Got The Winter Blues?
Here we are in the thick of winter. Depression and feeling down or the “winter blues” plagues many of us at this time of year. I have been sliding into a funk myself these past couple weeks. Are the winter blues getting you down as well? Despite the reasons for this, there are things we can do to help lift our spirits. I’ve wracked my brain to come up with doable ways to lift my spirits, and I want to share them with you.
Things to Try To Banish the Winter Blues
Listen to upbeat music.
This always helps me feel better when I remember to turn the music on!
Watch a funny movie or video.
Kids movies/shows work great for this, ie. SpongeBob or this wacky video with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots:
- Go outside for a few minutes. Walk if you can. Fresh air always lifts my spirits. Plus natural light is beneficial for our internal clocks.
- Snuggle with a pet or person. We all need touch daily.
- Do a small project. Bake something. Write a letter. Color a coloring book page. I made zucchini bread yesterday with the zucchini I froze last summer.
- Play a board/card game with a child or senior.
- Meditate on God’s word. For example, I love this verse:
“Who have I in heaven but you, Lord? There is nothing on earth that I desire above you; My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).
- Read a light book. Stay away from emotional, upsetting stories.
- Stop listening to the news.
- Call someone on the phone-don’t text. For me texting just doesn’t match talking to someone.
- Journal– with words and/or art.
- Remember that this too will pass. Spring will come and you will feel better sooner or later.
- See a therapist. They can help us see things that we can’t, because we’re too close to the situation.
- Write down what you’re thankful for each day. Looking for things to be thankful for, takes our focus off the negatives and puts it on the positives in our lives. One Thousand Gifts is an excellent book to read to learn more about gratitude.
- Eat healthy, nourishing food and avoid junk food. Too much sugar makes me irritable and depressed.
- Drink your water. It’s hard to get in 6-8 glasses of water when it’s cold. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea. If caffeine is an issue, use decaffeinated tea. When I don’t drink enough I get headaches. If you’ve been plagued with frequent headaches this winter, increase your fluid intake and see if that helps.
- If you think you would benefit from using a light box, talk to your doctor about it. There are situations where they should not be used and conditions that affect how they should be used. I’ve never used one.
- Build a puzzle.
- Plan an outing and DO it if you can.
- Start some seeds indoors if you garden.
- Clean out a drawer or closet. Get an assistant as needed. I’ve been doing this and it feels good to get rid of junk.
- If none of these things help, see your doctor. You don’t have to stay miserable.
Finally, I bet you can add other ideas to this list. Let me know what you do to beat the winter blues below in the comments. If you’d like a visual format for a reminder, click here for Positive Health Wellness’s seasonal depression infographic.. Next week’s topic is about how to journal and keep it simple. Kathy