In my part of the world there is still no sign of Spring. I am not a fan of winter. No matter how many layers of clothes I wear I cannot keep warm and…it’s so dark!
The picture above was taken outside my door on March 11th. Based on the level of snow by my apple tree, it’s still up to my waist. It’s going to take FOREVER to melt!
At the beginning of winter, I told myself I was going to have a different mindset regarding this season. It was a bit of a struggle but it could have been worse.
Here are three things to try everyday if you struggle with winter like I do (aside from a trip to the Caribbean).
Exercise! This is the number one thing to do when you struggle with anything. Talk about a brain wash! It quite literally gives your brain a good cleaning. Do this every day anyway. I’m not going to go in the science today, but it’s worth it.
Eat your veggies! I don’t like vegetables. I’m still the pickiest of eaters. Something I’ve never outgrown, unfortunately. However, I do know they have the same effects on energy levels and a clear brain as exercise does. To combat my non-love of vegetables, I make sure I take my vitamins and find new ways to cook the vegetables I otherwise wouldn’t eat. (Garlic works wonders on beans!)
Be in the snow! If you can, go outside and find ways to enjoy the snow. It can be something as simple as walking the dog. With a winter that really didn’t get much above -20C each morning, this was a struggle, both for my lovely dog and I. With enough layers and covering of my face, it was somewhat manageable and there were some beautiful walks in the woods. ~ Build a snowman, go tobogganing. These things are easier if you have kids, but if you have teens or no kids, at least work on getting yourself out there even if they refuse to join you. I was out in the snow so much more when the kids were little. Now, it’s a matter of willpower.
So, there you have it. It’s March (supposedly when Spring arrives) and I’m still working on my mindset regarding winter. I know I’m not the only one. If you think this list is obvious and basic, it is. It’s that way for a reason. I catch myself often not following my own rules. This is a reminder that the basics are super-important. If you’re struggling, go back to the basics. What are your methods of combating winter-dislike?
I am in the middle of reading The 5am Club by Robin Sharma. Have you read this? The premise is that if you take an early morning hour, before anyone else is awake, and use it to exercise, meditate, learn and set goals, you will be setting yourself up for not only a great and successful day but a great life.
The book is written as fiction but mirrors the life of a success coach/guru. The plot is very loose but the book is meant to focus on how to create a successful and happy life for yourself and it accomplishes that by laying out the steps in an entertaining format.
According to his website, “Robin Sharma is considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world. His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs.” It’s well worth your time to read his blog and watch his videos on Youtube.
My thoughts on the teachings of this book are that you don’t necessarily have to wake up at 5am. What if you can wake up at 6am and still have a solid hour before you are required to do anything for anyone else? My theory is that that is fine too. I’ll let you know if I’ve changed my mind by the end of the book. However, the remainder of the advice, life skills, anecdotes and quotes of not only affirmation but wisdom, make this book a gem.
So, given that I’m not getting up to hurriedly get kids ready for school anymore (I just have to drag one out of bed) here I go with a new goal. I’ve already found it to provide me with a pile of energy still going by the end of the work day. I haven’t worked it into every day yet. I’m at the part of the book where Mr. Sharma explains how to do that. He’s already proven to me that I need to. Another self-discipline muscle that needs to be worked on. The mindset it provides is worth its weight in gold, so to speak.
My plan is to implement this practice and update you with my progress in a future blog. Are you familiar with the 5am Club? What habits have you instilled to ensure a fantastic life?
Have you ever found yourself waking up at 3 or 4 am with your brain spinning a mile a minute? It can be easy to fall asleep but staying there is another matter. Brains tend to either focus on one issue at this time of day (night) or flit from one to the other. It can feel impossible to stop it when you are somewhere between sleep and awake. Your brain can feel wide awake but your body isn’t in sync and it’s a struggle to fall back asleep. Your alarm goes off and you know it’s going to be a rough day.
I’ve been playing around with different methods to alleviate this and have hit on one that seems to work time and time again.
First, here’s what has sometimes worked and sometimes not worked in the past. Forced relaxation is what my son calls it. It’s more like mediation. Focus your mind on your breathing or on the space beyond your closed eyes. Alternatively, relax your muscles progressively starting with your toes and working up through your body. First consciously tighten the body part then relax it. This works great when the stress isn’t overwhelming but I haven’t found it to work consistently.
Now, here’s what I’ve found to work fairly consistently over the years. The Power of Intention. This is a variation on the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction uses the ability to call into our lives whatever we are focusing on. The Power of Intention is a subset of that, the power behind the law. It’s what you begin with. It’s the thought you need to hold in your mind.
So, try intending to sleep. Set down that intention in your mind before bed, while getting into bed and while falling asleep. “I intend to sleep through until the alarm.” “I intend to sleep through the night.” Whatever calls to you, but put force behind the words. Mean it! Let me know how it goes.