It's fluffy. It sparkles. It's got it's magical moments.
But the truth is....
I am not a big winter person. I tolerate it, if anything. I admire it from in the warm, cozy house. I bundle up, like an abominable snowman, when I have to endure going out to the store. I'm just not all that into it.
Yes, it was different when I had my kiddos. When they were young and we'd take them ice skating, sledding and having a big bon fire with hot cocoa. We'd all sit around, laugh, talk and be merry.
And then they left. (the kids)
Welcome to empty nesting, midlife and entrepreneurship, rolled into ONE big, messy, magical, jokes on me, how'd I get here...LIFE!
As a divorced,midlife, entrepreneur, I find I sit on my ass 6 hours a day, minimum. I spend days on end, alone. In utter silence and solitude. I stare at a computer and type until my fingers cramp,most days. And when winter kicks in, if I'm not cautious, it can kick my ass!
I've always suffered from winter blues. It was easier to combat when I had kids at home and when I worked outside of the house. Now, it requires more awareness and creativity to outsmart myself!
Maine also has an excruciatingly LONG winter! We actually got our first snow fall before Halloween and it stayed. We are now buried under 4 feet of crusty white stuff and it's only the beginning of February! Hello, long winter!
One of the benefits of living in Maine is I've learned to become resilient. Resiliency isn't just pulling up your big girl britches and hunkering down. It's more about how can I thrive in an environment that doesn't float my boat. After years of sleeping too much, anti-depressants, and down right crankiness, I've learned a few simple tools to make winter a lot less painful and most days, brighter!
Check out below my 3 ways to combat the winter blues, especially if you're a stuck at home, entrepreneur.
These are my simplest and by far my most effective!
1. Friends who won't let you sink into a winter abyss.
You don't have to have a large tribe, just a quality tribe. I've got friends who get it. They don't guilt me. They understand. They don't fucking care what time of the day it is. They just don't want me to be a miserable, slug!
Every week I go out with one of them. It can be coffee, dinner, movie, bookstore but it's something, just to get me out of the house and be a smidgen social.
Every day one of them connects with me. A simple text. A check in phone call. A funny joke on social media. An invite to dinner. A what's up message! It doesn't have to be much. If I don't respond within a few hours, they know I'm slipping. They know the truth. They see the signs and they don't miss a beat. They'll call back and bug the shit out of me until I laugh, cry or scream. Whatever needs to happen. They are in for it the long haul and I couldn't get through without them!
Ps. It's a two way street. I do it for them as well. We get, what we give!
2. Consistent sleep patterns.
I know silly, simple.
But it matters.
A consistent 7-9 hours of sleep is urgent! I don't care who you are, you can say you only require 5, but it's been proven time and time again, that 8 hours is a good number. A rested body, is a rested mind. A rested mind, is a focused entrepreneur. A focused entrepreneur, gets shit done and nails goals with left over energy for family and friends!
Do what works for you! If you are a night owl, set your bed time for midnight and get up at 7 or 8. If you are an early bird, set your bed time for 9 and get up at 5. There's no point in forcing yourself to be someone you are not. But you can always be a better, improved version of yourself and that starts with basic self care. Because self care means you love yourself enough to get a quality nights sleep!
3. Less processed and gluten foods.
I'm not, nor have I ever been a diet, fad, strict, health nut when it comes to foods. It just so happens I have a friend who cut gluten from her diet because she was suffering from a massive case of depression, lethargy, and brain fog. After 30 days with NO gluten the brain fog began to lift. After a few month she had more energy and the black veil of depression had lifted. So after years of not wanting to try something radical like giving up donuts, I finally tried cutting way back. The processed food part was actually quite easy. Giving up pasta and donuts, not so much. I'm not a fan of beating myself up for imperfections, so I cut myself enough slack to satisfy my craving by allowing myself once a week to eat pasta and grab a donut from my favorite bakery.
You don't have to go ALL in to notice the change. But you do have to do it enough that you feel it. I simply committed to allowing a cheat day and knowing I'd feel it. Less energy. Highs and lows with my blood sugar. Brain fog. So, it's a moderation game. One I know I can do when I acknowledge how much better I feel without these foods. And allowing myself to have it, guilt free if I'm really craving it.
See, I told you simple! And pretty much FREE or at the very least, low cost!
Of course there's a few other things I've done that improve my attitude during the winter...
Here's a quick snipped of what I believe has helped me through the dark, short, gray days...
1. 8 glasses of water (1 lemon water in the am/pm)
2. Small meals (4-5 a day)
3. Half hour of outside time every day.
4. 30 minutes of combined yin yoga and meditation
5. Daily journal writing practice.
That's it. Those have been my game changers. Nothing to over the top. Nothing fancy. All cheap. And require little more than an hour of my time in the morning.
If you've got some great ways that you've battled the winter blues as a stay at home, entrepreneur, we'd love to know! Please share your tools, tips and tricks. We can all use some extra TLC this time of the year.
Warm winter blessings,
Ps. I am happily excepting NEW clients starting in March (yea Spring!). If you think we'd be a delightful fit, please check out my 'Try Me' session for an actual coaching/strategy call. This is one part holistic coaching/one part business strategy. It's a NO pressure coaching call. If you find our coaching conversation valuable and you'd like to know how we can work together, please ask and I'll happily share more details.
I scribble about business & life after 50. I've got no time for BS, bad coffee or crappy relationships! Profanity is a wonderful stress management TOOL. I use it often.