OK there are only 5 steps in total so this won't drag on but I really do want to emphasize how important each of these was to me. Particularly the steps that involved a bit of a lifestyle change or involved doing something that I previously pshaw'd. Step 2 was one I previously pshaw'd, like for all my adult life.
Step #2: Vitamins
Starting in October, I began taking a multi-vitamin specifically for women. It has all kinds of good stuff in it and I figured it couldn't hurt. I took it religiously at dinner time and then forgot about it. I believed that since I tend to eat relatively well and I get my greens, that I should have all the nutrients I need in my diet.
However, looking back, I have never had a healthier winter than this past winter. I didn't get the sniffles, cold or flu once! Now granted, I am a serious hand washer but my level of healthiness went beyond germs. I am now completely sold on multi-vitamins.
Step #3: Exercise
I know the importance of exercise and in previous winters I have kept up a weekly date with a jazzercise class. However, I fell off that bandwagon a while ago and can't seem to get back on it. Therefore, knowing my tendency to isolate in the winter and knowing how hard it is to get exercise while sitting on the couch, I set up a commitment with a friend to walk once a week.
This forced me to get out of the house, socialize, and get a good long walk in once a week regardless of the weather. I may not have always wanted to go but I wasn't about to break the commitment. And even if I was hating it, or in a really down place, I could always spend the walk telling my great friend what was going on for me. Inevitably, even on the worst weeks, I felt better after the walk. Maybe I did still crash on the couch afterwards but I crashed after a good workout and felt closer to someone.
We maybe missed 3 or 4 walks over 6 months but we also added a walk every now and then. So I think we evened out or came in ahead of our weekly committed walking time.
These were two excellent steps in my plan and ones I will do again next year....friend willing. :)