By Talia Witherspoon
From its blustery cold days, to the snot slinging, to the bouts of dry skin and hair, now that the holidays have passed I’m pretty much over wintertime and ready for the first blooms of spring. Although I work from home and am not as exposed to the elements as most people, winter is still my all-time least favorite season. I’m naturally an introvert, and can easily go days without leaving my house. However, to keep me from morphing into a recluse, I created a pleasurable routine that not only elevates my energy level, but also helps me to stay healthy and relatively happy in spite of the doom and gloom of winter.
1. Every morning I start my day off with a tall glass of lemon water — sometimes hot, sometimes cold — to prepare me for a good sweat at the gym. I read that hot lemon water has a number of awesome health benefits. I’ll admit that I didn’t really jam with it at first because I normally drink tea every morning. However, the more I drink it, the more it’s beginning to grow on me.
2. To heat up the icy winter mornings, I hit the gym for some power cardio. Depending on how much time I have to spare, I try to at least get in a 20-45 minute run on the treadmill. After I shower, no matter how cold it is, I feel flushed and hot from the inside out.
3. Before starting my actual workday, I make sure to take my vitamins with a healthy breakfast. I’ve recently become obsessed with kale and mozzarella egg white omelets with Italian seasoning. By the time I finally sit down at my computer with my cup of yerba mate to answer the first email or post my first update for the day, I’ve already done three awesome things for myself.
4. Midday, I like to boost my vegetable intake. Lunch typically consists of repurposed leftovers and a green juice or a super salad. I find that an afternoon dose of greens or juicing gives me enough of a lift that I don’t often find myself in need of an afternoon mocha.
5. In the evening I like to unwind with a glass of red wine at dinner. A once-committed white wine drinker, I never imagined I’d grow to love the complexity of a red. Though it’s still relatively new to me and I’m still developing my palette, sweet Shiraz and petit Syrah varieties have become staples in my household this winter. The health advantages of drinking red wine have been well-documented, so I can indulge without feeling guilty.
6. At night I typically close the day with some yoga, meditation, or a good read. I used to toss and turn before dozing off, so I turned to my electronics to tire me out. As a result, I ended up fighting sleep by tapping on my computer or smartphone until my eyes stung and were unable to hold out any longer. Now that I have new nightly habits to choose from to settle me, getting some much-needed beauty sleep is no longer an issue. I fall asleep sooner, sleep noticeably sounder, and wake up feeling rested.
To some people, my routine may only seem like a basic string of good habits. Yet, anytime I deviate from them I notice a real difference in my mood and energy level. In another sense, I’m consciously making an effort to do a series of small kindnesses for myself daily. These seemingly basic practices not only keep me physically healthy and mentally strong, but I also get a definite sense of accomplishment from day to day. My habits are my guilty pleasures because, though they are ordinary, they’re purposeful. They’re like my little self-rewards, and just the thought of them gives me the warm and fuzzies. It’s not spring — but hey, until then, I’ll take what I can get.
Talia is a freelance digital journalist, writing artista and curator of Sassy Nation. A lifestyle specialist, her brand represents natural beauty, style, travel and healthy, simplistic living with a highbrow aesthetic. She has an affinity for lists and is also a known Earth lover, vegetable eater, tea sipper, cupcake baker and fun maker. She invites you to get to know her.