How to Deal With the Winter Blues

When short days and cold temperatures become the norm, it totally makes sense that we see changes in our body as a result. We are experiencing less naturally sourced vitamin D, we are getting less fresh air, and we’re isolated a bit more.

The “Winter Blues” or in the more extreme sense, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is pretty commonly talked about in the north east. Whether it’s your neighbor’s annual trip down south or your boss sending out an email instructing everyone to “take some extra time” for themselves, it seems like most people are working to combat the symptoms that come along with a long, dark winter. However, it can be tough (especially these days) to get yourself out of a sulk when you find yourself in one.

I’ve found that five specific things help me when I get into a seasonal funk. Now, these aren’t magic tricks. I still have evenings where all I want to do is curl in a ball by the wood stove and veg out. However, I find that being productive can be useful on days when I do have obligations to meet.

If this post is helpful for you, leave me a comment below. Do you have any tricks you go-to when you’re feeling a bit off on a winter’s day?

Go For a Walk

Fresh air does miraculous things and nature has undeniable healing properties. I read an article the other day that said kids should spend 4-6 hours outside everyday. Now, that might not be possible, but I think our surprise (or scoffing) should cue us all in to the fact that we simply don’t get outside as much as we should- especially in the winter! Motivation is the hardest part in this case, especially when it’s cold. However, the benefits are substantial. If you can simply get yourself outside, I promise you’ll be thankful you did.

Do Something For Yourself

Personally, I feel a bit guilty when it comes to taking time for myself. It feels like there’s always something else I could be going- someone who needs me or a task to check off my to-do list. However, doing something just for you is a great way to boost your energy and brighten your perspective. Think about something that really brings you joy or peace and schedule it into your day. If you’re not used to this, it might feel uncomfortable at first, but I urge you to give it a try.

Pick a Mantra

Words have subconscious weight that we don’t acknowledge frequently enough. Picking a mantra or phrase to help set your mindset has unmeasurable benefits. Brendon Burchard uses doorway triggers: every time he walks through a doorway he recites his mantra. If you can identify a phrase that represents how you want to feel and think throughout your day, pick a trigger. Every time that trigger appears, repeat your mantra. Then, reap the benefits.

Take a Bath

Soaking in a hot bath or taking a hot shower has been proven to calm your nerves and release stress. It’s a way of instantaneously relaxing your nervous system and shutting off outside stimuli. Plus, it really doesn’t take long to feel the difference in your body. Want further benefits? Actively give yourself a moment to reorganize your thoughts. Take a minute to breathe. When you return to your day you’ll find your energy more balanced and your mind and body more aligned.

Call a Friend

Humans thrive off connection. In this day and age (I’m really starting to hate that phrase) it’s hard to achieve connection with our quarantine limitations. However, reaching out to a friend on the phone or FaceTime does have substantial benefits. You may feel tech-fatigued and you may argue that there’s not enough time in the day to sit and make the call, but if you do, you’ll undoubtably notice a difference in your mood. Talking to the people who know us more honestly than we know ourselves opens our minds to accept realities we may be avoiding. Then, we can face those realities and move forward.

Do you have any strategies you utilize when dealing with the winter blues? Are you simply counting down the days until warmer weather? I promise we’ll get there, but why not make the path a little lighter?

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