Nothing has the opportunity to make me feel less motivated than a dreary, sunless winter day. Though I don’t tend to experience inches of snow in the winter, I know how the change in seasons can bring on a whole new set of challenges! Recognizing this, I wanted to bring you a little sunlight: how to lose weight in the winter blues.
Below, you will find some useful tips to chase away the winter blues and stay motivated towards your weight loss goals. My hope is that you are able to use these tips to help you stay motivated towards reaching your goals, as well as keep these tips in your back pocket for the times you struggle outside the winter season too!
Let the sunlight motivate you through the blues
Did you know that opening your blinds or curtains in the morning to let natural light in has been tied to increased productivity and mood levels? It sure is! By letting the sunlight in, you stimulate your brain to produce serotonin, the feel good hormone. Serotonin can help you feel calm and focused, which kickstarts your ability to stay on track with your goals.
Not only can letting the sunlight in help you kickstart your feel good hormones, it can also help regulate your circadian rhythm, or your sleep pattern. Why is this so important? Well, sleep is not only crucial to your recovery, it is also essential to helping maintain your body’s resilience to stress. The less stress your body experiences, the more likely it is willing to change and not resist your weight loss goals! As a result, something as small as letting in more sunlight to your environment can make a big difference in your sleep and energy levels.
Stay motivated with physical activity & a breath of fresh air
Just as much as sunlight can help you beat back the winter blues, so can getting physical with a breath of fresh air. There are so many benefits to just a 10 minute walk 2-3 times a day and those benefits are doubled to tripled when you take that walk outside! So bundle up and get outside for a breath of fresh air. It can really make a difference in your mindset.
When we are outside, we tend to breathe a bit deeper and can even be more mindful in our current environment. Not only can the fresh air benefit us, but the physical activity of walking or even a quick jog outside can do wonders not only for our physical health, but mental health too! Physical activity helps us to activate our central nervous system and raise our adrenaline and endorphin levels, all of which can stimulate a more positive and resilient mindset. This is especially important to stay motivated through winter blues if we start to find ourselves feeling unmotivated or just plain sluggish.
Journal Your Why
The winter blues can really make you question whether or not your goals should be a priority right now. Wouldn’t it be easier to just wait until spring or summer? More than likely that answer is going to be: no! Though we must adapt to the cold weather, there are endless ways we can still stay on track with our goals regardless of what the temperature is outside. When you take a minute to journal or write down why you are reaching for your goals, you can actually help combat the doubt that can inevitably come with the cold, winter season.
Writing down your why not only helps reaffirm the reason you are putting in the work to reach your goals, but also helps to keep you motivated to stay focused as well! Especially as winter tends to involve not only the holiday season and New Years, but also the 2-3 months after your resolutions are made, it can feel like you aren’t getting any closer to your goals. So not true! Though measuring progress can be done many different ways, by journaling your why you can remind yourself of the bigger picture. The reason you started this journey in the first place!
Post reminders that reflect your why in easy to see places. This could be on your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, at your desk, etc. All of these places serve as visible reminders to help your goals stay fresh in your brain and focused towards progress, not perfection. Psychology even supports this habit as those who see their written goals more frequently throughout the day are almost 80% more likely to achieve them! So beat back those winter blues by reminding yourself that you are already on this journey towards your goals…and it’s all about progress, not perfection!
Remember, more than likely your nutrition and wellness goals involve a journey. And a journey is going to take time. Time to see progress and time to see results! But in winter months, our sense of time can be skewed due to daylight savings time and even because of how we perceive time during the holiday season. As a result, the weeks after New Years can seem to drag on and be exhausting, but they don’t have to be!
The Last Piece on Motivation
Let’s face it, how we stay motivated tends to rely on who we are! Motivation can look different for everyone, but how we stay motivated doesn’t have to seem impossible. Trying these tips are a great place to start when you are simply feeling those winter blues. Because the fact of the matter is, your goals do not have to stop during winter! Achieving your weight loss and nutrition goals can still happen in the winter, even when it’s dark, gloomy, and cold outside.
Like I’ve said, learning how to stay motivated doesn’t have to be impossible. In my nutrition coaching program, we set realistic and attainable goals that align with your personalized roadmap for success. And with me as your coach, we can navigate through the challenges and stay motivated through the whole journey! If this sounds like something that would be beneficial to you or maybe you’re just looking for an accountability system to help you stay motivated towards your goals, apply for a strategy call and see if we’re a great fit to work together! My one-on-one nutrition coaching program or even my Busy Gal Nutrition Blueprint course may be a perfect fit for you. Stay the course and stay motivated!