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Staying motivated in the winter

Finishing university in the summer is great, enjoying long days and the heat. But now that the darker months have quickly thrown itself upon us, it’s harder to cope with demands of work and adult life and stay motivated in the winter. Who has the energy to work eight hours, go to the gym, make dinner and put a load of washing on, especially when it’s always dark outside?

This is something that I personally really struggle with but I’m finding these techniques are really helping me to do more and feel better during the gloomier days of winter. Take a look at these suggestions:

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Get as much sunlight as you can

With the days getting shorter, it’s important that you get more sunlight when you can, as being cooped up in an office or your house all day can often mean you don’t get any.

In a lot of situations, the only way you’ll see a lot of daylight is over the weekend – or any day off – when you can get out and about during the day. Make sure you find time to go for a walk or have plans when you’re free so you don’t just stay indoors.

For those who struggle with the absence of sunlight in the mornings, investing in a body clock can be well worth the money. These lamps can be set to have a 90 minute cycle before bed and gradually brighten over a 30 minute period in the mornings before a specified time. I use a Lumie body clock, which you can buy here, and think it was a great investment 3 years on.

Try to wake up earlier

Finding the motivation to do things, especially chores, when you get home from work can be quite difficult when you’re not used to working eight hours a day. Try getting up even 20 minutes earlier and this can be a great time to sort your washing or have a tidy. This way you won’t have to worry about it when you get home and feel exhausted from the day.

Organise your meals

At the start of each week, make a plan for what meals you’re going to have each day. This can make it easier to find the motivation to cook and to make sure you’re eating healthy meals, when all you really want to do is eat pizza and takeaways.

Staying motivated in the winter can involve planning such as using this meal planner. Image: holding up a weekly meal planner from Wilko
Find yourself a meal planner to help organise your meals – I got this from Wilko

Make plans for your evening

Even though it’s going to be dark by the time you’re home, make sure you have things planned to keep yourself social and enjoying your time. While it can be tempting to just go straight home and get under the covers, try and arrange something for right after work with friends or colleagues so you don’t have to motivate yourself to head out again in the cold.

Don’t be hard on yourself

If you find yourself wanting to do more but you’re struggling to stay motivated in the winter months, don’t feel guilty about this. It’s a time of year when most people do just want to rest and don’t feel their usual selves. If you can do these things just a couple of times in a week, then you’re doing well – wake up earlier twice a week, make plans one evening, organise just a couple of meals.

So there you go, try out these things and see if you are more productive with these routine habits. Why not leave a comment below with your tips and tricks for being more motivated in the winter?

While the evenings are getting darker, take a look at some things you can do to be more productive at home.

Let me know your thoughts...

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