I am one of those people who uses all of their senses. I smell my food before eating it. I love the peaceful sound of waves crashing against the shore. Nothing soothes a crappy day for me quite like crawling into my bed and smelling fresh clean sheets. Looking up into the sky and seeing the fluffiest snow flakes cascading from the sky on a bright sunny day makes me smile.
It is now February, and I am sick of winter. There I said it. It is just after six in the evening and it is so pitch black out I can’t see a foot in front of me. It hasn’t stopped snowing for a solid week. In order to drive anywhere you need an entire jug of washer fluid to disperse the insane amount of road salt from your windshield. I am five feet tall, if I were to walk into my back yard I would disappear. It has been so cold that you need to start your car twenty minutes before going anywhere….just so you don’t freeze to death. Winter boots are ugly. Snow is beautiful, but it needs to disappear.
Call it the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder or any label you wish but many of us feel extra sluggish this time of year. It is dark when we leave for work, and dark when we head home. Most of us pile on a few extra pounds inhaling pots of warm homemade chilli and grandma’s stew. All designed to keep us warm from the inside out. Most day’s we just want to pull the covers over our heads and stay put. Don’t despair my little snow angels, there is help.
- GET MORE LIGHT
There are many ways to do this. Get out on those sunny days, bundle up and go for a walk. Try creating one room in your house that gets the most sun exposure and spend at least an hour a day in there. Read, meditate or just relax.
- KEEP A ROUTINE AND STAY ACTIVE
It is proven that regular exercise, even if it is just a brisk walk can improve your overall mental health. Maintaining a regular bedtime routine is also beneficial. Seven to nine hours of sleep is best. On those cold mornings it can be easy to just pull those covers over our heads and stay put all day. Resist the duvet temptation!!!
- CONSIDER EXTRA SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
During these shortened days it is not always easy to find daylight hours around our work schedules. Becoming deficient in Vitamin D can leave you with a host of symptoms similar to depression. You may have to up your intake of Vitamin D enriched foods such as tuna, cheese, egg yolks, orange juice or salmon. You can also consider a Vitamin D supplement. Always consult your Doctor before starting these.
- GET SOCIAL
Getting together with friends or family can help lift your moods. Try to plan a get together at least once a week. It gives you something to look forward to, gets you out of the house and gives you the fresh air and social connection we all need.
- CONSIDER ARTIFICIAL LIGHT THERAPY
These lights are easy to find. Health stores, drug stores and major department stores all sell them. Light boxes are a great way to get broad spectrum light without harmful UV rays. Morning light therapy is recommended most and has a proven record for treating Season Affective Disorder.
- IF YOU CAN’T BEAT EM JOIN EM
Build a snow man, go ice skating, throw yourself into that pile of snow and make an angel. No I am not kidding. The fact of the matter is, if you are like me and live in a place where it feels like winter six months of the year….we have to embrace it. Every year at this time I am ready to buy a sombrero and head for the border, but some how I make it till Spring. I giggle like a child at that first sight of a cardinal in my backyard. I drag my son outside the second the first tulip pops its head out of the dirt. We all know it is coming, but until then get outdoors. Grab those sleds and live a little. This amazing thing called life only comes around once.
Much Love ❤