Hands up if you have ever experienced the winter blues?
Don’t worry if you do, I get it also. The crazy thing is that I never realized it until a few years back when my husband pointed it out that I always seem low and out of sorts in January and February. I remember just looking at him and the light seemed to turn on.
I had never been a fan of those two particular months, but it had never dawned on me that my feelings of depression were related to them. Or more accurately, to the time of year.
As a coder I was familiar with and had even coded my fair share of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) diagnoses. I even have a friend that almost goes into full mourning as soon as the leaves start to turn in the fall. So, I know the symptoms, some of which can be very serious. And I knew that that wasn’t the problem – however I will say right now, SAD can turn into a very serious medical problem. If you think you may have it, please get help.
So, what are you to do to try to combat the Winter Blues?
Here is a list of things I use and do to get out of my winter blues.
- Realize it – recognizing what’s going on will help you realize that it’s only temporary.
- Essential oils – you can use them in oils, put them in the bath, shampoos/conditioners, etc.
- Herbal teas
- Exercise – keep it up even if you think it’s not working
- Self pampering
- Eat a clean diet – lots of fruits and veggies
- Cut back on coffee (ugh!), sugar, and if need alcohol and tobacco.
- Get outside – even on a cloudy day you can get some benefits from the sun – but oh how wonderful it is when the sun is out!
- Buy/do something just for you – I am not saying to go buy a new car – I am talking something small. Go to a movie, or buy a new nail polish – think small.
- Take a class or volunteer.
- Try a new hobby -or- pull out an old one.
- Put music on and bust a move!
- Plan for the future – Springs coming! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it is. If you are a gardener, order some seed catalogs and start planning your garden. Like to travel? Start exploring ideas for your next adventure!
- Plant something! On my windowsill I currently have herbs, lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard and microgreens happily growing.
- Animal/pet therapy – I always feel better after I have hung out with my dog and/or ducks!
- Get out – of the house I mean. Go to church, go window shopping, grocery shopping, etc. See people -and- interact with people – it may seem silly, but it helps.
If all else fails, look into a light lamp/box. When I worked in-office, during the winter we very rarely seen the sun (we were in the basement!). The boss was a wonderful woman though, and she realized that we poor, pale souls needed a little boost during the winter months and invested in some light boxes for the break room. We didn’t use them much, on lunch and breaks, but even the little bit that we did used them it seemed to help.
What do you do to help with the winter blues?