Being good in bed: why it’s hard to get motivated in winter
I can do it all – snoring, rolling over and taking all the covers, rearranging my pillows just as my partner is dozing off and sleeping in a variety of imaginative positions. I eat and drink there, play on the computer, write stories, watch films and phone my family.
I snuggle up surrounded by a carefully-constructed wall of books and defend my territory from intruders with a boiling hot water bottle called Fluffy.
The trouble comes when I have to get up. Our house is in England, yet our bedroom somehow seems to be situated north of the Arctic Circle. We pile on extra sleeping bags and fleecy throws, but icy chills creep in through the smallest of gaps, and you can see your breath when you exhale.
A trip across to the bathroom requires several extra layers and a sledge with a team of husky dogs. You could die of exposure out there, believe me.
Are you having problems getting motivated in winter?
We’re less inclined to feel positive and energetic during the winter months, due to the shorter daylight hours. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) caused by lack of vitamin D, which is produced naturally by the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. A UV sunshine lamp can help with this.
Colder weather makes us sluggish, partly because our bodies are trying to conserve heat instead of using energy for movement, and partly because we tend to consume higher-calorie foods; on a chilly winter day, we’d rather have a bowl of apple crumble and custard than a fresh, juicy peach (and the extra bulges are hidden under bulky sweaters, anyway).
So how can you overcome this lower motivation during winter?
Prepare your morning’s tasks the night before.
Lay out clothes to wear and decide what you’ll eat for breakfast. Write a To-Do List, and make the notes or gather the materials you’ll need to complete your first task.
Start the day earlier.
Set your alarm to wake you half an hour earlier. Use the extra time to ease yourself slowly into the day, instead of struggling to move at speed right away.
Think positive thoughts.
Try positive affirmations (there are some examples here), remind yourself why you want to achieve your targets for the day, listen to happy music instead of watching the News.
Grit your teeth and force yourself to start the day with exercise.
A short run or brisk walk in the cold wind might feel like torture to start with, but you’ll come back glowing and invigorated. Not a chance? Try ten minutes on your exercise bike, or dancing around to some pumping rock music.
Reward yourself for achievements.
Give yourself a reward for each task on your To-Do-List successfully completed. Or ask someone to praise and encourage you, until you get used to giving that positive feedback to yourself.
As for me, I’ve decided to hibernate this year. Wake me in the spring.