It can be hard to stay motivated in during a season when everything seems to go dormant. Let’s face it – fall and winter can be depressing. Some people love this time of year, personally, I am my best in the summer months when I can take my dogs for walks on the beach and play tennis without worrying about a torrential downpour.
It can be tempting to come home in the colder months and curl up on the couch and not move until bedtime. After all, it is what everything around us is doing, right? Flowers die, leaves fall – even animals go into hibernation. Remember that it may be natural to slow down, but believe it or not, it is possible to motivation and even start new and exciting routines and projects during the colder months.
Here are some simple ways you can stay motivated during fall and winter:
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin:
If this time of month means more tasks, holiday parties, get-togethers, and family outings, it is important to prioritize. Saying “yes” to everything presented to you will drain your motivation to do anything. It is important to only say “yes” to things that you know you can handle while also prioritizing your well-being.
Take Care of Your Body:
I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold outside I don’t necessarily feel like going outside and exercising. The fact is, the less active we are, the less energy we will have. Do what you can to maintain your physical health and mental well-being. This may look like a home workout before or after work, or even a brisk walk during lunch around your office building. Staying active will help bolster your immune system for the coming cold and flu months ahead and getting sick is a sure-fire way to stifle any motivation. It is also important to nourish your body – don’t let your nutrition suffer with the holiday sweets. It is ok to treat yourself now and again, but stay diligent in your efforts to eat real, healthy food.
Get Plenty of Rest:
The CDC reported in 2017 that 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems and 1 in 3 adults regularly don’t get enough sleep. Did you know that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to develop obesity and hypertension? Not only that, but 30% of people who sleep less than 7 hours per night also suffer from depression. It is hard enough to battle the fatigue and sadness that can come with the fall and winter months – getting enough sleep will greatly reduce the risk of chronic health problems. Fall is the perfect time to start a new sleep schedule, going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day will help you feel more rested and ready to take on the day.
Stick to Your Routine:
Structure makes our brains happy because the patterns and routines we don’t have to think about will allow our brain to go into autopilot. Therefore, establishing a routine will give your day structure. This will increase your motivation and should help you be more efficient and productive. What does your routine look like? Many of us are still adapting to working from home, but having a routine that was loosely based on the routine you had while working at the office should help increase your mood and productivity.
Review Your Goals and Intentions:
A lot of us set goals and intentions during the New Year. Fall is the perfect time to reflect on how far you’ve come. It is also a great time to review what you haven’t accomplished yet and what you’d still like to do. Assess where you are in this season and what you need to do in order to accomplish the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Don’t forget to allow time for rest and self-care!
We often become de-motivated because we’ve lost our inspiration. What inspires you? Make a list of people, articles, books, movies, and activities that inspire you. When you feel uninspired, read the list, and choose something from it to get your motivation back. It may be as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or watching your favorite feel-good movie.
What Inspires Me to Stay Motivated:
Some things that inspire me to keep going during these dreary months are cooking, volunteering, and exercising. When I am feeling down in the dumps, I love to think outside of myself. Volunteering allows my mind to shift the focus from me to something larger than myself. Giving of my time and resources is a great motivation and helps me get over the hump. Reach out to a local church, school, or non-profit to see how you can help those around you!
Staying active is something else that keeps me motivated. There is something about movement that helps the mind. Working out enhances chemicals in the brain like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are associated with improved mood and decreased stress. When your motivation fails, it is the discipline that keeps you going. The discipline of movement is part of my daily routine. Make an effort to get moving each day, even when you don’t “feel” like it. That boost in your heart rate will make all the difference.
Cooking is another activity that inspires me. I love taking old recipes and making them my own. Seasonal food for fall is comforting and I love taking out all my favorite soup recipes – the act of food preparation alone is southing to the soul. If you are in a creative slump and want some ideas for some nutritious fall recipes, you can find some on my website here.
I really hope that these ideas for ways to stay motivated during this seasonal change will help you stay inspired!