It’s about that time of year in Calgary…the time when the winter blues start to trickle into our lives.
It’s time for me to be 100% honest. These winter blues are no stranger to me. I have been a long time “sufferer” of the winter blues, dating back to my high school days. However, I never had to fully find coping mechanisms to be more productive in the winter until I became a business owner.
When I was working in a corporate job, I never had to worry about moving a company forward. I simply had to show up, do my work, then go home and crawl back into bed. When I started The Write Harle, I was now responsible for building a business, working with clients, meeting all deadlines, paying all the bills, and so much more. I could no longer afford to simply go through the motions of a day without caring. I had to be an active and engaged individual, one with passion and drive no matter what the thermometer said.
Over the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve developed a few tricks to ensure that my business doesn’t suffer during the winter months because of my winter downtime in my mind.
3 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
- Invest in a Happy Lamp
A what?! These lamps are actually referred to as SAD® (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Lamps. I find while SAD is a clever acronym, it’s a bit too depressing. So, I call it a Happy Lamp (thanks to the advice of the amazing Andrea Jones). These lamps use light therapy that simulates natural light / sunshine, helping to reduce some of the debilitating effects of the winter blues, such as depression, extreme fatigue, social withdrawal, mood swings, and so on.
There’s no doubt that you’ve heard this one before and it is probably the hardest one on the list to do when it’s cold outside and all you want to do is curl up and stay cozy inside. However, when I say “exercise” I don’t mean that you have to go to the gym for an hour every day, unless that’s what you want to do.
While I try and get to the gym or pool three – four times a week, some weeks I just can’t do it. Instead, I take my dogs for short 15-minute walks. This short spurt of exercise helps me to refocus and come back to my desk ready to crank out some more work for clients or my business.
- Write it Out in a Journal
Outside of writing for my clients, I never really wrote for myself. Everyone would always ask if I wrote in a journal growing up and that’s how I knew I wanted to write and my answer is always “nope.” In fact, I never started journaling until 2014.
Journaling was mentioned to me by my business coach as something that would help me sort through my thoughts, particularly during the winter when I found it hard to get moving. In fact, I didn’t even have to write pages and pages of my feelings. Rather, I focused on writing a simple intent for the day and a grateful thought. That’s it. By writing down one intention for a day, I’ve been able to better focus on a small business step for that day, taking away the daunting endless feeling that the winter blues brought to me. One small daily intention over 3 – 4 months equals a lot of accomplishment and forward motion.
Really, the winter blues can turn even the most active individual into a bed cuddling hermit and that’s okay. The trick is to make small tweaks to help get you moving, even on the coldest, darkest days, to still have an impact and forward motion in your business. If you have your own tricks, I would love to hear them. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!