It’s Winter time, which can be hard on a lot of people. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to changes in seasons. A lot of people can experience this during the winter months. You may find yourself a little more tired or moody. I’ve learned that you really can enjoy this season. It does require a little extra work, but it’s definitely worth it. Here are 7 tips & tricks that might just help you beat the winter blues.
Learn Something New. When your body and mind are put to work, it helps you feel like you have accomplished something. Think of a hobby or sport that you have wanted to get into but just haven’t done it yet. Now is the time to do it. You can start by signing up for a class and actually learn how to do your hobby the right way. Or, ask a friend or neighbor who knows how to do it and have them teach you. Some examples could include: swimming, skiing/snowboarding, playing the piano, guitar or other musical instrument, decorating cookies and cakes, sewing or an exercise class. Whatever it is, put your body and mind to work and do it!
Get Outside. The first thing we think of when we see the snow or rain falling outside is how much we want to stay in our pjs and lounge around inside all day. This could be fine for a day or so, but when you do this consecutively over the winter, depression could set in. Get outside no matter the weather. If it’s just for a walk to the mailbox and then around the block, that’s fine. Getting outside gives you the fresh air that you are craving but just don’t know it while you are inside. Another idea is plan a drive through the mountains or other scenic drives. Stop every once in awhile and step outside to breath in the fresh air. We all need it and it feels so good.
Serve Others. When we forget about ourselves and think of others, our moodiness suddenly disappears. We are focusing our thoughts and energy onto someone else. You will probably also notice that other people have struggles too and sometimes they are far worse than your own. Look around in your neighborhood and community. Where could you volunteer your time and talents? Who is sad and lonely? Even a nice homemade cooked meal for someone who is struggling is a big thing. If you can’t volunteer on a regular basis. Try making a goal for once a week to help someone in need. This will direct your focus outwards instead of keeping it on yourself.
Exercise. You hear it all the time, right? You need to exercise. It’s so true though. Exercise can be different for a lot of people. Taking a walk with friends around the neighborhood, or signing up for the swim class you’ve wanted to. There are many ways to exercise and you will definitely feel a difference in the way your body feels. If you’re like me and you are a social exerciser, grab your friends and plan a set day of the week that you will exercise. Then stick to it! The feel of peer pressure is so good to get you going!
Get Ready for the Day. You might be thinking… what?? This one might sound funny but it helps me so much. I have a rule that every morning I have to take a shower and get my hair and makeup ready for the day. I find that the days I stay in the comfy clothes and don’t shower, I tend to lounge around the house, I’m more tired, and I tend to get snappy at the kids. When I’m actually dressed and feel good about myself, my day goes a lot better. Plus, then I’m not running in my room to get dressed the second the doorbell rings! We’ve all been there right!?
Be Social. We all need friends…especially women. We need to talk and…talk and eat. It’s just in our nature. So why is it when the colder seasons come along, we suddenly stop getting together with our friends? It doesn’t have to be that way. Plan lunches with your friends, go to a museum, hit the mall and let the kids play in the play area, start a book club, or just take turns hosting a get together. You may have to put more energy into actually going, but once you are there, you will notice how much you crave that friendship and conversation.
Plan a Vacation/Have Something to Look Forward to. I’m a planner, I need it. I love looking at the new year and thinking of all we can do and explore. It gets me excited. We all need that feeling of something to look forward to. So, if you don’t have any trips, outings, dates, or adventures planned yet, get going. Look into a new camping spot for the summer, or a winter wonderland you can go visit now. It doesn’t need to be big, it just needs to make you happy and give you a change in your everyday routine.