January. The holidays are over. Back to work. Back to routines. Gray skies. Snow. Cold and more cold. Like the sofa. Don't want to exercise. Don't want to eat healthy. Summer is so far away...
If you're struggling with a case of the mid-winter blahs, and you're sliding away from your New Year's Resolution to be healthier...its time to take action!
Banishing the Mid-WInter Blahs:
Immediate Action is Required!
- Laugh!. Read the funnies, call a friend and tell them a funny story about something silly you did, grab your favorite comedy book, watch an episode of a comedy show, or turn on the Cobert Report or John Stewart. Laughing gives you a serotonin boost in your brain, increases oxygen and helps you into a more positive state.
- Adjust your attitude. Decide you are going to be positive today, then fake it 'til you make it.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours of good sleep each night to feel and perform their best physically and mentally. Fatigue and the blahs often go hand in hand.
- Go with the Rule of 10:
- I know you don't want to, but do it anyway: Exercise for 10 minutes...just 10 minutes. After that, if you still want to be a couch potato, go ahead, but most often you will find yourself ready to do more. The first step can be the hardest.
- Desperate for that big cookie? Wait for 10 minutes. While you are waiting, drink a glass of water (10 ounces ?) and try to do something else: walk, do the crossword puzzle, call a friend. After 10 minutes, decide if you still want the cookie. If you do, put it on a plate, sit down and enjoy the cookie with a glass of milk or tea. Try to eat it in at least 10 bites and make it last for 10 minutes. Really taste it. What are 10 things you about that cookie that you like? Enjoy it. If you don't want to eat after 10 minutes, big smile!
- Eat 10 servings of healthy foods today: add up servings of veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, or non-fat dairy. It's amazing how much better you feel when you eat healthy foods.
- Do you feel like you really screwed up by eating too much of the "wrong" foods? Let it go! It's not what just happened that matters, but what happens in the next 10 minutes that matters most! Perseverance, not perfection!
- Focus on what you need to do in the next 10 days, 10 hours, or even 10 minutes to be healthy. Be proud of your accomplishments so far. Don't focus on how far you have to go yet to get to your goal, or how long its taking to get there.
- Banish Boring---Variety is the Spice of Life!
- Buy a new fruit or veggie every time you go to the grocery store or grab something you haven't had for a long time.
- Try a new recipe every week. Look at your healthier cookbooks, search the internet, grab a Cooking Light magazine, or buy a new cookbook (I love So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week and The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.)
- Change up your exercise routine. Try a new exercise or add something new. This helps increase overall fitness levels by challenging different muscle groups and can even increase metabolic rate. Walk a new route or try varying speeds.
- Join a fitness group or make your own. Many times people are more successful keeping up with an exercise program when they have a buddy or a group to work out with. I joined my second session of the Women over 50 Walk to Run group: it's fun!
- Get a new "toy"to increase fun! Grab a sports hoop, brightly colored stretchy bands, get a new food diary, glow in the dark laces for your sneaks, pedometer, new exercise video (trade with someone or grab one at the library.)
Your mantra this week: