EPMEPM: Productivity

Beating The Winter Blues

Fiona Blayney plans to fight off any idea of hibernation this winter by refusing to let the cooler weather influence her mood.

I have always thought the notion of a spring clean was kind of funny. I understand the theory. Winter brings with it the traditional need to rug up, stay indoors, turn on the heater and eat soup. After this winter-long siesta, things have gotten a bit stuffy. Your home is dusty, the shine has gone off your possessions and life has just felt that little bit slower.

And then bang, one day you awake and the sunshine is pouring through your bedroom window; birds have taken to flight and are chirping with a vibrancy that feels like a metaphor for the spring in your step. You feel a smile adorn your face and you come alive. Woo hoo – spring has sprung!

Many of us then have this overarching urge to clean; enter the spring clean. Of course it makes sense. It’s time to grab life by the proverbial and get cracking – there’s no time to lose. If you’re fortunate enough to have woken on a Sunday, you start with a vengeance; otherwise you’ve locked in the weekend to sort out your life. Cleaning, decluttering, dusting, sorting out clothes, planning your exercise regime to get your summer body back… Perhaps you can feel the warmth across your face as you recount this.

Imagine this year if the spring clean didn’t exist. I’m not saying stay in hibernation; I’m suggesting not hibernating to begin with. That’s what I’m doing. I’m refusing, so much so I’ve decided to take it to a new level and I’m doing an autumn clean instead, as a prevention strategy for what winter could bring. If winter has the potential to bring illness, chills and demotivation, I am getting ahead of the curve to create the opposite.

I’ve started with the office, lifting the energy through the commencement of a revamp, working with the team, adjusting headspace to keep ourselves healthy across winter, prevent the illnesses and maintain motivation on a cold, wet day. We’ve done a stocktake of our environment: what do we need to do to keep us feeling vibrant? The tradies have been called and it’s time to make some changes.

As for my body, I’ve upped my training sessions to compensate for a reduction in outdoor activity, bought a weatherproof running jacket (apparently I’m not made of paper) and getting better at my vitamin intake and meal planning – that’s the hard part!

On the home front, we recently moved to allow our home to be renovated. As a result we downsized into a property half the size and I decided to call it ‘going camping’. We’ve already decluttered and I am determined to keep it that way. Something comes in, something goes out.

When it comes to my mind, I have written a list of all the things I love to do in summer and I’m working out what can be done to continue doing these things throughout the cooler months. I’m sure I won’t be going to the beach for hours making sandcastles, but we’ve agreed as a family to find alternatives and not allow some earlier rain and wet play equipment to keep us away from the park or other family adventures. Car trips, social visits and more time at the library will be on the cards, not extra TV time. Keep moving to keep the energy up! We’ve also scheduled the family holiday and a couple of nights away to ensure we still get that spot of sunshine and vitamin D.

As you head through the final days of autumn, brace yourself for the pull towards hibernation. Make a choice to not allow the weather to influence your mood and embrace your coat, hat and scarf – you look London Town cool.

This year I say, ‘Come on, winter, let’s have some fun!’

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