crazy things. A 30 day yoga challenge might be the perfect way for you to get active, and start to prioritise looking after yourself at the same time. Find your own #fitfam and get going!

4. Turn off Netflix

This winter, minus the occasional show and my guilty Masterchef pleasure, I’m making a big effort to stop coming home, plonking myself on the couch and watching eps to well after bed time…

Boring, I know.

There’s method to my madness. It’s a well-known fact that Ariana Huffington organises her schedule so that she can ensure she gets 7-8 hours sleep every night, which she credits as the key to her continued success.

If you are anything like me, sleep is often sacrificed for a whole number of reasons, from work to socialising… and well, no good real reason at all. To beat the winter blues, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to switch off a little bit earlier.

Arianna sums it up pretty nicely here:

A lot of people think that somehow they work hard, and now they have earned the House of Cards, or going out to a bar or whatever it is that allows them to relax. All I'm saying is you are going to have a lot more fun if you are recharged. So it's not as if it takes away from your fun; it actually makes everything in life more joyful.

Arianna is a massive boss, so I reckon she knows a thing or two about beating the winter blues and achieving those goals!

Finally, in a more aggressive move to beating the winter cold, I’m off to Spain next week... Hola España!

Phoebe x