So it’s February and you’re spending it gorging yourself on chocolate, looking at pictures of your ex, and crawling into your mountain of pillows and blankets. It’s safe to say, you’re caught up in the mid-winter blues. Gone are the days of fabulous tans (or sunburns, for that matter,) bonfires, and summer muscles, replaced by empty holiday candy wrappers and a netflix with nothing more to offer. You’re overworked, over-stressed, and over-tired all while feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing of any importance.
“Why am I not having as much fun as my other twenty-something companions?”
“Why am I still working at this coffee shop instead of in some swanky New York high rise with a killer, high paying job?”
More importantly, “Where did my gallon of Goldfish go?”
Well it’s time for a change- and fast. January and February can often throw us into a post-Holiday rut, both lowering our mood and our energy, making us less successful at school and at work. Here are some easy tips for brightening your mood, making you more appealing to your friends, potential Valentines, and to yourself, both boosting your morale, and motivating you to enjoy life- even your boring cubicle work!
1. Drink. More. Water.
Water is literally key to our existence. Just a couple liters of that good stuff every day can help with weight loss, both flushing out toxins and speeding up your metabolism. Plus if you chug a couple glasses in the morning, water helps to energize your muscles (including your brain!) and keep you energized while making your skin clear and soft- win win! (just make sure you’re somewhere near a bathroom or have some great adult diapers you can put to use. So put down that red bull and start drinking water- you’ll feel better, look better, and safe $$$
2. Clean. Your. Room.
Making your bed, putting those dirty socks in the laundry, and clearing off a space to actually work on your desk will make you feel ten times better, especially if you’re feeling sick. You also get a nice dose of exercise which sends endorphins to your brain, making you feel great. If it’s not too polar-vortex-y, maybe even open the window to clear some of that stale air out of your room. Spray some lavender scent for bonus points- it’s helpful for feeling calm and meditative. An organized space is an organized mind.
You feel yourself tensing up at work? Struggling to think clearly in your ethics class? Don’t blame Aristotle or your boss. Take a break. Go outside and breathe in real air. I know you secretly watch in envy as that one kid gets up in the middle of every class and peaces out for twenty minutes, unnoticed by the professor. It’s really no biggie. Just get out of the building, bundle up, and suck in that real nitrogen-oxygen mixed drink called air. It will aid with your thought process, help to wake you up, and ready you for the rest of the day.
Look up “how to breathe accurately” on youtube for further help.
You don’t have to be a spiritual person, and you don’t have to be a yoga guru to meditate. All you have to be is human. Meditation is a mood enhancer, releasing you from your perma-state of February despondency. If you think of fun memories, or your favorite time of year (especially the warmer seasons,) you’ll trick your brain into being in that mindset and you will find yourself truly happy. Don’t believe me? Try it out!
Meditation also boosts your immunity. You’re de-stressing every time you meditate, which helps relieve tension in your muscles, reduces blood pressure, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which means bye-bye winter acne and psoriasis, and hello beautiful new you with that beautiful new attitude.
Find a guided meditation or just think some positive thoughts before bed- this is a type of meditation that both relaxes your body and reduces night stress- all while giving you a great night’s sleep.
Laughter and play, like meditation, are great for relaxing your muscles, boosting the immune system by decreasing stress-related hormones, releasing endorphins which make you feel great in a format that doesn’t involve drugs, and increasing blood flow (great for the heart!) Laughter is so easily found when you surround yourself with funny people- so strike up a conversation about “Workaholics” or “30-Rock” with your coworkers, or show your new roommates embarrassing videos of you as a kid- you never know what you may find and these new, humorously involved relationships will help decrease stress about going to work or being at home.
I know you’re a poor kid, but you can spare a few dollars on a comedy club or going to the science museum or climbing a rock wall- do something childish and you’ll find yourself having a great time (and working those ab muscles before they’re “perfectly toned” for beach season)
You don’t need a new set of footie pajamas to survive until the sun finally comes out. You simply need a good ole dose of laughter, meditation, air, water, and a clean room to return to the joyous summer mood you know you once had, and soon your anxieties about work and school will be replaced by a positive, go-getter personality that will make everyone around you appreciate you even more. So go to it! Get out of your sweatpants, put on some undies and go enjoy your life- no matter the temperature.