Cold weather got your down? Check out these tips to beat the winter blues!
Cold temps, dark skies, and snow—oh my! This time of year, depending on your location, you may be feeling a little blah. The fact is, there are real physical, emotional, and mental challenges that come with a long season of cold weather. Whether you're tired of staying in the house, or you just hope to walk to the mailbox without your face burning, you're probably counting down the days until spring arrives. Here are a few suggestions on how to beat the winter blues in the meantime:
Bring nature inside. Part of what we miss the most during this time of year is the ability to commune with nature. Doing what you can to bring aspects of the outside into your home will work wonders. Consider the following options:
Light box therapy: You can purchase a light box that mimics outdoor light. Researchers believe this type of light causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood. Most people benefit from sitting near the box for approximately 30 minutes per day. If you go this route, be sure to research the type of light box that meets your specific needs.
Flowers/Plants: Fill your home with as many houseplants and flowers as possible. You can also use essential oils in a diffuser, or even carry a bottle in your purse. Taking a deep breath of an essential oil like sandalwood provides healing benefits.
Salt Lamps: Salt crystal lamps are natural ion generators, emitting negative ions, which help restore air quality, and balance mood. Plus, when they're lit, they have a beautiful amber glow!
Pictures: Even surrounding yourself with pictures of your favorite outdoor location will elevate your mood.
Embrace the cold, fresh air. Our bodies need fresh air to stay healthy, and cold air is still fresh air. As we're snuggled into our couches under our fuzzy blankets, we need to remember to do what we can to breathe in fresh air on a regular basis. If it will not send your heating bill through the roof, sit by a cracked window for a short period of time, and breathe deeply. As temperatures permit, step outside for a short walk. And, keep your house clean! The less dust and other dander you're inhaling, the better you will feel.
Stay physically healthy. So, this is a no-brainer that can be applied to just about any topic, but that doesn't make it any less relevant here. Get plenty of exercise, eat well, and drink water. Also, be sure to consult with your doctor as to which multi-vitamin is right for you, and what you can do to keep your vitamin D level up.
Make the best use of your time. Everything always boils down to improving your mindset. If you follow through on all of the steps above, but do not try to see the gift in this time of year, you may still struggle. How can you make the best use of your time during the post-holiday, winter season? What are the advantages of this time of year and how can you leverage them? For me, I look at January and February as catch-up season. I can catch-up on anything that I've been putting off throughout the more active times of the year. I can spend days-on-end decluttering my home without feeling guilty for spending so much time inside. I can reignite my exercise routine so I am feeling great when the outdoor season starts. I can even spend a few hours watching movies I've missed throughout the year without worrying that I'm missing a beautiful day.
No matter which of these tips you choose to implement, know that there are advantages to each of the seasons—some just might be easier to spot than others. Think about what you put off during the summer, and catch-up on it during the winter. If anything, you can use this time to daydream and plan for an amazing year ahead. Just keeping your mind focused on those upcoming activities will cause a shift for you.
And, as always, if you find yourself struggling, I invite you to contact me for a free private session to develop a personalized plan for beating your winter blues.
More how to deal with depression advice from YourTango:
- 5 Ways You Can Help Yourself Deal With Depression
- How To Be Happy: It's A Process
- How To Deal With Depression: 4 Simple Solutions