Warding Off the Winter Blues

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. – Anton Chekhov

 

 

 

Depending on where you live in this beautiful world, this may or may not apply to you. But, here in Canada, winter has begun.  The days are getting shorter, which means almost 5 hours less of sunlight a day. Temperature dips keep us inside and inactive, and we still have 4 months to go!!!

 So it is no wonder that many North Americans, especially the North, North Americans, feel the winter Blue Blas.

I am no exception, come November I can physically feel my body chemistry change as I start getting waves of gloom. Not so much mental thoughts, but just a physical feeling of sadness or depression and I know it’s not circumstantial but physiological. 

So despite a pre-planned winter getaway, I AM DETERMINED to make it through this frozen frenzy with a spring in my step and I want you to join me! 

Our overall health is like marriage.  A marriage between our body, mind and spirit. It takes work to keep it happy and balanced. Some of us will just have to work harder than others, and there isn’t much room for neglect. It’s just not something we can ignore or complain about like –   “I shouldn’t have to work so hard”. 

The truth is, some of us will have to work very hard, every day, perhaps for the rest of our life, and that’s okay!

 It doesn’t have to become a chore, or feel like a prision sentence. The benefits of a sound mind and body, is priceless!! There will be no regrets. 

So if this is your journey right now, then I want to encourage you to beat winter before it beats you , and implement these Mental Health Healers.

 

Here are some very effective tips to help you get through this winter joyfully! 

 


 

Exercise!!!! 

You can go from an average of 6,000 steps a day in the summer : puttering in the garden, taking the kids to the pool, golfing, or a trip to the farmers market. During the winter months that can drop significantly to as little as 3,000 steps/day. That includes the run to your car from the cold, and the desperate trips to Starbucks.

Exercise, as much as many of us hate it, is non-negotiable when you struggle with anxiety or depression. If you are dealing with severe anxiety or depression, you MUST start moving your body NOW!

I realize that’s like telling someone with a sopping wet wool jacket to swim, but you must start small and work at it. 

Some studies say that it is as effective as medication, if not more,  and it’s instant! There were times I would force myself to walk outside in the cold, because I felt so low, desperate to lift it off. Within 5 minutes the darkness left.

There are many testimonies of people walking to cure depression! Other regular exercises are great too! Find what you love! 

Yoga is great for relaxation

Walking is the best!

Get a FIT BIT! Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black

It’s the pedometer on steroids! Comes with a smart phone app, to record your steps, and food intake. You can buy a trendy wrist watch version, or a small one that clips discreetly. It helps you set goals every day. My goal is 10,000 steps a day! It helps you to be conscious of your movement and lack there of. A great tool to beat the winter blues that I use everyday.

Competitive sports can help exert anxious energy! 

and aerobics can make us feel really dumb and uncoordinated, so avoid it. (kidding, I LOVE my Wi Fit Zumba)

 

Light

Sunlight is the Key ingredient to our happiness. It’s why we decorate pictures with smiling happy suns, and it’s why most people move south.  You can buy a HAPPY LAMP like this one.

 

HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp

 I use it every morning, and afternoon. It works as a dosage, so you schedule a regular “session” a few times a day. You don’t have to sit and stare at it, you just turn it on and do your thing. I keep mine at my writing desk, so as I am writing this, my light is shining! 

 Most mornings, especially in the winter, it takes me an hour or more to feel awake and energized. Since I started using my lamp I have noticed a HUGE improvement in this area.

Every morning I stumble in the dark to my coffee (my loving hubby has made) and I stumble back down to my room. NOBODY TALK TO ME OR LOOK AT ME!

I turn on my happy lamp for 10 minutes and enjoy my coffee. Within 10 mins I am alert, awake and energized! This is a true night owls dream! It has made me feel great in the mornings with so much energy. It really works. This is not an infomercial! haha. Even though it sounds like one.

 

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it’s what are body is lacking during the winter months, so pop it!

 

EAT well!

Eating a balanced meal and avoiding excessive sugar, caffeine and alcohol, can keep your minds calm. Which is ironic, because many of us turn to sugar, coffee and alcohol to get through the day. But it is actually doing you more harm than good, (in excess)

Sorry, but your up and coming Christmas diet of sugar cookies and pumpkin late could send you into a tizzy. Why? Because your body is in a tizzy over all of the junk!  This season is FULL of opportunities to overindulged and binge. So have a plan, and enjoy, but don’t go crazy! Put your overall health first.

 

Be with People!

This is easy in December with all the parties and concerts, but come January and February people go into hibernation. Push past the -40 and be with friends, knock on their caves and join the community.  Even God said it was not good for us to be alone and it isn’t. If agoraphobia, or social phobia has crept in, I get it , I have been there.

Take small steps, with safe people, to push yourself back into society. Doing so will give you the confidence to live again. I promise you, the more you make social time a priority (even if it seems stressful) the better off you will be.

 

Have a winter project and or goal.

Maybe its learning quilting, or wood carving, or repainting the den. Whatever you enjoy  have a plan for the winter. This will help you to stay busy, active and distracted.

ME? I’m starting to write my 1st a BOOK!!!!!!!! PRAY FOR ME! 

 

Learn to LOVE winter!

We can dread the ice-scraping and the melting and the frost bite, but winter can be so beautiful, full of many magical moments. Skating, snowmen building, frost on the trees, skiing, Christmas, valentines day and just the fresh crisp air. Learn to appreciate the beauty, by looking for it! Hating winter is an attitude that can be changed. What adventures can you do this winter? Maybe, just maybe, if we change our mindset, we can actually look forward to winter every year! 

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So today, make a plan, sit down and decide how you will prepare your body, mind and spirit for winter. I’m doing the same!

 

A similar Post: PREPARING OUR HEARTS AND HOMES FOR WINTER

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2 thoughts on “Warding Off the Winter Blues”

  1. Alanna says:

    Well, this is a timely post! We’re on our second snow day in a row here in Ontario which means the second day I’ve brought the kids to work with me which means GAH!!!!!! This is full of great advice – being an introvert I’m a natural hibernator so I need these reminders to dig myself out of my cave! Right now my children are playing on the snow mountain in the parking lot – perhaps I should go see if I need to dig them out…?

  2. virtuouswomanx says:

    Yes, and it’s only just begun, hey? Hope you had a great snow day!

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