(BPT) – It’s the most trying time of the year. The holidays are a distant memory, while the warm weather and carefree getaways of spring are several weeks away. No matter how much you insist you love the seasons and that you’re really a winter-loving gal, chances are you need a little help getting through the pre-spring stretch. With these simple tips, you’ll survive and maybe even thrive in the gloomiest months of the year:
1. Plan a holiday. Turns out you don’t actually have to hit the beach to reap the benefits of a vacation. Studies show the simple act of planning a trip can relieve stress and improve your mood. Having something to look forward to — whether it’s a romantic sojourn to a remote cabin or a scenic trip to a warm water paradise — will help you survive the year’s longest months with your optimism (and your sanity) intact.
2. Don’t be afraid to caffeinate. For the sake of all that is good and right and beautiful in this world, do not try to give up coffee. Sure, the days are getting longer, but when the sun is hiding and your alarm is singing its shrill song, you need all the help you can get. And then there is the dreaded afternoon slump. Powering through is a lot easier when you have a caffeinated sidekick, like Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee. Keep some sweet bottles stowed in your desk or chilled in the fridge for those must-have moments. Find all three delicious flavors at your local grocery store or Amazon.com.
3. Catch some rays. From the ravages of El Nino to tornados and snow warnings, the first few months of 2016 promise to be a real struggle for those who simply cannot deal with wacky weather. If you’re not lucky enough to live in a place that’s picturesque year-round, bring the sunshine to you. Take vitamin D supplements to make up for all the sun you’re not getting (as an added benefit, it helps level your mood). Or, if you’re feeling really under the weather, invest in a sun lamp or even hit the tanning bed — in moderation, of course.
4. Indulge a little. Getting your body bikini-ready is one thing; maintaining your sanity so you can enjoy that luxurious hotel pool is another. A daily indulgence will help you survive the grind by giving you a moment to recharge in the gloomiest months of the year. Don’t forget to treat yourself on the regular: hit up the spa, take yourself out for a not-so-sad work lunch or enjoy an afternoon sweet treat, like Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee.
5. Keep it colorful. When you’re yearning for warm weather, there’s nothing sadder than another plate of beige food. Sure it’s nourishing to your body, but food should also feed the soul. Adding some color to meals can snap you out of the doldrums and into your happy place. Host a taco party on Sunday night, and prep a variety of bright salsas and toppings to keep your work lunches feeling fresh throughout the week. If you’re in a winter soup mood, add herbs and spices like parsley and turmeric to kick up the color and the flavor.
6. Take a holiday. If you complete steps one through five and still feel the pangs of winter panic, don’t be ashamed to make your escape. A quick getaway with your guy or your girlfriends is sure to cure all that ails you and recharge your batteries for the rest of the winter slog.
Spring is always within reach if you have the right mindset. Follow these simple tips to recapture some springtime optimism, and that warm weather feeling in the coldest months of the year.