Don’t dread the darker days. With just a few simple shifts in lifestyle, winter can bring a special type of intimacy.
It’s that time of year, where the days get dramatically shorter. For the next few months, most of us will rise to dark skies and leave the office as the daylight is slipping away. As days go by and the nights get longer, we are all vulnerable to a seasonal dip in energy. Without the draw of sunshine, we can find ourselves feeling trapped inside. We can start to feel disconnected from each other and from the outside world as we hole up inside. The changing of the seasons is inevitable, but seasonal depression isn’t. With a few shifts in your lifestyle and the conviction to hold onto some of your favorite activities, winter can bring a unique sense of closeness or the right kind of solitude.
1. Get outside at least once every day.
No matter what’s happening with the weather, get outside. Go for a walk, find a covered area to sit outside, or bundle up and ride your bike. Getting a little fresh air every day will keep you from feeling like you’re trapped inside. Plus, once you’re cold and wet enough you’ll want nothing more than to be back inside.
2. Get super cozy.
If you’re going to be inside for a while, you might as well do it right. This is your time to get as snuggly and cozy as you possibly can. So grab your heaviest blankets, your softest sweaters, and your thickest socks. Find your favorite book, light some candles, and curl up with your cuddliest pet. Invite your best friend over, cook up your homiest soup, and brew your yummiest tea. This time is about sinking deeply into the comforts of darkness.
3. It’s still hiking season, baby.
Most people think winter is the opposite of hiking season but this just isn’t so. The mountains are fair game if you know where to look. And the Washington coast can be cold in summer so what’s the difference if you go in winter? It’s all a matter of having the right gear. Sure, you’ll want a solid rain jacket and a good pair of gloves and maybe some micro-spikes for those really cold days, but the evergreens and mosses are captivating year-round. And a perk is the trails are all yours. Most people think it’s the wrong time of year to go so you’ll probably get the place to yourself.
4. Get outta town.
No matter how good you are at grabbing some fresh air and making sure you’re spending quality time with loved ones, getting away from the grasp of winter is crucial. This is the best time of year to take a trip to a warm place. Spending a week in flip flops will help boost your spirits and get you through to the other side, even if it’s only for a weekend. The anticipation alone may be enough to keep you feeling peppy on our grayest days.
5. Delegate to extend your days
The days may be getting shorter but the workload stays the same. It’s easy to miss the whole day if you’re still doing everything alone. Give yourself more time in your day by delegating tasks that consume your energy but could really be done by someone else. Instead of trying to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store, skip it by having them delivered to you. Your lunch break and weekends might be your best opportunities to grab that time outside or connect with friends so don’t throw them away trying to tackle draining tasks you’d really rather not be doing in the first place. Delegate them to your team of personal concierges.
Put simply, instead of resisting what winter has to offer, embrace it. No matter how much you try to fight the darkness, it will be here until it fades into summer, so you might as well find a way to love it.