Baby, it’s cold outside; so, so cold. It’s funny how cold weather around Christmastime is accepted and often desired; but, as soon as the new year rolls around, we are ready for Spring to rescue us (or, at least, I am!).It’s difficult to stay motivated and emotionally content during cold, gray weather. I know because I don’t want to do much of anything besides cuddle under the covers with my heating pad.
However, the winter shall not conquer me! I’m determined to enjoy my life even while it’s uncomfortable outside. Perhaps if I spent a week farther north, my central Virginia winter would not seem so bad after all.
April is on its way, but in the meantime, here are a few ways you and your sweetie can fight the winter blues this season!
- Plan a fun outing each week. Have something to look forward to. Winter can drone on if we are not proactive about making it great. So far this year, I have goals I am trying to reach professionally and personally. Focusing on those goals is making the season fly by and knowing I have fun times planned with friends is keeping me motivated. Plan something to look forward to each week for the rest of the winter.
- Buy a heat lamp. This honestly may help. For mild seasonal depression symptoms, a little light therapy can make a difference. ~smile~ It is worth researching to see if it’s right for you! Our bodies and mind miss the sun so much this time of year! (Note: Consult with your doctor before using any new medicinal and/or therapeutic measures.)
- Utilize warmth were you can. I love my heating pad. It follows me all over the house. ~smile~ Do you have a fire place you can use? Can you turn on a space heater without blowing the top off of your electric bill? Pack extra layers and socks before going out just in case the temperature drops. Make sure you keep a thick blanket in your car during the winter. Take precautions to make sure you don’t get too cold for too long. Planning ahead is not my strongest instinct, but I’m always happy when I do (and especially when I needed it)!
- Get necessary nutrients! Is your body getting enough good nutrition? I read an article yesterday that linked coconut oil to better moods. I’m trying it today! I’m sneaking a bit of it into various foods to see if I feel a difference. Additionally, I plan to look for a magnesium supplement. From what I read, magnesium is a mineral that makes us feel good, but most of us don’t have enough of it in our bodies. Take a little time to research and find what’s right for you. (Note: Again, consult with your doctor before using any new medicinal and/or therapeutic measures.)
- Get your blood pumping. When the sky is gray and the temperatures drop, sometimes our moods follow suit. This can make communication with loved ones a challenge. Spending too much time indoors, not getting enough sunlight, and being chronically cold can all lead to short tempers. Time to exercise! Even running in place for a while is better than nothing. Not only will it warm you up, but it will get your blood pumping and endorphins rushing. There’s nothing like an endorphin rush to make you feel amazing! Maybe you and your sweetie can head to the gym together – or maybe you just want to do some basic exercises in the living room. Get moving and you’ll find your winter much more tolerable!
- Invest more time in your spiritual health. While you are spending more time indoors, why not pull out your Bible (or your Bible app) and get in more Scripture reading (or listening). I often listen to the Bible on my phone when I first wake up and it does make a difference in my mood! We need to spend quality time studying and memorizing scripture, as well as spending one-on-one time with our Lord; and, in addition, simply listening to the Bible can calm our hearts, renew our minds, and lift our spirits. ~smile~
- Reframe your circumstances. “Yuck! It’s snowing again!” Or, “Yay, a day to cuddle under a blanket and read.” “It is so stinking cold outside!” Or, “What a great time to plan my next beach trip!” Complaining about our circumstances is a natural response, but it doesn’t make us feel better – not really. What does help is taking our negative thoughts and changing them into positive thoughts. Filling your mind with good messages eventually makes the rest of you feel better too. The most ineffective way to feel better about the blustery winter months is to complain about them.
Keep the list growing! What are a few more ways you and your sweetie can battle the winter blues?
If you are feeling down, you are not alone. If you have been feeling down for a while, there is no shame in seeking out a doctor or counselor to discuss your symptoms. It could simply be that your body is not getting something it needs. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, please reach out for some answers. If you don’t have the strength, enlist the help of a close friend or loved one.
I’m off to enjoy my heating pad and to finish my coconut oil infused coffee. Later, I will exercise and probably do some deep breathing. Winter can be awesome if we make it!
How will you and your sweetie combat the winter blues this year?