Getting Over the Winter Slump

Story By Caitlin Paroczai

It has been bloody cold in Perth. I don’t know about you, but I was born in Perth and I feel like every year we are plagued with colder winters. Perhaps ‘plagued’ is not the word that comes to mind for you. I am always gobsmacked when people tell me they love the rain. I cannot on a mental, physical or spiritual level comprehend why someone would prefer the rainy months over glorious sunshine. Let me replay a conversation I had with a friend not long ago:

Me: I HATE this weather.
Friend: Really? I love it.
Me: WHY? Please explain to me why.
Friend: It is just so nice and cosy… plus when you are cold you can just snuggle up with a blanket, but in summer it is harder to cool down.

No. Just no. Look, I am pretty passionate about this topic, so I will try to be respectful of your weird, wintery ways. But frankly, winter makes me feel like crap. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE is sick. Sit at work and someone is coughing their guts out. Sit on the train and someone is sneezing like there is no tomorrow. Sit in class and people are, God forbid, coughing AND sneezing uncontrollably.

Not only that, but the colder months are… depressing. A wise woman once told me that I should think of rain as cleansing the Earth. That’s nice, I suppose. But in all honesty, I find it super unmotivating. And every year, I find myself stuck in the winter slump.

The winter slump is a term that I have invented tonight (although after a quick Google, I realise it’s not inventive at all). Symptoms of the winter slump include having little motivation, being permanently tired and slightly more moody than usual DURING WINTER. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a bad case of the winter slump. I have found myself constantly checking the fortnightly weather forecast, which really does not seem reliable, with the hope that the sun will be shining again soon.

I must confess, I have done a really poor job at managing the winter slump this year. Probably because I have not given much thought to figuring out how to manage it in the first place. But alas, I have brainstormed some ideas that I wish to share:

Get enough rest

This is something I do badly as well. My parents love to remind me that I was a bad sleeper from the moment I entered this world. But if you can, you really should have a dedicated sleep routine. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep to function well during the day. If you are feeling unmotivated during the colder months, this is especially important.

Be social

The urge to watch Netflix in your warm bed all day is strong. But it will not help! Try to attend social events and schedule regular coffee catch-ups with friends. Not only will this make you feel grounded, but it will help you get into a more positive mindset.

Eat well and exercise

So. Many. Urges. In. Winter. I definitely have a tendency to binge on chocolate and crisps during the colder months. If you want to beat the winter slump, you’ve got to have a game-plan. Having a nutritious and balanced diet, accompanied by physical exercise, will make you feel way more in control.

Most importantly, do not put pressure on yourself

Yet again, I am bad at this. When I feel like I need to hibernate, I tend to put pressure on myself to keep going full steam ahead. Spoiler: it does not end well. If your body is telling you to slow down, listen to it. There is nothing wrong with taking time out and having some chill time if that is what you really need.

I cannot express my excitement over heading into spring enough. Although spring comes with its own set of challenges (cough, hay fever, sneeze) I am SO HAPPY the sun will be shining again. If you have your own tips for beating the winter slump, I would love to hear them.

xo Caitlin

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