7 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

Cherub garden statue looking forlorned, sitting in a snowy woods

Winter has always been my least favorite season.  I do not enjoy being cold, and the short days and darkness really get to me.  I tend to want to hibernate in the winter — I stay inside, sleep more, exercise less, feel less motivated, and don’t make as much of an effort to socialize.  While a seasonal change of pace isn’t inherently bad, all of these things can lead to a general feeling of blah-ness.  Over the past few weeks, the cold, gray weather has set in here, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about the ways in which I try to make winter a little more bearable.   Read more

Back to Basics

Trees in a forest

The last month and a half has been challenging for me.  I traveled to Greece for two weeks, which disrupted my usual routines, though I still managed to do some meditating and blogging while I was there.  Then my dad was hospitalized and died, and for a while it seemed nearly impossible to focus on anything else.  I still think about my dad constantly, and my mom and I are doing our best to figure out this new normal.  To top it off, I am pregnant with my first child, making me both excited and exhausted.  Simple tasks like eating and exercising have become much more difficult than they once were.

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Stuck, Tired, and In Need of Ideas? Lace Up Your Sneakers and Get Moving

Exercise equipment - sneakers and a yoga mat
Photo by Emilios

I am not a naturally athletic person. I was never one of the first kids picked for the team in gym class, and I dreaded the days in elementary school when we had to run a mile. Aside from one less-than-stellar summer of softball when I was eight, I didn’t play sports. In my early years, I was slow, clumsy, and had poor hand-eye coordination, and I felt terribly self-conscious on any kind of court.

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Let’s Talk About Sleep

A koala sleeps in a tree

I recently heard an interview of Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep specialist and author of The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype — and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More. That got me thinking about sleep.

I need 7-8 hours of sleep a night to function well. I can occasionally get by on 5 or 6 hours if necessary, but generally only for one night. When I don’t get enough sleep, I’m not just sleepy and ineffective; I get physically ill. Sleep deprivation is a reliable precursor to a headache, and as a lifelong migraine sufferer, headaches can be bad news for me. When I chronically get less sleep than I should, my immune system takes a noticeable hit, and I’m likely to come down with a cold. Therefore, I prioritize sleep. Even during law school and while working demanding private practice jobs, I almost always got 7-8 hours of sleep each weeknight. (I didn’t sleep very well last night, for no apparent reason, and I know I’m going to be feeling the effects of that poor sleep later today).

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