#reverb17 // March // 10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
March 14, 2017
10 ways to beat the winter blues
I was classified at one point in my life as having SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is when you literally get sad during wintertime. It actually applies to all seasons, so anytime your mood changes because of a seasonal change, that is considered SAD, regardless of the temperature. I know first hand a lot of parents who get SAD starting in the summer because they have to deal with their kids for 3 months until school starts again. LOL.
I also say that I had SAD in the past tense because lately, I haven't felt that way. I have come to appreciate all seasons, all types of weather, and adjusted fairly well to limited availability of sunshine hours from November through March. This year especially, we have had a very temperate winter and I've been able to get out and walk with Levi and wear shorts and t-shirts in the middle of January and February at times!
There are a few things that contribute- one is my ability to work from home a few days a week... I can get outside mid-day and enjoy some sunshine especially on days that are unexpectedly warm. Another is that this past year, we were away in France for most of December, had Christmas and New Years in a whirl, and there was really no holiday let-down afterwards. Usually I sob while putting away all of my beautiful Christmas decorations and can't come out of my funk until we go on vacation or Memorial Day hits.
Maybe I should start with that as a strategy!
Preempt the winter blues by giving yourself some much needed self-care going into any season or period of time that gives you anxiety. As much as I love to decorate for Christmas, was this past year a note-to-self moment on how taking time off before the holidays actually helps me cope after they're over? Maybe I have some unresolved feelings about the holidays stuffed down that I need to explore also...
Take a trip. It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to involve a plane. It doesn't even have to be warm. Just get away from your normal and break up the monotony.
Always have something on the calendar for you to look forward to next. That could mean a trip, but even something as simple as a brunch with some friends, a comedy show in the city, even a skype date with some out of town friends or family will give you something to set your sights on.
Take advantage of sunlight hours. Get outside for a walk in the middle of the day. Even if you work in an office. Especially if you work in an office. Don't underestimate a sunny day with limited wind. Even if the high is going to be single digits, it's amazing how warm and inviting the air can be when there's not a cloud in the sky and no wind to chill you.
Focus on something that you love about the season. To me, cold weather means a toasty fireplace. I collect books and Netflix shows I want to read and binge on during warmer months so that I have a nice stock-pile come the cold months.
If you feel like hibernating in low-light months, don't fight it. Just sleep more, if that's an option for you. No need to fight it. Every season is a different phase with different energies.
Get a great workout. Inside, outside, gym, home... where ever it makes sense for you, getting a good sweat on increases your serotonin, those naturally occurring feel-good chemicals in the body.
Treat yo self! I tend to do this year round, but a pretty bunch of live flowers or a pedicure never fails to lift my spirits!
Invest in a great jacket/sweater/scarf/hat/boots that you love to wear. Or, if you're me, all of the above. And multiples. It will make leaving the house to go into the frigid outdoors something you can look forward to at least 1%.
Appreciate your good hair day... low levels of moisture in the air might mean dry skin, but your hair won't frizz! Static can be managed with a dryer sheet. In fact, try to remember all the things that you might complain about when it's hot as balls outside to cultivate some gratitude for the cold. XO
If you'd like to join in the #reverb17 project, we have started a facebook group where you can find all the details of each month's writing prompt. We have no requirements or expectations other than to give you a way to express yourself in writing on a regular interval. We post monthly (with some fun Instagram Challenges) from January through November, then have daily prompts in December to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new year! Join us here!