“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Up here in Sweden the winter is dark, cold and often comes with a mix of rain and snow.
And spring is still far away.
It is not easy to keep the energy and optimism up like in the bright and warm summer days.
So today I'd like to share 6 habits I use that make it a lot easier to stay positive even throughout this dark and often grey season.
1. Find one of your biggest energy sucks.
Ask yourself: What is the biggest energy suck in my life right now?
You may for example find that it is a person in your life that is very negative.
Or that the report that you have been meaning to finish for a month now is dragging you down.
Then you follow that up with asking:
What is one thing I can do about this?
Maybe you decide that you want stop hanging out with that person. Or at least spend less of the time you have in a week with him or her and more of that time with the people that give you the most energy.
Perhaps you can just set off 5 minutes today to get started again with finishing your report.
For some energy sucks there might not be a simple solution. Or a solution at all, at least at this time.
Then you may want to find one of the lesser leaks in your life that you can actually do something about.
Take a few minutes or half an hour out of your day to plug just one of these biggest leaks and you'll have more energy to spend on what truly matters to you.
2. Be grateful for the small things and the things you may sometimes take for granted.
When I'm brushing my teeth in the morning and looking out the window over the dark and rainy landscape it is easy to forget about the things I actually have.
- A roof over my head and a warm home.
- Clean water.
- Three steady meals every day.
I have found that zooming out on my perspective like this helps out a lot to snap out of any kind of victim thinking and negativity.
3. Vitamin D supplements.
For the past few winters I've been taking Vitamin D supplements each day and I've found them to give back a lot of the energy I tend to lose during a long winter.
A few people close to me are also taking them and are reporting similar positive effects in varying degrees.
4. A light-therapy lamp.
I bought a rather inexpensive light therapy lamp last fall (I think it cost about $60) but I used it haphazardly and without much consistency.
This winter I had a better two-step plan:
- I put the lamp very near the couch in my workroom.
- Each afternoon at around 3 pm I do a bit of reading (fiction, personal development books or online business blogs) for about 30-40 minutes while keeping my face close to the lamp.
I've been doing this for about two months now and I've found that I've got more energy and it's even easier to keep the optimism up (especially during the dark evenings).
Plus, I've gotten quite a bit more reading done compared to the past few winters.
An obvious but a very effective one.
Regular exercise will give you more energy. It will help you to release inner tensions, anxiety and stress.
And so it will be easier to stay relaxed, positive and to think clearly with less overthinking and to act decisively.
6. Take action and move forward.
Few things create so much frustration, worries and anxiety as sitting on your hands and doing nothing.
So even though it might be a little extra tough to get started or to keep going with your dreams and goals during this season remind yourself that if you do you will replace those feelings and thoughts above with optimism and self-confidence.
And remember that you do not have to go forward in big or quick leaps.
The most important thing is simply that you move forward. Even if it is by just taking one small or slow step after another.
Because those steps will quickly add up over the weeks even if they may not look so impressive in themselves.