When winter sets in, the darker, colder, wetter, drearier conditions can instantly make us feel less motivated to go out and do things, which means it’s easier to succumb to the temptation to stay inside and veg. As a result, we’re less likely to be as socially active and can become more sedentary – making it more likely to experience tiredness, feelings of depression and stress etc – which can have a negative impact on our overall wellbeing.
Staying connected and interactive is an important part of everyday life and generally makes us feel good. So, whilst the social options may be more limited in the winter months, when you engage in the right activities, you’ll find your motivation to be more active and social, naturally increases.
Here are a few simple approaches for how to ignite your motivation and keep socially connected and physically active throughout the winter season.
To help establish your motivation to be more social, we first have to understand what is motivating us to do your current behaviour – i.e. nothing! You can do this by asking yourself – what do I get from staying at home and doing nothing?
The answer might be, for example – I get to be warm and cosy.
Once you determine your motivation to stay at home or be less active, you can then look at a range of possible alternatives which give you the same result.
For instance, what else might also give you same feeling of being cosy and warm? – a few drinks down the pub with your friends by a roaring fire? Relaxing and unwinding in a steaming hot tub spa with your family?
Another idea might be signing up for a challenge event in the summer – e.g. a half marathon – as this can take months of preparation, the motivation to get up a go for a run or head to the spa for a swim, will likely significantly increase.
If you’re usually the one to wait for your friends to organise an outing or get together, perhaps its time to surprise them! Instead of waiting around for someone else, contact your friends and secure a few dates for meeting up. Provide some suggestions on things you think would be enjoyable for you all do to as a group – visiting a winter food fair, learning salsa – whatever seems fitting for your specific interests and of course the weather restrictions.
No matter how you decide to spend our time, if you don’t do something enjoyable, you’re not going to want to do it! Therefore, its vital to find activities that are fun for you. Often this can be doing something creative, social or physical.
If you’re struggling for ideas, what better excuse to invite your friends over for a planning session! Together, you can decide all the awesome things you can do over the next few months.
Now, if your current friendship circle is a little lacking or one of your reasons for being less social – as in, your friends don’t want to socialise in winter – then don’t let that stop you! Join groups, clubs or communities to meet like-minded people who want to enjoy fun activities in winter too.
Volunteering is another great way to meet new people and feel connecting to something important. Offer your time to a cause that means something to you – walk the dogs at the local animal rescue centre or help out at your nearest homeless shelter.
Search for Sunshine
Of course, there is also the possibility that you just need some sunshine in your life. If that’s the case, you could always schedule your annual getaway to be during the winter months. Whilst its obviously only a short period within winter, it may just give you the boost you need to keep powering through. However, if it’s possible to do so, see if you can take a longer period off by saving it up your holiday entitlement through the year.