Create Your Own Sunshine
I’ve never experienced such a shift in energy as I have before witnessing seasonal changes. And I’m not talking a winter where one day sunny and 70, the next is gray and rainy, then back to beach weather (looking at you LA!). No, I’m talking real seasons, where the trees go completely bare and you find yourself living in a world of brown, gray, and winter white….for more months than any human should have to. Last month we had our first 70 degree day, and it was FABULOUS. I met so many neighbors in our dog park I’d never seen in the seven months we’ve lived here. In the city, restaurant patios were opened and filled with brunch goers celebrating the sunshine with mimosas.
New York is a totally different world once the city gets its first taste of Spring. It’s like the veil of a gray haze is literally lifted and carried away, leaving blooming cherry blossoms and chirping birds in its place. Nevertheless, surviving the gray haze and being able to appreciate this new era of living was an uphill battle for this California girl. If there’s one lesson I learned from surviving my first New York winter, it’s how to create my own sunshine on dark days. No matter where you live, there’s going to be days where the sun ain’t shining so bright, figuratively or literally. So when the weather or the stress of life has you down, use these 5 tips to get out of your funk and into living out your purpose!
The hardest thing to do when you wake up to gloomy weather is getting out of the bed. The temptation to pull the covers over your head for a bit more sleep is SO real. Whether you have a 9-5, work from home, or simply have no obligations for the day, act like you do.
Create a sense of urgency for yourself to get the day started as soon as possible. Throw those covers off your body, plant your feet on the ground, and make up your bed right away so you’re not tempted to jump back into it!
Alternatively, if you want to jump on the bed a bit while repeating an affirmation like “I HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE MY OWN SUNSHINE TODAY” that’s definitely a great idea too.
LISTEN TO ME. Skip the “Songs for a Rainy Day// Hanging Out and Relaxing // Peaceful Meditation” Spotify playlists. These types of music certainly have importance in creating calm vibes, but it is NOT the time for Ed Sheeran acoustic. Listening to slow, sad music will only enhance the effect that a gloomy day is has on your mellow mood. If you want to create your own sunshine, you have to set the tone for that. Put on your workout hype mix, your favorite Beyonce song, some DJ Khaled screaming YOU DA BEST, some Afro-Beats or Reggaeton. Pick just one song that you know gets you hyped every time you listen to it and just jam out without doing anything else for just a few minutes. Pretend you are in the middle of a concert, close your eyes, and have a dance party for one. Get happy, get excited, get inspired, get motivated for the epic day that you are about to have despite the one the weather outside is influencing you to have. Feel free to borrow my favorite jam, sorry not sorry if it has you salsa dancing on the subway!
Yoga pants, as amazing as you are, not today. Unless you are planning to head to the gym or your favorite workout class, do not start out a gloomy day by putting on sweats or loungewear. But since we are on the subject, if you are planning to go workout put on your favorite outfit, like those leggings that have you break-in your own neck anytime you walk past a mirror!
As for everyone else, we’re getting dressed up today! Shower with your favorite products, wash your hair, shave your legs, moisturize. Skip the messy bun and go for a sleek one instead. Even if you’re not a makeup person, an eye cream, mascara, blush, and chapstick go a long way to bring out that inner glow. Put on some jeans, a dress, whatever outfit enhances your confidence when you look in the mirror. Knowing that you look good will go a long way to help you feel good and happy!
Most of us don’t need Ayurvedic nutrition experts to tell us how important it is to eat seasonally, and honor the natural cravings of our bodies during winter. Warming soups and hearty curries certainly have their place during this time, but eating hot and heavy foods on a gloomy day can weigh you down emotionally.
Focus on eating foods that are lighter in calories and high in nutrients like big salads, smoothies, tropical fruits, and healthy wraps. Instead of your rich morning coffee with cream try a light digestive tea containing peppermint or fennel. Taking supplements like Vitamin D or a B-Complex can also offer an extra energy-building and mood-lifting boost. Most importantly, take the time to prepare meals that are a visual representation of the sunshine you are trying to create throughout your day!
When a gloomy day catches you on a day where you have no obligations, you may find yourself extra tempted to stay home and binge watch a Netflix show with your trigger finger on the Uber Eats button. This can be a recipe for disaster if you are prone to sink into depressive emotional states that are so hard to pull yourself out of. So instead of falling victim to a 24-hour stint on your couch, pick up your phone and make some plans. Send a group text to your girls and see if anyone’s free for brunch and window shopping. And if no one’s available? Sign up for a group fitness class that has repercussions (like a steep cancellation fee) if you try to back out at the last minute. If all attempts at social interaction fail, take yourself on a solo date that involves you being active and in a place that encourages introspection like a museum or meditation center (definitely avoid the movie theatre though).
So there you have it, 5 ways that you can create your own sunshine! The next time you wake up to a seemingly endless winter or a random gray day you know exactly what to do to avoid getting caught in a weather funk: Get Up, Get Hyped, Get Dressed, Get Healthy, and Get Social! Most importantly, I want to encourage you to put together a box of tools to access when you are not feeling so great mentally or emotionally, whether the sun is shining or not. Life is too great of a gift to spend it wallowing in sadness or self pity. Cheers to enjoying the sunshine!