How to Keep Your Winter Blues at Bay

by | Jan 24, 2020 | Fitness Lifestyle

Tips for staying active and motivated when all you want to do is sleep

Welcome to winter. The days are shorter. The air is colder. The dark is darker. The sun is weaker. And, the months can start to feel endless.

During this time of year, it’s common to feel more lethargic and less motivated. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a cozy night on the couch with some soup and a good book. But when the hours on the couch stretch to weeks and your desire to get moving disappears, you may find yourself in a hibernation spiral.

Strike a balance between warm nights in pajamas and week-long Netflix and pizza binges by designing a lifestyle you love, feel good about and look forward to… no matter how dark and cold your winter might get.

Design Your Ritual

We’re naturally creatures of habit. When you create a daily or weekly routine, you’re more likely to stick to it. Why? Because the activities you’ve planned are already part of your everyday life; you don’t have to actively think about them or find time for them.

That’s where the “ritual” comes in. We like to think of a ritual as a routine with a little more heart. It’s about identifying activities that you look forward to, that make you feel good and are good for your mind, body and soul.

Here are some examples of daily or weekly ritual activities that may help get you to navigate winter with a little more energy:

Practice regular gratitude: If you find yourself staying inside more this winter, think about how you can use that time to extend thanks and fill your cup. Maybe that’s calling a friend or reconnecting with a loved one. Maybe it’s writing down one thing you’re looking forward to, or one thing that lights you up. Starting a gratitude journal is another useful and transformative practice; reflect every morning or evening on what you’re thankful for. This practice reminds you that while the season may be tough, there’s always a reason for appreciation and joy.


Pick up that cookbook: Getting into a regular cooking habit is a great way to save money and learn healthy habits in the process. Plus, building a collection of warm and nutritious winter go-to meals helps set you up for success next season when the blues start to kick in. It’s a simple act of kindness for yourself.


Rethink your social plans: Embrace the homebody vibes with friends this season. Start a book or podcast club and rotate hosting. (Psst…what a great way to show off those new cooking skills with a dish for the group!) It’s a creative, productive way to get together over shared interests for some cozy, quality time that’s sure to lift your spirits.


Tune into your body: Take advantage of more quiet time with activities like stretching and meditating. Holding stretching poses for five minutes at a time can create a really deep and meditative state, while restoring muscles, increasing blood flow and helping you feel relaxed and healthy. When you feel your couch calling, consider leaning into these kinds of mindful stretches instead. It’s just as relaxing, but way better for you!


Stick to workouts you enjoy: Let’s be real, you’re not going to leave the house (especially to work out) unless you’re REALLY excited about what you’re doing. With OurStrongCircle, you can pick your ideal fitness circle and sign up for classes at a variety of our partner gyms. It keeps your workouts exciting and helps you stay motivated through the winter with classes you love at locations you love. When it comes to designing a workout ritual, we’ve got your back here.

These winter ritual ideas add up to comprise a full, rich life of activities that are good for you and that you can genuinely look forward to. When you feel yourself starting to melt into your couch, come back to your ideas and remember how they make you feel. You just might find yourself with a ritual for EVERY season!


Alice is a writer and editor based in Chicago, Illinois. She writes about physical and mental health, fitness and cooking/recipes. Outside of her work she enjoys staying active by running marathons, climbing and biking


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