Beat the Winter Blues: 7 Tips to Start Your Day Right

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Be Intentional

“I signed us up for yoga,” If you could pick the six words I NEVER thought would come out of my husband’s mouth, those would be top of the list. He’s a DUDE dude. A soccer player. He loves camping (not glamping. CAMPING), backpacking, hiking and all the nature. But yoga? Como?

I thought yoga was for Vegans and people who smelled like patchouli. I don’t qualify on either count. To say I wasn’t excited would be an understatement, but he convinced me. It took a few times, but I was hooked!

One of my favorite parts of yoga is the beginning where we set an intention. The teacher will bring one to share, or you can set your own, and they are so powerful. This concept isn’t exclusive to yoga, though, it’s shared in books about how to succeed in business, weight loss, goal setting, anything you’re trying to achieve or gain.

You can start your day with a formal intention, but then you follow up that intention with acts. The point is to be INTENTIONAL about setting your day up for success and positivity, which doesn’t just affect you. Your positivity and intentional day will spread to everyone around you, just like an antidote to a poison.

With the state of the world right now, and what is coming, we need to be our own antidotes, and if we can spread it to others, all the better. Here are some easy and effective ways to set your intention for the day.

Get Dressed

Oh, I can hear you now! “April, have you been living under a rock? The world is shutting down. We’re about to be stuck at home for the next few months. We’re not going anywhere! Why does it matter if I’m wearing yoga pants or an outfit as long as I’m not naked?”

It matters. You are setting an intention for the day to be productive and energized. Pajamas say it’s sleepy time, relax time, everything can wait. Getting dressed tells your brain it’s go time. Let’s make breakfast. The dog needs a walk. If you’re working from home, even if no one sees you, you will be more productive and not fall behind.

Taking a few minutes to put on real clothes is also sending a message of self-worth and value to yourself and those around you. I get dressed for myself. I feel better, my day goes better, and it affects my self-esteem.

When you walk past the mirror dressed in something that makes you feel put together, and it can be comfortable and cozy, your hair is brushed, maybe a little makeup if you like to wear makeup, you smile and think,” I look nice.”

beat the Winter Blues: Start Your Day Right - Marie Kondo quote

When you walk past the mirror in pajamas, yoga pants, or grubbies, hair a mess, and looking like you just woke up (at 2 p.m.), what thoughts go through your head?

“I’m such a slob.”
“I hate the way I look.”
“I should just go back to bed.”

What do you think that self-talk does to your self-esteem? What does it do to your day? Your week? The year? Our thoughts are everything. When your self-esteem is in the tank, that can spiral into depression and anxiety.

It doesn’t have to take long. I spend about 20 minutes getting ready. Because I shower at night, the VERY FIRST thing I do when I get out of bed is put on my clothes, and it takes no longer than it does to put on yoga pants and my husband’s high school soccer sweatshirt. Right there I’m 80% improved. It takes two minutes because I just look at the outfit calendar to see what I’m wearing, grab my clothes and I’m dressed.

I have a quick makeup routine, and I touch up my hair. Done. I deserve 20 minutes to get ready and look nice each day. I’m not wedding-day ready, but I’m not getting married today! You deserve to show up for yourself that way. It’s an act of self-care and self-love.

You deserve to look and feel great every day, and it doesn’t have to be hard! That’s one reason members love the Classic Wardrobe Guides and the Outfit Calendars, because I’ve done all the work for them.

Pretty much my entire life I’ve gotten up and gotten dressed every day because I just feelt better. When I first came home from the hospital with newborn, premature triplets, well-meaning people told me to stop wasting time getting ready.

We were quarantined for six months because of RSV, which can kill a preemie. We weren’t going anywhere, so why bother? I experimented with it for two days, and I felt awful. Everything was worse. The crying was louder, the diapers were poopier, and I was more tired.

beat the Winter Blues: Start Your Day Right -me with the babies

I couldn’t take it. I wore a nicer tee, some chinos, did my hair, even if it was brushed back in a ponytail, put on a little makeup, and suddenly everything was less hard. The babies still cried and had poopy diapers by the thousands, constant reflux, heart monitors, kept me up all night, and were hard to feed, but I could handle it better because I felt better.

I could not have handled those first six months of motherhood in isolation in pajamas. I didn’t wear anything fancy. Coming from the corporate world I hardly had any casual clothes at all! t-shirts and chinos were what I wore every day, but I was dressed and out of my pajamas, and I looked nice!

beat the Winter Blues: Start Your Day Right -me tandem feeding the boys
beat the Winter Blues: Start Your Day Right - Boys 0 birthday

Get a Dose of Positivity

While I get ready I like to listen to a dose of positivity and get my brain going the right direction first thing. If you’ve never listened to The Life Coach School by Brooke Castillo, it’s an amazing podcast. The episodes are usually 20-30 minutes, which is perfect, and they are such a boost. Start with episode one and just go from there. Everyone I’ve recommended it to has thanked me.

Starting your day with a devotional, which can be religious or not, reading your scriptures, prayer, and meditation are all excellent ways I like to start my day as well. I’m amazed that what I read that day is usually just what I needed. I set an intention about what I am struggling with before I read as well.

Drink some water and hydrate

I fill my water bottle with ice water the night before and leave it on my night table so I can drink water as soon as I wake up. We get dehydrated in the night, and the lack of water makes you feel sluggish and tired. Warm lemon water is also a great version in the cold months.

Give your body some much-needed hydration so you can function.

Take Your Vitamin D

It’s practically impossible to get enough daylight in the winter months to produce enough Vitamin D. Between the cold weather keeping us inside most of the time, the minimal amount of skin exposed, the short daylight hours and the sun sitting lower, we are chronically low on Vitamin D.

It’s essential for energy, mental well-being, and immune system support, among other things, and it’s easy to get in a supplement.

Get Some Movement

When we are staying home this much, it’s hard to get enough movement. Last spring when we were in lockdown, not only did I miss my yoga classes, but I realized how much movement I was missing from daily life: walking to and from the car, in and out of stores, back and forth from my neighbor’s house. Running errands, shuttling kids, it all added up to movement that got me out of my chair and away from my desk.
What can you do to get some movement? It doesn’t have to be long or intense, just move your body.

beat the Winter Blues: Start Your Day Right - Brooke Castillo quote

Get Outside

Last spring when we were all stuck at home all the time, my husband and I started a daily ritual of going on a walk together. We needed to get outside, move our legs and arms, breathe some fresh air, and get a change of scenery. These weren’t even power walks, we were leisure strolling, but it made such a difference in our days.

The weather isn’t ideal in the winter, but bundle up and go. Walk a few laps around the neighborhood. Ride your bike if the roads are clear. Take the dog for extra potty breaks. Make it a family outing or go by yourself, but it will do you a world of good to be outside for a few minutes each day.

Make Contact

The whole point of the shutdown is to avoid contact, but that kind of isolation can lead to very serious depression, especially if you live alone. While we may not get the kind of contact we are used to, there are other ways. Combine it with getting outside and stand in your yard and shout to your friend across the street.

My in-laws have been very strictly quarantined because they are high risk, and they came to our house a few times to visit. They stood on the sidewalk by the street and we stood 12 feet away on the sidewalk by the porch.

Use Facetime to have face-to-face calls with people you love. Start a GroupMe chat with friends or family. Join a Facebook group related to your hobbies and interests.

In the Society Facebook group yesterday we were talking about how wonderful it is to have a place we can go and be with our friends, get away from the negativity of the news and just talk about something we all enjoy and are working on, our winter wardrobes.

Join us today in the Stunning Style Society for a fun way to beat the winter blues. Get dressed, get inspired, make contact and have something fun to do this winter!

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