I get a pretty serious case of the “blues” this time of year. The stress of life coupled with icky weather make for a sad me. Over the last few years I have been able to combat the winter blues (or the blahs as I like to call them) with a few simple strategies.
When I am feeling down I like to start my day by reading some uplifting personal development. Sometimes it really puts what I am feeling into a different perspective, and other times it gives me an idea of a change I need to make.
It is really important to remember to take care of yourself when you are feeling blue. Be sure you are still getting plenty of rest, regular exercise, eating well and getting dressed every day. Those things will go a long way in pulling you out of your funk. I feel like a new woman when I do my hair and put on a touch of make-up.
Losing sleep over worry? I used to lose SO much sleep when I was worried about something. At one point I went to see a therapist and what she did was so simple yet life changing for me…
She had me write down all the things that kept me up at night. Then she told me to look at those and decide which ones I could actually do something about in the middle of the night while I was fretting about them. Not one of my “worries” was something I could try to fix at 2 a.m. and losing sleep wasn’t going to fix it either. *BOOM* my mind was blown.
During the winter months it is easy to sit inside our warm environments and wait out the cold weather. Fresh air and a little sunlight work wonders for the mind…even if it is cold out.
Bundle up, make a warm drink, sit outside and enjoy a moment of fresh air and sunlight.
Aromatherapy has had a profound effect on me. I do admit that I was skeptical at first, especially with so many people trying to sell me their particular brand of oils. But I gave them a shot and have never looked back.
Many essential oils have calming or uplifting properties when diffused. My favorite diffuser blend to beat the blues is 3 drops patchouli, 5-6 drops each orange and bergamot.
Hobbies aren’t just fun they have health benefits too. Stress relief is the main reason I picked up a couple hobbies, I crochet and color. The rhythmic motions of both help to relax my mind and give me something else to focus on for a bit.
Usually, after an hour or so of either activity I have a different outlook on things that may have been bothering me before. Or it may have sparked a creative solution to a problem.
My tip here is to pick something easy and inexpensive to start out with. That way if you don’t really like doing it you won’t feel too guilty ditching it in search of something more enjoyable.
Ditch Social Media
Taking an occasional social media hiatus helps me keep my focus on MY life and MY family. Too often I get sucked in to how perfect other peoples lives seem which then highlights misgivings I have about things in my life.
Where the problem lies is that these people with these so-called perfect lives are only showing you what they WANT you to see. Sometimes it is becuase they may be over compensating for something or they are trying to sell you something.
Either way you cannot compare yourself to anyone on social media or anywhere else for that matter. Comparison will steal your joy faster than anything.
When you are down in the dumps it can be hard to find the good in your life. Keep a running list of everything you are grateful for and add to it daily. Some days it may be as simple as having food and shelter or that the sun came out for a moment.
The point is, even at our lowest times there is something to be grateful for. When you are feeling low, read through the list.
Find the Bright Side
There is a hidden silver lining to nearly everything that happens. Sometimes it is a valuable lesson learned the hard way and it really opens us up to change. Other times looking to the bright side will help keep things in a lighter perspective (it could always be worse).
Only you know if you are in a seasonal funk or if it may be a deeper issue. If you suspect that you may be sinking into depression get professional help! I have been there before and sought the help I needed, there is no shame in admitting that.
*Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional of any kind. You should always consult your medical professional before making lifestyle changes. Nothing on Expedition Motherhood is to be construed as, or a replacement for professional medical advice!*