10 Tips for Digging Out of the Winter Blahs

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring this year, but if you’re anything like me, the end of February and slog through the long month of March ahead can feel daunting. Whether you’re daydreaming of a vacation break in Maui or toying with ideas for how you might incorporate your snow shovel into your morning sadhana, here are a few less radical things you might try to pull you through and set you up for that promised next season:

  1. Keep up your neti / nasya routine. There are still some nasty cold/flu bugs floating around out there! Plus, your sinuses will be all nice and shiny and clear, giving you a jump on springtime allergies.
  2. Use every long, cold day on the calendar as a new opportunity to practice mindfulness. (Yeah, I know.)
  3. Start or renew a meditation practice. Especially with March coming up, you have 30 days (plus a bonus one!) to get into the habit. Meditation, or any habit for that matter!
  4. Make an appointment to try a new alternative therapy, such as Reiki. Open your mind and your heart to what it might do for you. Consider it an experiment, self-care, whatever. A pedicure for the soul!
  5. Research and consider some cleanses for the change in season. One I particularly like is from If the Buddha Came to Dinner. No starving, good food and easy to do. Forget about that New Year’s Resolution? No big deal. Begin again.
  6. Take up a simple mindful eating practice, like the one I learned at Kripalu: focus only on three things: chew every bite completely; put the utensil down between each bite; breathe. Start with the first one, and add the other two as you are able.
  7. Mix up your own yoga practice. Teaching too much and neglecting your own? Get yourself to a class for YOU. Doing the same old routine? Incorporate a new posture each time, or pick one to really hone in on. Could it be the month of the crow? The handstand? The child? You decide.
  8. Valentine’s Day has passed, but why not reach out and find a way to cultivate one relationship you’ve been neglecting? Appreciate a friend by sitting down and really listening to them, do a small favor for a stranger, learn what love is for yourself. Or surprise your significant other with the game of Seductive Couplets!
  9. Purge something. A friend of mine recently took a few days for a stay-cation, and took the opportunity to reorganize her kitchen for a more efficient workflow. It had been something that was driving her crazy, but she never had time to fix it. She started this project but stopped whenever it stopped “being fun”, then picked up when she got a new idea of how to solve a problem (and it was fun again). And voila! Now it’s one less thing for her to think about every day.
  10. Explore a new or lost creative activity. When’s the last time you colored? Wrote a Haiku? Danced to a fun song when no one was watching? Find a playful, joyful expression of you and go for it!
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Like you, I don't have tons of time. One a month, if that. Promise.

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