There is no doubt that the colder seasons of the year have their upsides. It’s a refreshing change from the bright heat of summer, bringing on coziness and a festive season to be enjoyed. To suggest that it is nothing but darkness, misery and cold is to ignore the obvious benefits.
Sometimes though, it’s tough to focus on anything but the downsides isn’t it? Winter can be bleak. The color is washed from the landscape, the cold is biting and our bodies begin to rebel against the sustained low temperatures. You can find yourself hankering for more daylight, with the time you have feeling hampered by the short days and long nights.
For some, this crosses over into Seasonal Affective Disorder – a depressive condition brought on by lack of light. For others, it’s just a case of the winter blues, though that is to undersell a pervasive problem.
Despite all of that, winter is still going to happen. So rather than bowing to the unpleasant months – a full quarter of your life – it’s time to revolutionize them. There are plenty of steps you can take to reclaim winter, and ensure you have the best season possible. Take these promises and you can guarantee to reclaim a quarter of your life and make it fun again.
Body Talk: The Human Condition Through The Colder Months
Winter plays havoc with your eyes and skin, due to a mix of cold air and overheating from central gas systems. It can quickly turn into dehydration, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis flare during this time.
Then there is the impact on our appetite. With light levels low, we tend to crave starchy foods and carbohydrates – that’s why stew is such a cliche. A salad just doesn’t feel satisfying without comforting heat around you. This is the main reason so many people gain weight through winter; it’s often put down to Christmas over-indulgence, but it’s more than that. No one wants to have to break into spring with a diet on their mind.
Finally, the impact on our joints is unpleasant. Health conditions are generally worse in winter, and this is especially true of any mobility issues.
So, hand on heart time and repeat…
I Solemnly Swear:
- I will drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Yes it feels like a lot. Yes, it sometimes makes me feel uncomfortably full. But I understand the need for proper hydration and I will make myself do it.
- I will use a lip balm if I am going to be out in cold winds, because chapped lips make everything a little bit more miserable.
- I will find a way to exercise at home, be it by lifting weights or on the best spinning bikes. I know I won’t want to run outside, so I will use at home equipment to ensure I still workout.
- I will use a SAD lamp with at least 10,000 LUX if I feel any signs of depression outside of my normal state.
- I will use emollients such as shea butter to help my skin survive, knowing it needs an extra boost. I know the skin is the largest organ in the body and should be nurtured.
- I will not eat carbohydrate-rich meals in the evening, instead opting for these as lunch when I can still burn off the calories.
- I will increase my intake of healthy fats such as nuts and avocados in an effort to try and stem the carbohydrate cravings.
- I will supplement Vitamin D, magnesium in ionic form and use gelatin powders to keep myself comfortable.
- I will not eat all of the Christmas chocolate in one sitting while binge-watching episodes of my favorite TV show. (Okay, this is more of an ideal. It’s Christmas! You do you.)
Your Home, Your Castle, Your Winter Problems
Your body is not the only thing that can suffer – your house is vulnerable as well. Whether you own outright or are renting, there are steps you need to take to ensure you avoid disasters through winter. Let’s get promising again.
I Solemnly Swear…
- I will clean out the guttering on my home and the outside drains, at least once per week. I know it is a disgusting task and I won’t want to do it, but I also know the consequences of not doing so.
- If I have outdoor pipes, I will insulate them to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting.
- I will keep an eye on the weather forecast and double check that both have been done when a particular cold front is moving in.
- I will bleed my radiators to up my energy efficiency.
- I will open all of the windows in my house at least once a week to ensure adequate ventilation. Otherwise I will get black mold, which is not only disgusting but could potentially make me ill.
Frugal Finances: Finishing December With Some Cash Left
This time of year is expensive from start to finish. It begins with putting together a Halloween costume – rarely free – for yourself and your family. It finishes with fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and there’s the gifting glut of Christmas. All of this combined can mean that you start the new year with a new amount of debt as well.
You don’t have to spend money to be able to enjoy yourself. No, really, you don’t. If you make a few savings in some areas, then you can really go all out on the others.
So, here we go again…
I Solemnly Swear:
- I will agree an amount of money to spend with family members. If we are all upfront and adult about it, we avoid potential arguments and can save a huge amount too.
- I will try the same with friends, though acknowledge this can be more difficult.
- I will have at least two weeks I designate as frugal, saving any money I don’t have to spend on anything but the essentials.
- I will set a budget, and I will stick to it.
- I will build a contingency fund for those fun, frivolous things that my budget can’t accommodate, and which I will save into before using.
Follow all of the above and you will start January exactly as you should: fresh, energized, and all areas at their best.
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