The gloomy months are ahead, how about we get a jump start on your happiness?
image: Get Local
If you are from the midwest you know exactly what I am talking about.
Even every other part of the country experiences this at some point or another during the winter months, it is just especially long in the midwest!
What am I talking about?
Short, dark and cold days, all winter long, which lead to not the best moods from people. And it is understandable why so many people struggle to stay happy for these months,
They are lacking vitamin D, haven't seen the sun in forever and are constantly trapped inside because it is -10 degrees out (sometimes wayyy colder).
I know for myself and many people I know that these are some of the most depressing months and lead to lack of productivity because we just aren't in the right mindset to get as much work done as we are when it is warmer out.
Sure, we may have more time indoors to get work done, but all the other factors that play into our happiness and productivity are not in our favor during those dreaded cold days.
It doesn't have to be like that this winter though, in fact you can start right now to try and make sure that you are more happy during these coming winter months!
If you are new to the blog, thanks for stopping by! With MMNTM (mo-men-tum) my goal is to help you level up your mind and mindset with effective "workouts." Much like you would train your body, this is the gym for your mindset, everything from your happiness and mental clarity to mental discipline and productivity. These are the things that have helped me the most and I love sharing them with you daily on yourmmntm.com/blog so be sure to stop out daily!
Now let's get back to what you started reading for.
Here is What To Expect
Causes of Seasonal Sadness
Other than the obvious dark and cold months.
It makes a lot of sense when you look at it objectively, but many people just let their feelings happen to them during these months, never really taking the time to diagnose the problem or let alone change what is causing it.
So, let me do that for you, before this season even starts.
Let's start with the obvious, it is cold outside, it is likely raining or snowing out, and the days are short as hell making it dark out a majority of the day.
This means that you are not getting the fresh air, UV rays and vitamin D that you do in the summer, all playing a key role in your happiness, and it also may throw your circadian rhythm off and make you more tired during the day.
With it being so cold outside, you naturally are not going to see your friends as much which is another very important aspect of your happiness because we need relationships in our lives.
This means we are going to have to be a little more comfortable with time alone, something that a lot of us aren't comfortable with yet.
Why do we need to be comfortable with more alone time? Because if we aren't we are just going to look for ways to pass the time instead of actually being productive during our time alone, some of the most important times of the day.
All of these and a ton more factors, such as maybe you are in college and have a month off from school to do absolutely nothing, play into your happiness during the winter months.
Your Mindset is One of the Root Causes
As it always is, everything comes down to mindset.
You know the drill, this is the motto I live by...
Your mindset is at the foundation of everything. Once you start changing your thinking, you start changing your life.
And again, it is no different here.
Your mindset is what drives your habits because it tells you what to value and how to act. If we don't have that solid base mindset to work off during the winter, we are likely just going to let life happen to us and do work when we feel like it.
And do you know what that leads to in the winter? Very little work getting done.
When you let life happen to you this winter, you are likely going to end up sitting around and watching Netflix in bed because it is too cold to get up and do anything.
That lack of action is going to play a huge role in your happiness, probably bigger than any other factor, because happiness is acted into existence through discipline, not just thought into existence.
Why We Need to Change This
Keep the momentum going through winter, it'll help you get through.
Well, I know I don't want yet another depressing and unproductive winter, why not take all that extra time you have with yourself and start to chase your goals and find some more happiness?
There really is no better time to do so than in the winter because with it being so cold and the days being so short, you re likely not going to have as many friends hitting you up to hangout or making plans to do something.
This leaves a huge amount of time to actually get the work done and all it takes is a little mindset shift.
More importantly, this work can really be anything, it doesn't just have to do with your job.
Actually, ideally it would be sort of a passion project for you, or something that you have always wanted to pursue but really never had the time to do so. Now you have the time to do so and it is going to do wonders for your happiness when you start working on something you actually enjoy.
Because the discipline to take the action will lead to more happiness and purpose into your life, helping combat the dreaded seasonal sadness.
What You Need to Start Incorporating in Your Life Now to Get Ready
And why you need to start now and not in the winter...
It takes time to build habits up, and it is no different here.
You want to start as soon was you can if you want to have these habits coming into winter so that you aren't trying to build them when you have less energy and motivation because of the cold. That is just a recipe for disaster, I can assure you.
You are going to want take inventory of your habits and decisions on a day to day basis and decide how much help they are REALLY doing for you, not just how much you think they matter or don't matter.
Take a step back and think about all the actions you take on a daily basis, which ones actually help you, which ones are hurting your goals or happiness and which ones do you need to get rid of.
Next, make sure to start incorporating some kind of gym routine into your habits as this is going to help you get active in the winter months when a lot of people seems to hibernate. You just feel better when you are moving and active so a gym routine is easy to incorporate.
Also, a meditation practice has been huge for my happiness and it is easy to incorporate in just 15 minutes per day, try some guided meditations such as this one that I use very often from YouTube: click here to start the meditation >>
It is actually very simple what we need to start incorporating into our lives, essentially it is the things we do most in the summer months but seem to forget about in the winter when we go inside and hibernate. Bring back more of the summer mindset and start changing the game in terms of your happiness and mindset this winter.
Image: USA Today
How to Actually Get Started Helping Your Seasonal Sadness
Almost every day I will bring you these "workouts" at the end of the articles to actually help you take action and change your mindset.
Because that is one of the major things I see missing in personal development, the actionable advice. Everyone has ideas and theories that are "up in the clouds," yet they never come down to Earth and give us some real ways to change.
And that is what MMNTM is for, to help you actually change in a unique and fun way, it's like taking your mind to the gym every day at yourmmntm.com/blog
Exercise #1: Take a Walk
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Notes: Do this every morning (ideally) and start the day off active, it builds momentum for the rest off the day. Plus, if you really want to challenge yourself and build confidence, carry this habit into the winter and go out on a walk even though it is cold as hell and not as easy or comfortable as a fall walk.
Exercise #2: Meditate
Reps: 1-2x per day (morning and/ or night)
Duration: 15-30 minutes
Notes: One of the best habits you can have, I'm sure you have heard it before but have you actually started meditations?
Exercise #3: Learn Something New
Duration: 30 minutes per day
Notes: What is a topic you have always wanted to learn about but never took the time to do so? Start doing so.
Exercise #4: Start Something New
Duration 1-2 hours
Notes: We all have that thing we have always wanted to start whether it's learning guitar or starting a website, how about young actually start doing it, build some consistency in your action and find out for yourself how that leads to happiness?
Just like that another day on the blog is in the books! Thanks for all the support and if you enjoyed this or learned anything I just ask one thing: bring a friend back tomorrow! Time to make personal development more "normal" because it is at the foundation of every area of our lives. Stop back with a friend tomorrow-- yourmmntm.com/blog
Now be sure to actually put what you learned to use, don't just read about it and make yourself feel like you are taking action, actually take action!
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