It’s winter which is my least favourite season. I’ve mentioned in previous posts here and here that I often suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the form of Winter Blues. Nothing drops my mood faster than grey dreary days and the cold. And I’m not the only one.
I used to let winter bring me down to the point of depression and then spend most of spring and summer crawling my way back up. But as I’ve grown up I’ve realised it doesn’t have to be this way. Combatting Winter Blues before they turn into depression is pretty simple and only takes a little bit of effort each day.
1. Get out of bed.
This is something that I find really hard to do and before I had kids I would happily spend my days that I wasn’t working in bed the whole day, thinking it made me happy but actually heading in a downward spiral. Nowadays I have to get up for my kids and I usually wait for them to wake me, but I have noticed that despite the fact I hate getting up early, I’m generally calmer and happier than days I get up before them.
2. Get outside.
I’m a bit of a homebody and enjoy being inside, especially on cold and dreary days, but it’s not good for me or any of us for that matter. Getting some fresh air into my lungs and on my skin for a few minutes a couple of times each day gives me a pick me up and a little energy boost. Being that it’s only for a few minutes at a time I don’t even have to wait for the sun to come out although it’s better if it’s stopped raining. The toddler and I enjoy playing in the fallen leaves as a fun outdoor activity.
3. Get moving.
Our bodies thrive on movement but winter is a time where I tend to get stagnant. The longer I sit, the lazier I get. Having three young children does get me off the couch several hundred times a day, but I try and go for a walk every day that I can to blow out the cobwebs. If it’s cold, I can just layer up. Bonus is it gets me some fresh air and keeps the toddler from.
4. Eat something green.
We all know that eating well is good for us and it definitely helps to lift my mood. It’s so easy in winter to binge eat junk because it’s easier and comforting but for me and many others it might bring happiness at the time but generally our overall wellbeing will suffer for it. Plus eating well helps deal with winter ills! I’ve been getting extra fruits and veggies into both me and the toddler by having smoothies for breakfast.
5. Keep in touch with friends.
This is something I’m not so good at. I’m a bit of a hermit and of course winter just makes me want to hibernate. But getting out, calling or even having a conversation over messenger with a mate can do a world of good. I go to a mums group most Tuesdays and also try and contact my friends regularly. Or at least respond to their messages. Work in progress.
6. Take a break.
No matter how busy we are, it’s important to do nothing for a few minutes everyday. I find this really hard in todays world, especially when I can barely watch TV without playing on my phone anymore, but the more I give myself ‘time out’ and a chance to be mindful of what I’m doing, the better I feel.
7. Count blessings.
Sure it’s cold outside, but I have a nice warm blanket keeping me snug. When it’s gloomy outside it’s so easy to focus on the negative, so I try to take a few minutes each day to remind myself just how lucky I really am.
8. Do a yoga.
I used to do yoga every day and I loved it. I was less anxious, slept better and my entire body felt better. Sometimes even just a good stretch is enough to make me feel refreshed. I don’t have a lot of time for doing things by myself, but I intend to start doing a little yoga every day, even just ten minutes each morning. There are thousands of yoga classes on YouTube, I really have no excuse.
This winter I have been the most mentally well that I can remember. I still have my down days and times where I don’t think I can continue, but I owe it to my boys to be as well as I possibly can, so that’s why I try to do as many things from this list as I can fit into each day.
Smiles and Sunshine,