7 Tips to Remain Cheerful Throughout the Dark and Cold Winter

“In the depths of winter I eventually understood there existed in me an indestructible summer.”
Albert Camus

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not periodically taste of misfortune, success would not be so welcome.”
Anne Bradstreet

Up here in Sweden the winter is dark, chilly and frequently arrives with a combination of rain and snow.

Yet spring is still far away.

It is not simple to maintain the enthusiasm and optimism up like in the bright and pleasant summer days.

Therefore today I'd like to share 7 practices I adopt that make it a lot easier to remain optimistic even during this dreary and sometimes dismal season.

1. Identify one of your largest energy suckers.

Ask yourself: What is the largest energy drain in my life right now?

You may for example realize that there is a person in your life that is particularly negative.

Or that the report that you have been intending to complete for a month now is pulling you down.

Then you follow it up by asking:

What is one thing I can do about this?

Maybe you decide that you want cease hanging out with that individual. Or at least spend less of the time you have in a week with him or her and more of that time with the individuals who offer you the greatest energy.

Maybe you can simply block aside 5 minutes today to get started again with completing your report.

For some energy sucks there may not be a straightforward answer. Or a solution at all, at least at this moment.

So you may want to locate one of the minor leaks in your life that you can really do anything about.

Take a few minutes or half an hour out of your day to plug just one of these largest leaks and you'll have more energy to concentrate on what genuinely matters to you.

2. Be appreciative for the tiny things and the things you may sometimes take for granted.

When I'm staring out the window over the gloomy and dreary countryside in the morning it is easy to forget about the things I truly have.

Items like:

A roof over my head and a cozy house.
Pure water.
Three solid meals per day.
I have found that zooming out on my viewpoint like this helps out a lot to snap out of any form of victim mentality and negativity.

3. Vitamin D supplements.

Over the last several winters I've been taking Vitamin D tablets each day and I've found them to give back quite a bit of the energy I tend to lose throughout a long winter.

A few others close to me are also taking these and are experiencing similar beneficial benefits in varied degrees.

4. Go outdoors for 3-5 minutes first thing in the morning.

This is my favorite new and everyday habit in the last year or so.

I first heard about it through the famous Huberman Lab Podcast by Andrew Huberman, a professor in neuroscience at Stanford University.

I've noticed that just walking out on our porch for 3-5 minutes in the morning first thing after the sun has come out – at around nine o'clock here in Sweden right now – helps me to fully wake up and feel much more aware and active through my day.

When I am out on the porch I simply gaze out at the sky and the vista for a few minutes. And when my eyes are exposed to the sunshine – even if it is a gloomy day – many processes are engaged in my body that will enable me to be more alert throughout the day but also aid me to get better sleep (according to Huberman's podcast).

I haven't personally observed any change in my sleep but that one was already working very well for me.

5. A light-therapy lamp.

I've been using a light-therapy lamp for a handful of winters and it has had some really substantial affects (I have more energy and it makes it easier to keep the optimism up) (I have more energy and it makes it easier to keep the optimism up).

This winter and the past one I've not had any need to utilize it since walking outdoors for my morning light – as described in the preceding suggestion – has had such a significant and beneficial impact.

6. Exercise.

Pretty apparent yet a highly powerful one.

Regular exercise – I lift weights twice a week and do a fast cardio program twice a week too – will give you more energy. It will enable you to alleviate inner tensions, anxiety and stress.

And therefore it will be simpler to be calm, cheerful and to think clearly with less overthinking and to act decisively.

7. Take action and go ahead.

Few things produce so much stress, concerns and anxiety as sitting on your hands and doing nothing.

So even though it can be a bit extra challenging to get started or to stay going with your objectives and goals during this season tell yourself that if you continue you will replace those sentiments and thoughts above with optimism and self-confidence.

And remember that you do not have to move ahead in great or fast jumps.

The most essential thing is simply that you continue ahead. Even if it is by simply taking one modest or sluggish step after another.

And those steps will soon mount up over the weeks even though they may not appear that spectacular in isolation.