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5 Things You Can Do to Make the Most Out of Winter Time

5 Things You Can Do to Make the Most Out of Winter Time

Lo and behold, winter has arrived and you feel like your world has stopped. Gone were the days of sitting on the patio, letting the sun’s rays penetrate your already sun-drenched skin. The days of hiking, biking, and taking walks without worrying about putting on the extra layers of clothing are over. The cold weather has just set in.

Since winter is not something that we can control – and you cannot keep moving to warmer climate places every time winter hits, the worst thing that you can do is to complain about it. After all, we were always told not to worry about things that we cannot control. We just have to go with it, make the most out of it, and pretty soon, summer will be upon us again. If you are not a winter person, here are some things that you can do to make you get the most out of your winter season:

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1. It’s a good time to learn something new indoors

During summer time, we just get so busy. We are always out and about enjoying the outdoors. When winter hits, we suddenly find ourselves stuck inside the comforts of our houses, wanting more of the warmth that our heaters and fireplaces provide. While indoors, why not take advantage of this by learning something new that can be done indoors? Examples of these are learning a new language, learning to sew, practicing your golf swings with the help of a computer, learning a new musical instrument or learning how to paint. Pretty soon, it will be warm enough to go out again and you might lose the motivation to learn what you could have learned during the winter season.

2. Movie marathons and reading binges are not a bad idea

What can be a better day to lounge in front of the TV with a hot cocoa drink or to curl up with a good book that takes you on an adventure? A cold, cold day outdoors is a good day to stay in and do all of these. Watching movies and reading books can make us learn a lot of things that we wouldn’t have encountered if we didn’t watch that movie or read that book with really good reviews. Who said staying home means that you can’t be transported to another place with the help of a television or a book?

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3. Learn a winter sport

Skiing, snowboarding, skating and snowmobiling. Winter time is a once a year opportunity to go and get registered for classes to learn these wonderful winter sports. They not only make you a more well-rounded, interesting person, they also help get you out of the house and get you moving to fight off those winter blues and promote good health. What is even better is it gives you the opportunity to meet new people even during winter time when most people are indoors.

4. Enjoy the winter activities

What about sledding or sleigh riding at night while gazing up at the stars? Or shoe skiing for that extra workout? All those are great winter activities that will make your winter time more memorable. Not only that, you also get to check off those winter activities that some people have on their bucket lists.

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5. Use this time to reflect

Some animals hibernate during winter time. You can do that too, meaning you can use this time to let your mind be in a quiet environment and reflect on things that you cannot reflect on when the list of summer activities start piling up. Use this long and cold winter season to create a better you, know yourself better, and find out more about what direction you want your life to take.

Any season goes by fast. And each season is unique in what opportunities and activities they present to us. Since life is short and time is fleeting, do make the most out of any season that passes you by and be thankful for yet, another one of it.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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