With temperature barely in the teens, three feet of snow and lack of sunshine for days at a time, this time of year is downright depressing in the Midwest. Chicago weather is never great in the winter, but this year it is breaking records. Basically, it sucks. It is difficult to stay upbeat when you are dealing with these circumstances.
So what can you do to beat the Chicago Winter Blues?
- Step up your exercise program– Getting up at 5:30am to exercise when it s dark out may not even be on your radar, but it is essential to do so to keep your serotonin level up and the winter pounds off. We tend to eat higher caloric foods this time of year and the pounds pack on quickly. Don’t feel compelled to work out every day, three days a week for an hour is all you need to stay in shape.
- Don’t over schedule yourself– This is the time of year to spend more time recharging yourself rather than running to store openings, parties and eating out. Pick a few events during the week to attend and say No to the others.
- Plan a trip over the next couple of months– This time of year you need something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just keep looking for a travel deal to a different city and you’ll find it. It is worth every cent to get out of the Chicago winter to see something besides dirty snow.
- Reevaluate what lifestyle you want– If you are an outdoors person, Chicago is not the place to live. If this lifestyle is no longer healthy for your mind and spirit, perhaps it is time to move. I fell into black ice when I was seven and almost froze to death. I remember clearly to this day, saying to myself, I have to get out of here. And, I have for periods of my life. Don’t be afraid to look at other cities that may be better suited for a more balanced life.
- Clean out your closets and office-This is the time to go through all your stuff, whether it is personal or business related and to clear out the clutter by getting rid of things you don’t need anymore. There is a sense of relief when you purge.
Rather than counting the days to spring, which often comes in early June, make the winter days count. Get off your sofa, put away the potato chips and start cleaning out that closet. Book a trip to a place with palm trees and spring will be here in no time!