Written By: Jewell O’Neill
Winter… when most of us go to work and drive home in the dark. The winter blues tend to set in quickly and we lose more and more motivation to get things done as each day passes. Trust me, I get it. I used to wake up each day with just enough energy to make it through the workday then go home to “relax”. I would not do anything to improve my mood or get anything productive done. The dishwasher would go unloaded, the rooms around the house would go untidied and looking at the work to be done would not motivate me. Though there’s nothing we can do about the weather, there IS something we can do about our health, diet and how we view our day to day life.
First thing’s first, I learned that you don’t need to wait for spring to start cleaning. No one likes coming home to a mess or untidy surroundings, it’s just depressing. So why not blast your favourite music, get dancing and get cleaning! It may seem daunting before you start but once you start you will feel so much better! Once you notice how at ease and calm you feel you’ll want to keep a clean house. Many of us had to make quick adjustments to our homes this year due to working and learning at home. With no end in sight, it’s a good time to get your house in order. This can empower families to take control of their surroundings and ideally it should increase productivity and lower stress levels.
This school year has already been very stressful for kids and adults. To help motivate your kids and give them a sense of control; involve them in decluttering their rooms. Get a space set up where they’ll be able to work comfortably and productively.
Studies have shown that clutter interferes with quality of life and causes stress. One study, entitled “Procrastinators and Clutter: An Ecological View of Living with Excessive ‘Stuff’” found ”behavioral procrastination tendencies related to only clutter.” In other words, living in spaces that have too much “stuff” negatively affects people’s lives.
The less you own, the less there is to keep track of. There is less to clean and organize, which will reduce your overall stress levels. Living in an organized home has an immediate effect on reducing stress and gives you a sense of accomplishment and control for whatever the future holds.
So now that we’ve got our house clean and smelling great, we can tackle our health. We have complete control of what we eat, how much we exercise and how we take care of our body. You’d be surprised how quickly your energy and general wellness goes up after you start eating better and exercising. Think fitness is a chore? Find an activity you love and do that! Blast that same music you cleaned too and dance around for an hour, you’ll feel great! Do something you enjoy doing to get moving. Reward yourself with a nice mindfully prepared healthy meal. Who says healthy food has to be bland and gross? Use your favorite no salt spices and get creative! Also don’t forget to take your vitamins. Vitamin D is a common deficiency people experience in the winter. Also get yourself some Vitamin C, B & multivitamins.
Lastly, find new things to do! Find yourself a new hobby like painting, dancing, reading or writing. Or expand your knowledge by taking an online course!
Don’t forget that you are not alone during the winter months. Many people experience the winter blues, so if you find you’re really struggling do not be shy about talking to someone.