HOW TO KEEP YOUR ENERGY LEVELS UP THIS WINTER

Hello, January. Here you are, just as bleak and pallor-draining as we all knew you would be. And yet, we're somehow supposed to find ourselves overflowing with enthusiasm for the year ahead; brimming with energy to enact our plans, and full of momentum to truly make 2016 our year. Something doesn't make sense here.

I've already written about and discussed energy quite a lot, because I do believe that effective energy management is the key differentiator between people who get some stuff done, and those who get a lot done. As the grimmest part of winter sets in (and threatens to stay put for the next three or four months), here are some ideas for how to keep energy all the way UP. So you can actually, you know, do all that stuff on your to-do list. 

WEAR MORE, GO OUT LESS

Like the girl in the Drake song - but the exact opposite. FOMO is a powerful thing even on the coldest nights of the year, but if you want to keep your energy stores fully stocked over winter, you've got to look after yourself. We lose a lot of heat energy through our feet, so make sure you've got the sock-and-slipper combo on deck when you're at home (look, I never said this was going to be sexy) and consider paring back your social schedule just a tad in the interests of protecting your poor, wind-battered body.

MODIFY YOUR EXERCISE REGIME (BUT DON'T DROP IT!)

If you have the willpower to get up at 6am on a freezing winter morning: more power to you. For the rest of us, these icy months call for a modified workout plan. Try early morning YouTube yoga videos, go for a 30 minute walk every lunchtime, or switch your jogging regime for a hot yoga session (cosy).  Exercise is essential for keeping your serotonin levels up, but there's no need to be totally masochistic about it.

SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMIN D

According to a whole heap of articles I've read online (NB: websurfing is about the extent of my exhaustive scientific research) Vitamin D deficiency is a real problem for pretty much all of us - especially in the winter. If you think you might be lacking in the sunshine vitamin, consider supplementing accordingly. More info from an actual doctor on this over here.

FIND A WORK BUDDY

Freelancing can be isolating at the best of times, but working from home in winter can feel like the loneliest job of all. Alleviate your seasonal career blues by enlisting a nearby friend to come and work at your kitchen table with you - and then alternate by setting up your office at hers. Make it fun and delicious by taking turns to make each other lunch. Everyone loves lunch.

HYDRATE - BUT CUT THE ICE

Remember what DJ Khaled told ya: Hydration a major key to success. But ice water is very taxing on your digestive system at the best of times, and particularly hard on the body when the weather outside is just as cold. At this time of year, I drink gallons of hot ginger tea (literally just chopped up fresh ginger root in boiling water) which has the added bonus of staving off colds and flu. #TheyDon'tWantYouToThriveInTheWinter. But you can. And you will.