Beat the winter blahs
Mid-January can often seem like a bleak time. The holidays are
over, the trees are barren, the grass is brown and scraggly, it's
cold, it gets dark too early, and the spring semester looms. No
wonder people get the January blahs.
You don't have to settle for dressing in black, secluding yourself
and eating bags of chocolate chip cookies. The Faculty and Employee
Assistance Program at the Institute
for Quality Health passes along the following good words (adapted
from an article by Fred Matheny, which appears at www.asimba.com):
Set aside time each day for exercise. Add it to your daily schedule,
like an appointment. Getting your heart rate up releases those
mood-tickling endorphins and makes you feel good about yourself.
Resolve to eat better. You burn fewer calories in cold weather,
so adjust your food consumption accordingly. Have your morning
cereal in a smaller bowl; eat half a bagel instead of a whole
Get outside at midday. If you can, schedule your exercise over
your lunch hour to soak up as much natural light as possible.
You don't have to skip a meal -- just eat a snack at your desk
at 10:30, exercise at noon, and snack again at 2:30. If you
can't do a full-fledged workout, walk around the parking lot
for 15 minutes.
Exercise for longer periods on weekends. Don't worry about speed,
just spend about two to three hours doing something physical,
burning fat and developing aerobic conditioning.
Try something new. The secret to winter exercise is to play;
if you normally bike or jog, take up ice skating. The novelty
helps make it fun.
Find a training partner. If you run or ride with others in the
summer, but lift weights alone in your basement all winter,
no wonder you've got the blahs. Exercise is more fun when you
share it with others.
further help, call the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program
at 243-2643, or check out the schedule of programs available through
Intramural-Recreational Sports at their web site, http://www.virginia.edu/ims/.