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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’m grateful for the small things, in winter I take a vitamin D and going to gym – lot of movement produce dopamine and endorphin in brain which helping me stay positive.

  • Wise advice Henrick, we used to live in South Lake Tahoe, California and there were many dark snowy days that can be depressing. One thing that helped me was going to a tanning booth. I had read that this will give you vitamin D and it was more effective than the supplements. Of course keeping in mind sun damage, i would only spend a very short time in the booth. Now we live in South America and get plenty of Vitamin D. Your advice can still be implemented thought and im going to apply it.

  • I loved the site, very interesting, I learned things that never
    He had seen nowhere else. Congratulations! Keep posting these articles that will greatly learn to all who learn more. Thank you.

  • very good

  • Hi Henrik
    Content of your article is very understandable and inspiring . Your exercise tips is very effect full for my body and brain.

  • Dude, I really liked the way you handle it.

  • These are all really good points. To the last point, I would say you don’t always have to be doing something. I know that sometimes, I run around a lot and don’t actually get a lot done. But when I pause, do some mindfulness exercises, it becomes bit clearer what I need to do.

  • Great post! Thanks for sharing x

  • It is really difficult to keep the energy in the bright and warm summer days.
    Exercise is the part of my daily life and its beneficial for me and thanks for more advice.

  • Can definitely empathise with the subject of this article – I’m based in the North of England, where this dull time of year is also typical.

    I have to say your point about vitamin D is really important. My doctor made me go on super-powerful vit D tablets for several months because of the lack of sunlight, so it’s certainly best to keep on top of that with over-the-counter supplements before it get worse.

    One thing that really worked well for me in terms of mood (I’m using it as I type) is a SAD lamp. You can get them from specialist websites and from the likes of Amazon. They can set you back a bit if you want a larger one that sits on the desk, but I firmly believe it is worth it. I’ve had mine for years and it really stops the dark feeling so oppressive. What’s great about it is if you use them for the duration of time the manual says then you almost forget how dark and cloudy it is outside afterwards.

    Has anyone else had good experiences with these?

  • Hi Admin
    I found you on google top ten result so i feel happy to see there
    and i read your blog and quotes and found new and awesome stuff
    i want to know can i get your notifications on my mobile phone whenever you update your website ?

  • I try to be an optimistic person in all situations of my life.

  • Working out and eating healthy is my best strategy of surviving winter.