5 Secrets for a Healthy, Productive Winter
By: Bluma Gordon, Lubicom Marketing Staff
Feeling the winter blues coming on again? Good news: With the right tools, you can shake off winter-related burnout. Food blogger and Optavia health coach Melinda Strauss shares five things she does to keep a healthy mindset and stay productive, proactive—and happy—during the winter months.
1. Keep a Morning Journal
You’ll want to get yourself a personal notebook or journal for this game-changer activity. Set aside just a minute or two every morning to jot down three goals for the day, three long-term goals, and three things you feel grateful for.
“I love short and sweet to-do lists,” says Melinda. “Long lists can be so overwhelming, and when you’re overwhelmed things don’t get done. But everyone can accomplish three things almost every day.”
Melinda’s a big fan of also keeping long-term goals in mind during the daily grind . “They don’t have to be cosmic or life-altering goals,” says Melinda. “Keeping sight of the bigger picture helps me stay focused even on tough days. It reminds me why I do what I do every day.”
Reminding ourselves to feel grateful every day is important for a positive, healthy outlook. “No matter how hard things get, there’s always something to be grateful for,'' says Melinda.
2. Get Moving!
Hibernating under covers might be a natural response to nasty weather and a mood to match it. But physically moving can actually alter the negative chemistry in your brain and put you in action mode.
“Get out of bed first thing in the morning— even before picking up your phone!” says Melinda. Take some quick energy-charging walks around your block when you feel lethargic. If it’s too cold for that, do some indoor stretches.
3. Follow the Right People, Inside and Out
Now that you’re burrowing in the warmth of your home, you’ll probably be spending more time on social media. Don’t get dragged down by the wrong people! “Make sure to follow people online who support your goals, want you to grow, uplift you, and make you smile,” says Melinda.
Just because it’s cold, you don’t need to stow your outside life together with your summer clothing. “When we insulate ourselves too much, we feel miserable,'' says Melinda. Bundle up, get out there, and socialize with people who will support you in your life’s journey.
The options to find friendship and community are endless! “Check out the newest cafe or have a paint night with your friends. Go to a shul, community, or sisterhood event,” says Melinda. Looking for a professional community in the foodspace? Join the Jewish Food Media conference, run by Melinda Strauss and sponsored by Kosher.com, and you’ll find a community of like-minded professionals to help you grow personally and professionally.
4. Indulge, Just a Little
We all need an extra dose of comfort in the winter. And you can get warm and cozy without piling on the pounds or emptying your wallet. Give your body and soul the boost it needs while staying healthy at the same time.
“Looking good helps you feel good,'' says Melinda. “Get some fun winter accessories so you can feel happy about getting out every day.” There’s really no need to spend wads of cash to feel tickled-winter-pink. You can get a pair of fuzzy slippers, a cute scarf, gloves, and a hat for just a couple bucks at your nearest Target or Walmart. “Get something fun and colorful that matches your personality,'' says Melinda.
- Warm Yourself with Soul-Nourishing Foods
“I love comforting myself in the winter with a hot tea or chicken soup,” says Melinda. You can make one huge Costco-style pot of soup, divide into containers, freeze, and defrost whenever you need a physical + mental boost. For a great recipe with a twist, check out Kosher.com’s Jamaican Chicken Soup recipe by Estelle Chait.
“I love chicken soup because it’s healthy and freezes well,'' says Melinda. “It feels good to know that you can get the comfort food you need while putting something healthy in your body.”
5. Don’t Let the Weather Affect Your Mood
Nasty weather can make us feel awful—if we let it. “The weather shouldn’t choose your mood for you,'' says Melinda. “You can stay happy and find what to be grateful for even in bad weather.”
Melinda teaches the “Stop. Challenge. Choose” approach to help others gain control of their mindset and power to choose. “Don’t automatically react to the environment,” says Melinda. “Stop, give yourself time to think, and then choose an appropriate response.”
Winter can get tough and cause us to lose the momentum we picked up at the beginning of the year. But if we put our minds to it, we can hit the ground running and have a healthy, productive winter. Happy shoveling!