How You Will Survive This Winter Without Killing Anyone (Including Yourself)

The days of Indian summers are likely behind the northern regions at this point. From here on in, the days will shrink, and the nights will slowly take over.

Oh sure, at first winter is novel. One can pull out all those musty clothes from the top shelf in the closet, then decide they’re all outdated and go shopping for new ones.

The first snowfall is lovely too, until the next day, as one sits in the auto body repair shop, noticing the first snowfall has melted into a mocha latte soup outside.

It doesn’t take long for the mystique of winter to fade. By February, one can get pretty cagey. Now is the time to strategize survival–nay, not survival–thrival!

The thrival of winter is when one doesn’t only live sipping enough to get by, but she gulps from the cup of life. This is the plan…

Lighting Matters

Fake Sun LED System | discovermagazine

This is about more than purchasing the correct bulbs. Yes, it’s important that one’s home has soft lighting, the sort which mimics the spectrum of the sun, but what about the actual sun?

Drawing the curtains is a temptation in the winter, especially as the temperatures drop. Curtains are cozy. Closing them may save on heating bills, but it crushes the source of natural light.

Sunlight isn’t only cheap lighting, it’s free heat, and it’s directly connected to your sense of wellbeing. Even the sunlight from a cloudy day beats none at all.

If it’s really bad, talk to your physician about setting up a lightbox.

Baking Works

There is a double benefit with using the oven in winter. One, food is awesome, especially freshly baked items. The list of delectable baked goods is too long for this blog.

Also, when the item finishes baking, one can leave the oven door open to let the heat seep into the rest of the house. It’s not only the heat, but the smells of whatever came out of that oven.

Heck, if it’s a gas oven, plan to bake something every day. It’s the best [read: cheapest] air-freshening-food-making-space-heater you’ve got.

Supplementing Counts

Many people know that the sun provides much of one’s vitamin D, a deficiency suffered in the long months of winter.

Few know that taking a vitamin D supplement can help with the depression sometimes felt from lack of sunlight.

As it turns out, folks in places like Scandinavia consume foods higher in D to offset the loss of sunlight.

Those guys are pros at beating the winter blues. Do everything they do.

Resting Easy

Winter is a time of year when the body increases melatonin production. Melatonin is the sleepy time hormone. It’s normal to feel drowsy earlier in the day, even sleep more.

There may be a temptation to resist that sleepiness but don’t. As long as one is not suffering a more serious pathology, like depression, a little more sleep won’t hurt. It’s dark out anyway.

Try to turn in early. Take advantage of the extra Zs. That will also allow the body to replenish another hormone, serotonin, which contributes to an overall feeling of wellbeing.

Scheduling Time

There is a time to go outside, and there is time not to go outside. There is also a time not to stay inside. The more one stays inside, the more likely she will feel cabin fever.

Running out to warm up the car doesn’t count as “outside time.” Also, one doesn’t have to be an outdoorsy person prone to winter activities to appreciate a little time outside.

The challenge is dealing with the weather. Here’s the solution: Set a weekly reminder for Monday or Sunday to check the forecast for the coming week.

Use the day with the best forecast to plan a walk outside, even if it’s five minutes. Schedule it with a reminder, then dress right, and take your walk.

Try to increase the length of your walk as often as you can. If you master this, you can schedule more than one walk per week.

If all of this fails or if you’ve struggled with Winters in the past, pop in to see the doctor. Even a general practitioner can sort out solutions (like a lightbox) or help you find someone who can help.

Make this your winter of thrival.