Here it is again. The Winter Blues are upon us. The stretch of time after Christmas that we always feel down and depressed throughout the remainder of the winter months. It makes for a nice Holiday Hangover, huh? Because these feelings always seemed to pop up around the same time every year, I started reading about this online. There is actually a thing called SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
“This is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.”
I first found these anxious/ sad feelings in college, especially before fall finals. The stress of finals combined with cold, dreary, dark, weather is not a good combination. I was normally ok after finals until Christmas, but when Christmas was over, my mood plummeted. I guess it has a lot to do with the Holiday Hype being over- being around friends and family, presents, eating, all of it is over until the next year. That’s not a good feeling. Then it gets worse. We have to resume our lives and go back to work. January also does not offer the best weather either. I feel like 80% of this month has already been cold, dark, dreary, and rainy days.
It’s not my favorite time of year; however, I know these feelings of sadness and anxiousness can be combated if we take the right approach this Winter.
Here are some things that have helped me fight the Winter Blues….
Wear bright colors.
I know there has to be some correlation between bright beautiful colors and your feelings. Making myself wearing some of my favorite bright colors have always helped me conquer the day.
Get some Vitamin D.
There are not many sunny days in January, but when there is one, go outside and take a walk or just sit and soak it in.
Take a walk.
Breath in some fresh air and move your body. Walking also gives you time to relax and clear your head.
Hang out with positive people.
As easy as it may be to curl up alone with Netflix in bed, being around friends that support you will really do you well. I always feel better after I hang out with my friends and get things off my chest. Just to have someone listen will help tremendously.
I’m not going to lie, it’s sometimes really hard for me to exercise, especially when I am alone. When I need to blow off steam, walking works great for me, and Yoga has changed my life. If I don't have a yoga class scheduled, I will pull up a couple of stress relief yoga classes on Youtube.
Good upbeat music that I love always makes me feel better. I love sad slow songs but I try and stay away during these months.
One AMAZING thing about my job is I get to help students every day with their future. Giving back always makes you feel good inside. Volunteer at a shelter, or give your time to a school. I bet if you reach out to the right person, they can use you in more ways than you know. Giving back really increases my overall life satisfaction.
Did you know that some foods can actually affect your mood. Don’t eat crap foods like sweets.
Brighten the environment.
Letting the light in can really improve your mood. Pull back the curtains, open the blinds, let the light shine.
Get up at a decent hour.
For some reason, If I oversleep into 9 and 10 am on the weekends, I actually feel much worse. Sometimes I even feel more tired after sleeping in. Waking up earlier might feel bad at the time, but it will help you get your day started, and you feel more energized throughout the day.
Get up, Get dressed.
It’s easy to stay in my Pj’s all day, but getting up, putting on makeup, and fixing my hair, gives me a sense of readiness to conquer tasks on my to-do list.
Clean-up and Clean-out.
Cleaning is actually relaxing to me and kind-of therapeutic. This may not be the case for you, but I do know that if you spend a little time organizing an cleaning out that cluttered closet, it will make you feel much more relaxed and happier after the task is done. Clutter can make us anxious. Free yourself from the extras that you don't need. Donating some items will intensify your happiness.
Get out of town.
Sometimes just a change of scenery can do wonders. Book a mini weekend va-cay with your husband or friends.
Take Long Hot Baths.
With bath bombs, face masks, and a glass of wine to unwind.
Try some essential oils.
I’ve used some of these from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Breathing in the relaxing oils will help you with the winter anxiousness and help foster healthy sleep.
Writing in a journal is a helpful way to release tension. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just put down whatever comes to the tip of your pen.
Not only full meditation, but just having a full hour of quiet time in the morning can help with your thoughts and mindfulness. I love the time in the morning when I’m alone and putting on my makeup. It the first time of the day when I can clear my thoughts, then think about how I can prepare for the day that lies ahead.
Don’t spend a lot of time scrolling through Social Media.
Social Media has made it, sometimes, hard be thankful for what you are and what you have. We now can instantly see intimately into each person’s life ..if shared...And everything is shared these days! Feeling down or sad about something is easy to do when you constantly compare yourself to others.No wonder many people may find themselves depressed.
Visit your favorite places in town.
Get out and get going. My favorite pace to visit in my town is one of my favorite coffee shops. It’s very comforting for me to visit there, grab an espresso and just chill. Maybe your place is the book store. Visiting things that are near and dear to your heart helps.
This one is my absolute favorite. I have learned that with Gratitude comes Happiness! To be grateful or not to be grateful for what we have, is our choice. Happiness is a choice. We are in charge of our lives and we can decide to live as we want. I look around at my family, my husband, we are alive and well and that’s just one thing to be thankful for. Just. Appreciate. Everything. Something that has helped in the past was writing down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate that you can count. You’ll be more positive on a day to day basis and start exude a high frequency to the universe! Now is the time to interrupt your anxiety with gratitude, because today I AM THANKFUL!
Thanks for visiting and reading everyone. I really hope that this will help someone who is going through the Winter Blues.
From my closet to yours, thanks for stopping by.