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6 Ways to Keep the Energy and Optimism Up During the Dark and Cold Winter

6 Effective Ways to Keep the Energy and Optimism Up During the Dark and Cold Winter

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

“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.”
Anne Bradstreet 

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.

Things like:

  • 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.

5. Exercise.

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.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I love that you mentioned exercise!

    Especially those that get your heart rate going.

    And the best part is you don’t even need a lot of space to get some.

    Jumping jacks, high jumps, jump rope, squats, push ups.

    So many ways to get a full body workout in and be in a better mood and beat fatigue!

  • I’m sure many can benefit from this. Not only to overcome winter anxieties but these strategies that you shared are also very benefiting for just about any period (or season) in time.

    Being optimistic helps and I also find it to be extremely important in finding inner peace within ourselves too because it’ll allow you to approach life in a more refreshed and collected mindset.

    In this article, I’ve shared 15 small actionable habits when it comes to finding your inner peace. I hope this helps. :)
    https://www.greatbigminds.com/finding-inner-peace-15-small-habits-you-can-start-today/

  • increasing my cardio is part of my New Year’s resolution because as one with side hustle millionaire mindset, have to sit for a few hours each day from time to time throughout the day to create content. It gets quite lonely sometimes because there’s days that I sit here and cold air seeps through the window writing content and facing a wall. But I wouldn’t trade this for a day job because I like the freedom and flexibility of getting up and going as I please. And to talk about light therapy lamp, it would be nice if I had one of those purple and red lights like the old-school track lights that could keep me warm. :-)

  • Fiona

    Thank you for your warm words they are so inspirational. Simple thoughts and yet so though provoking.
    Thank you
    I am a yoga teacher and lighting is truly important learning to switch off takes time but patience and letting go of your minds thoughts helps relax

  • Exercise is very important to maintain good mental health! It lets us let off some steam (literally and metaphorically)

  • Hey Henrik
    Great pointers here on how to not only keep the energy but also how to get oneself moving even when the circumstances are difficult.

  • Living with positive people is worth a lot. You walk with negative people they suck all your energy. very good article

  • I live in Las Vegas and I can still use these tips!

  • Your positive thought inspired me but what can I do if my spouse sucks my energy.

  • Exercise!! If you ranked this is order of importance I would put exercise in the number 1 spot. For so many reasons. This is a great article!