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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Avoiding the Winter Blues

Michigan Winter means shorter days, and colder weather. As days get shorter and the temperature drops, it's not uncommon for the winter blues to set in, particularly after the holiday season. All you want to do is stay in, curl into a ball, and eat. It can be hard to stay motivated in the dead of winter, but there are things you can do to keep your eyes on the prize- Here are some quick tips.

Stay Focused and Positive - A big key to keeping up your spirits is staying focused, and understanding your priorities. Make a list of things you’d like to accomplish to get an overall picture of before starting to tackle any of it. Then, make a plan. Although it’s tempting to do the little things first, those that take more time and effort to accomplish are probably the ones that you’ll gain the most from.
Learn Something New - Start a hobby. Developing an interest in something new will make you feel good during the long winter months. Changing your approach to an existing pastime can also help you stay interested in what you’re doing.  Maybe you love to read- switch it up a bit! Try some new authors or types of books!
Set Attainable Goals- and Be Able to Visualize Them - You may have made New Year’s Resolutions such as losing weight, which might be a lofty goal if you’ve never left your couch. Instead of focusing on the large goals, break them down to more manageable ones.  Some examples of this might be just eating smaller portions, taking the stairs, or parking a little farther away from the door and walking in. The same holds true for your financial goals.  Don’t focus on the big, end number you’d like to have saved.  Focus on saving a little bit each week.  It will add up faster than you’d think.
Find a Support Network - If you’re suffering from winter blahs, chances are your friends are too. Develop a group of friends and peers who can motivate you, who will give you positive support  and who will listen and share ideas. Encourage their achievements too.  Seek out a mentor to guide you or bounce ideas off of.  Don’t listen to overly critical naysayers.
Acknowledge Your Accomplishments - Don’t be afraid to celebrate your accomplishments! There’s nothing wrong with going on Facebook and bragging about your good day. You’ll likely find unexpected encouragement from your circle of friends. Give yourself a quick reward when you complete a milestone.
Make the most of the Season - Instead of hiding from the bluster of the season, get bundled up, and enjoy the best that the season has to offer! Michigan offers a variety of activities for you to enjoy if you’re just willing to step outside. Whether you try Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice skating, sledding, tubing, winter photography, winter nature observation, or astronomy, all are good ways to meet the season head on.  Remember that comfy sofa, warm throw, hot chocolate and a roaring fire will be there when you get home!

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