Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Winter in KC has felt relentless. The hope for warmer days shrinks every time Gary Lezak pulls up a weekly forecast or school closings are announced. It feels like the movie Frozen, where Elsa runs to the mountain in her nightgown declaring “the cold never bothered me anyway!” And we the townspeople are left in a frozen tundra.
So what are we supposed to do? What if that 30% chance of snow Bryan Busby is calling for actually happens? And we are locked inside with our kids and germs for another week?
Here are 3 tips to help you flex through the rest of winter.
1. Be grateful.
Practicing gratitude is the most simple way to turn a negative situation into a tolerable one. Gratitude is a form of mindfulness. When we are mindful we can stop our negative thoughts from going down a really deep hole (therapists call this rumination).
2. Get sunlight.
But...it’s cold outside.
During the winter it seems harder to get natural light due to shorter days and low temperatures. There are still ways to get light. Open the blinds and sit by the window or bundle up and take a quick walk.
There is strong correlation in the exposure to sunlight and the increase in serotonin uptake. Serotonin is a brain chemical that impacts mood, decision-making, social behavior, excessive worry, and impulse control.
But I don’t like people.
Research has shown that volunteering can combat feelings of loneliness, while increasing energy and fulfillment. When you volunteer a brain chemical called dopamine is released. Dopamine sends a surge of excitement to the brain, which reinforces the act of giving.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]Volunteering is more than just extending a hand at the local soup kitchen. There are thousands of opportunities and some don’t even involve interacting with others! Check out Volunteermatch for opportunities.
Ending on a positive note. According to USA Today, Punxsutawney Phil did not find his shadow.
Which either means his cataracts are getting worse or Spring is on it’s way!