Happy Winter, everyone!

Just kidding. I hate winter. If you’ve known me even a short while, this should be no secret. Cold wind, bare trees, gray sky, drab landscape. What’s not to hate? I’ve told The Engineer multiple times, “I think I’m Kryptonian; I NEED the sun for energy!” I think I’ve been spending too much time watching Superman with my 10-year-old son! Super-hero-alien joking aside, it’s true; I absorb my energy from the sun. When the clouds hold those precious rays captive, my body goes into survival mode, slowing down to semi-hibernation to conserve energy until the sun can fight the clouds away.

I’ve always wanted a winter that looks like this…

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I think I could handle that. Yes, it’s cold, but it’s white and bright, and the sun shines when snow isn’t physically falling from the clouds.

But I get stuck with this… for the better part of four months.

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Blah, drabness for days, sometimes weeks, on end. The worst part is that it will look like this most of the winter yet never have the courtesy to grace us with snow! Yesterday the sun showed its face for only the second time in two weeks! I high-tailed it outside and did some puttering around in my gardens while I soaked up those weak rays of Vitamin-D. Today it’s back to blah. I slept in, gave my kids a protein drink and fruit for breakfast (their request!), then we called it a pajama-day, turned on the TV and have been reveling in couch-potato-ness since 8am. I can think of a million projects and activities that need attention, but my body says, “Nah, it’s a gloomy day. Be a bum!”

OK.

Technically, we’re barely fifty hours into winter. Knowing how unmotivated I am over the winter, I’m formulating a battle plan to get ahead of the curve. Maybe if I make specific plans to stay active and mentally engaged, I can combat the winter blues and finally win!

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Here are my top four strategies to beat the winter blues and possibly even thrive in 2015!

Continue a physical exercise routine. I’ll be using BURSTclub.com for my main workout. I love that I can burn 300+ calories in a mere 15 minutes and keep my sciatica at bay! Thank you, Nathan and Jenni! I’m also going to incorporate some of Wendie Pett’s restorative exercises. She uses isometric moves that can be done anywhere and anytime, yep, even while you’re waiting at a red light! One thing I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of years is establish a yoga practice using Tara Stiles’ videos on YouTube. I love her casual approach to yoga and always feel physically and mentally destressed after a 10-minute routine.

Stick to a routine rather than letting the weather determine the day’s activities. I really struggle with this. It’s so much easier to snuggle deeper under the duvet and go back to sleep when I see clouds and gloom out my window, but I find the more I do that, the harder it is to stare Winter in the face and beat those blues! I have plenty to keep me busy if I just have the gumption to DO it: helping kids with lessons, blogging, laundry, cooking, and of course my hobby projects.

Speaking of projects… That is the next step in my tactical plan. Find a motivating project! If I have a project that I want to wake up to, it’ll be easier to wake up, right? This winter I am committing to painting my kitchen. This is my seventh winter in this house, and my third winter pinning glorious white kitchens, and I’ve wanted to paint my cabinets since the day we moved in! If I’m dipping into crisp white paint every day, maybe it will boost my spirits. Stay tuned to find out!

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Challenge the brain! My brain often goes into sleep-mode over the winter. Some of this is a vitamin-D deficiency, and some of it is simply me using the chill and lack of sunshine as an excuse to let my brain be lazy. The winter off-season is a perfect time to delve into my list of things I want to learn. I want to focus on learning some web and blog-development and brushing up on photography and Photoshop skills (so I can Photoshop myself doing all the things I’ve mentioned so far… I’m kidding. I promise not to use Photoshop to make myself appear to be anything other than what I am).

Feed the body, starting with my favorite Vitamin-D supplement. 1,000 ml of sunshine in each of those tiny white tablets : ) THAT’S what I’m talking about! Everyone needs to keep this stocked during the winter. You can even order it directly from me and have it delivered right to your door so you never have to leave your cozy home!

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I’m already very disciplined about eating a clean diet, but I’ve fallen off the Paleo, gluten-free wagon and am definitely feeling the repercussions of that, so I’m planning a cleanse and a return to Paleo after New Years Day. I’ll be recording my progress here. Wouldn’t it be nice to LOSE weight and feel GREAT over the winter? …OK, I’m willing to settle for merely NOT gaining.

I also reserve the right to occasionally set the thermostat at 80* and curl up in my chair with a quilt and hot chocolate to watch sappy movies all day ; ) What is your battle plan for chasing away the winter blues in 2015?

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