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How to Battle Your Winter Blues

You know those people who hate hot weather, love wearing ten layers under their super heavy winter coats, and obsess over freshly fallen snow? Gosh, those people have it easy in winter. That’s not everyone. Winter can be a depressing time for many. It’s dark in the winter. It’s cold frigid in the winter. Your mood can change in the winter. It might not be easy to feel happy, healthy, and vibrant in the winter. That’s why self-care is really important for you if you don’t fare well in the cold weather months.

To help you tackle your winter weather blues, I’ve come up with a few ideas that can help you take advantage of wintery things. Because when life hands you raw eggs, make eggnog.

  1. Warm up. Winter can be really cold, and if you hate cold weather that can be a real downer. But it offers something unique that summer doesn’t – the relief and relaxation that can come from warming up. Winter is the perfect time to relax in a hot bath before bed. Find a cinnamon spice bath bomb to enhance the experience. Or you could put on sweats, bury deep into a big blanket, and pick up that book you’ve been too busy to touch.
  2. Taste the winter tastes. Just like watermelon Italian ice to cool you off on a hot summer day, there are goodies that are unique to the chillier times. Take advantage of these seasonal treats by using mindfulness to enjoy them. Take your time to slowly sip and enjoy your hot cocoa while watching the tiny marshmallows melt on top. Carefully and thoughtfully prepare a hearty stew that you can sit down to eat while fully enjoying and appreciating the flavors you taste and the love you put into creating it. Judiciously choose the best looking candy cane from the tree and take your time to enjoy the minty sweetness.
  3. Take advantage of snow days. Snow days are winter perks! They are days you are supposed to be at work, and then poof! You’re stuck the house – like actually not supposed to leave. That only happens in winter. Spend some time now thinking about how you can incorporate some self-care into your bonus days off. This is your chance to binge watch that Netflix show you can’t seem to make time for. Or maybe to finish that scrapbook you started four years ago. Snow days are good for staying in the same outfit all day – your pajamas. You have time to make waffles for breakfast, and then maybe again for dinner. Do whatever it is you want to do to give yourself a break and to care for the parts of you that get neglected in the busyness of life.

These are just a few things you can do to battle winter blues. What are some ideas that YOU have? What would you add to the list?! I’d love to hear them!

How Are Your Values Reflected in New Year’s Resolutions

Can you believe that 2017 is almost over?! It seems like ten minutes ago that we were doing this whole “ringing in the new year” thing, and now 2018 is just around the corner! You know what that means – we can start counting down the seconds until people start probing with “what’s your New Year’s resolution?” And as soon as the question pops up, like clock work, people start pledging to lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, and various other fill-in-the-blank self improvement strategies. But here’s a fun fact: only 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions. I’m not sure about you, but I am not part of the 8%.


That’s why this year I’m resolving to quit resolution-ing. I have failed to stick to a resolution for as many years as I can remember making one, so I’m going to err on the side of probability and assume this year won’t be any different. But that doesn’t mean I’m just not thinking about what I want from 2018. I’m just going to think about it differently and in a way that more accurately represents what I want my life to be like in 2018. And if you’re not in the 8%, maybe you will consider joining me.

I want to challenge you to think about your values – a value evaluation, if you will. Values are what make us who we are. They are what guide us to make decisions. They are what motivate us. They are what help us live lives that are authentic and fulfilled. When we are not aware of our values, some of these things can slip. When we are mindful of them, they can be enhanced. Living more consciously in the realm of values could make 2018 your most fulfilled year yet – no resolution required.

 
A PLAN FOR VALUE EVALUATION:

 
1. Identify your values! I’ve included a list below of some things you might consider values. On a piece of paper, write down the things that are values for you. This is not a comprehensive list, so feel free to identify values that are important to you even if you don’t see them below.

Family, Friendship, Authenticity, Work Ethic, Community,
Faith, Happiness, Growth, Knowledge, Adventure,
Altruism, Independence, Health, Balance, Loyalty,
Trustworthiness, Consistency, Intuition, Imagination,
Unity, Tranquility, Uniqueness, Organization, Creativity

 
2. Define your values. Take some time to write a few things down about why you value the things you identified. What’s so important about friendship to you? Why does your life feel more complete when you’re making creativity important? How does knowledge make you feel whole?

 
3. Live your values. Write a few sentences about what these values look like in your everyday life. How will you know if you’re honoring adventure in your life? In what ways can you be mindful of balance from day to day? What does it feel like when you’re practicing consistency?

 
4. Value Roll Call! Check in with yourself from time to time about how fully you are living your values. Maybe you have the words written on a notebook that will remind you to think about them. Or maybe you put a monthly reminder in your phone so you remember to take a few seconds to mull them over. Do whatever works for you and incorporate them in a way that feels right.

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