10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
Drab, dark winter days that feel like they are never going to end.
You know that feeling; you’re sluggish and unmotivated because you haven’t seen the sun in 2 weeks. You’re frustrated because you can’t leave your house without putting on 800 layers of clothes and forget trying to get out of bed with oomph and pep in your step when even the sun is still asleep.
If you live somewhere in the world that has a snowy winter season, than these feelings I’m sure are all too familiar.
Well there is a way to help you through this and make, what seems like, the endless winter a little more bearable without investing in a vacation to run away to the sunny south
Depending on where you live in the world winter will either be something you dread or something that passes you by without noticing. Sometimes even people who live in warmer climates, experience cyclical changes that affect their moods and disposition.
The extreme form of this is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a cyclical form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm- a 24 hour cycle that regulates biochemical processes in the body.
For some people, as the hours of sunlight decrease in the fall and winter, their circadian rhythm cycle can become disrupted. The hormone melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin suddenly drop in the winter and this causes lethargy, depression, irritability and weight gain.
So what are my 10 tips for beating the winter blues?
- Take high quality supplements that include Vitamin D3: this vitamin is actually NOT a vitamin but a steroid hormone manufactured in the body from direct exposure to sunlight. Because sunlight is weak or scarce in some winters, be sure to buy Vitamin D3 supplements to make up for lost sunlight. When you take a supplement system that includes the vital nutrients that your body needs as a solid foundation for optimal health you are setting yourself up for success! What do I take? Lifelong Vitality Pack by doTERRA. Send me an email in my contact section if you are interested in taking these supplements.
- Light therapy with a Himalayan Salt Lamp: because of it’s warm pinkish to orange glow, a salt lamp can be a very therapeutic tool to have in your home. The light it puts off is calming and creates a happy presence in the room which can improve mood and promote sleep.
BONUS! They can purify the air and reduce radiation and airborne infections.
- Diffuse uplifting citrus essential oils: I have my diffuser going EVERY DAY!! Using high quality, pure and potent citrus oils in the winter time can really help you connect with feelings of joy, ease and motivation. My favourite combination? Wild Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon. BONUS! They are great for cleansing the air and keeping those pesky viruses at bay.
- Cozy Up: If you can’t beat em, join em! Sometimes I think it’s a good idea to just surrender to the winter and take up momentary hibernation. I know that I actually look forward to those times when I can get my comfy socks on, a snuggly blanket and sit by a fire to read a good book and have a hot cup of tea. I think it’s important to embrace this feeling instead of guarding yourself against it.
- Eat warm, nourishing comfort foods: Use this time to make those rich bean soups and hearty squash and root vegetable stews that you’ve been wanting to try. It will nourish and warm your body and spirit.
- Make your movie selections comedies: Laughter really is the best medicine. So when it’s movie time and you’re trying to decide what to watch? Go for the funny one!! Trust me, it will completely change your mood and lighten the dark cloud that may have been lingering over your head. My most recent pick? Anything with Melissa McCarthy; the combo of brashness and ridiculousness in her scripts is the perfect remedy for me.
- Get outside and play: Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be outside. I know it may take a little bit more convincing but if you just go for it, layer up and get out in it…you will be surprised at how refreshed and renewed you can feel. I make sure to really take some deep breaths and fill my lungs with that cold fresh air. When we got our dog 4 years ago, it was a game changer for me and embracing the winter. He is a Bernese Mountain Dog so he literally comes alive in the snow. It forced me to get outside every day to walk him and I’m so grateful for it because embracing the winter has made it so much easier to bare. It takes much more energy to resist than to let go.
- Soak it up: grab a book, your candles and some essential oils (if you have them) and head to your bathtub! I know not everyone enjoys a bath but honestly, nothing raises your body temperature quite like sitting in a steaming hot tub of water. So lay back and enjoy it! If you are working out and your muscles are sore, add some Epsom salts to amp up the therapeutic benefits and help your body recover.
- Find an exercise class or youtube video that makes you sweat and laugh at the same time: doing an exercise and moving your body has HUGE benefits to your mood. I remember listening to a psychiatrist speak once and he said the number one thing he tells his patients with depression to do first, is to start exercising. Getting your body moving floods you with feel-good endorphins. So, get your booty to a dance class or high intensity interval workout (if dancing isn’t your thing) and get the happy juices flowing. This winter I’ve had a blast doing some of “The Fitness Marshall” dance routines on youtube. It typically ends in me laughing hysterically at myself!
- Get up, get ready and get going: Working from home, I know all to well that it’s very easy to just roll out of bed, get a cup of tea, sit at my computer and stay in my pajama’s all day. You stay at home mama’s out there may feel the same way if your kiddos don’t have you taking them to appointments and practices during the day. As simple as it sounds, the one thing that I’ve done this winter that’s really helped me feel motivated and have this sense of pride is to get up, do my hair, put my make-up on and put on an outfit that I would wear if I was going to work in a public place. Doing this first thing in the morning can have a positive ripple effect on the rest of your day. You will feel more accomplished and motivated to tackle those things that maybe you would’ve put off if you had stayed in your jammies. So get dolled up!
How will you know which of these tips will work for you?
Start by picking your top three that just jump out at you. Those are the ones that obviously appeal to you the most—so that’s a great place to start!
Next, schedule a time on your calendar to actually do them starting tomorrow!
So if you picked hot tub, movement class and nourishing soup, then go out today and buy the ingredients for the soup to cook tomorrow and find a movement class you can start next week and treat yourself to your local hot tub spa on the weekend!
Once you’ve done all those keep doing them if you enjoy them! And then start adding more from your top 10 list until pretty soon winter will be over and you will be excited to do it all over again!