I feel it too.  The darkness and the cold make it all too easy to want to curl up on the couch with a book and never go out.  Okay, maybe I just feel this way! I couldn’t even find a picture of myself outside in the winter to share with you.

I have spoken to a few people this January who have expressed a bit of sadness about the weather and how long winter can be in Quebec.  One of my friends is really making a point of planning activities that keep her from hiding in her house waiting for spring. I am so proud of her. Maybe some of the following tips will help you to beat the winter blues.

*  Try to find an art or a cooking class or join a book club or a bridge group, that gets you out of the house a few times per week. Rather than taking a ‘drop in’ type class, try to find one that makes you register for the whole session. This will help you to stay committed. “Dropping in” is just a way of planning to ‘drop out’ as far as I am concerned. Do yourself a favour and commit to being busy this winter.

* Several people I know volunteer their time to different organizations. This is a wonderful way to get out of the house and improve our mood by helping others. We also meet new people which can spur on even more activity.

* It is also very important to get out into the light and take in the sun. Light from the sun, promotes the secretion of serotonin which increases positivity and alertness. Promise yourself that you will go for a short walk, everyday out in the daylight.

* Fitness is very helpful at increasing energy levels. When we first start to train, exercise can be tiring but with a regular routine, you will find that you have more energy after class than you did when you arrived. Try to find a class that interests you and then bring a friend. I find that students who plan to workout with a friend and then plan to visit afterwards, almost never miss class!

I am not a winter sport person.  I do like to skate but usually the wind makes me retreat for hot chocolate shortly after lacing up my skates! Two or three times during the winter I follow my husband to the rink and we skate. I was far more active in the winter when my kids were little and I knew that I had to get them outside for fresh air.  I used to spend hours sliding with my little ones.

Even though I do not like to play outside in the cold anymore, I am trying my best to have many activities that keep me distracted while winter moves along. At the beginning of the week, I try to make plans with friends for lunch or coffee so my week is filled with plans to get me out of the house.

I hope some of these tips help you to keep your smiles for the next two months.  We can do this!

Just come to the gym if all else fails and I will get you sweating like it is full on summer!

Beth