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8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

“Winter is coming” is not just something you hear on Game of Thrones; for those living in the Northern Hemisphere the mood of doom and gloom associated with winter is reality. Cheer up—winter comes and goes, and with a bit of creativity you can brighten up its dreariness. Here are some ideas to have fun with:

1. Drink In the Warmth

Why does winter send chills down your spine? Most likely, it’s raw winds, blizzards, or sleet outdoors, and dry air, sneezing, and coughing indoors—a recipe for a headache, sore throat, and a sick leave. To keep them at bay, keep a vacuum flask with hot herbal tea at home to drink immediately after coming in from the cold. The assortment of drinks to fight off chills is vast; check out some of the recipes!

2. No to Winter Blues, Yes to Activity

The key to a full life is not letting yourself succumb to the blues. The ways to do it are innumerable. Stop browsing Instagram—instead of envying friends’ pictures from a skating rink, a concert, or a hot-chocolate-and-pajamas party, do something like that yourself. Join your friends, or go and meet new people; and presto, there you have some warm winter memories!

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Enjoy the little things, like your cat purring by your side in the morning, birds chirping outside in a spell of sunshine, streetlights flickering in fancy patterns on a frost-stained window; even a bowl of good old-fashioned soup instead of a microwave-defrosted pizza can make your day.

3. A Christmas Bargain on Cars

Planning to buy a car? Here’s some good news: according to the latest market statistics, there’s been a noticeable decline in prices on pre-owned convertibles, as quite many people are willing to sell before Christmas in order to get money for celebrations. Ironically, buying a convertible in December is rather practical—modern ones, made since 1996, have foldable metal hardtops and other improvements making them fit for winter. Moreover, classic convertibles are eligible for insurance with handsome policy benefits. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

4. Après-Ski—A Social Touch to a Sporting Holiday

Skiing is a habitual holiday pastime for thousands of families, as well as student or corporate groups. However, skiing per se gets rather boring after a while, and tourists start seeking entertainment opportunities as well. If you are not keen on rushing down pistes, make sure to pick out resorts with après-ski options. Dusk-till-dawn parties at bars, chic restaurants, shopping, casinos, concerts—après-ski encompasses all these and more.

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As for mountain sports, skiing and snowboarding are not the only two out there. If you’re on the lookout for fresh experiences, try some fusion winter sports, like ski biking, ice surfing, speed flying over snowy slopes—many resorts will provide you with all that is necessary.

5. Indulge in Sweet Memories

If pre-holiday stress is getting at you, a sure way to relieve it is relishing something sweet—no, not sweetmeats, but memories. Remember Christmases of your childhood and how delighted you were even with the simplest things. It doesn’t take a posh Christmas party to make you happy; just taking a walk down brightly-lit streets alongside decorated shop windows can fill you with festive spirit.

6. Save on Bills to Buy More Gifts

In case you favor more practical ways of enjoying yourself—like optimizing your expenses—there’s a wise way of reducing your heating bill: warm yourself instead of heating the entire house. If you have no small kids or temperature-sensitive pets, it’s no use heating the house day and night. You can make do with incandescent bulbs (they give off heat along with light), heated mattress pads, a heated keyboard pad, and an extra layer of clothing. In a month compare the bill with the previous one—the difference will surprise you.

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7. Start Spring Cleaning in Advance

Spring cleaning is a tradition of our ancestors: they heated their dwellings with wood and coal, so by spring the entire house was full of soot, ash, and dust. But we have no such problem, so maybe it is better not to waste beautiful spring days but do spring-cleaning in winter, when we are unwilling to go out anyway?

8. Go Where It Is Warm

If summer has left us, why not follow it? Take a trip to where it is warm and have an excellent time, forgetting for a while about snow and howling winds. Just make sure to prepare for it carefully: learn all about your destination, arrange your affairs to take care of themselves in your absence, find out how to stand up for your rights in case your flight is delayed or cancelled (for example, with the help of Flightright).

It is not our surroundings that make us happy, it is our attitude towards them. Stay positive, and you’ll have happy and joyous memories in spite of the winter gloom!

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Featured photo credit: Winter/@Doug88888 via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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