The winter blues are seriously no joke! Its dark when you go to work, its dark when you come home, and so often its just plain gloomy, grey and cold. There absolutely comes a time in winter when this wears even the cheeriest of us down and the blues start to slip in. I won’t lie to you all, I literally moved to Florida because I couldn’t handle the lack of frankly any light in Seattle during the majority of the year anymore but even in Florida we lose tons of light during the peak of winter. Here are my favorite tips and tricks to cope with even the gloomiest and darkest parts of winter so they don’t get you down. Now the “Winter Blues” and seasonal depression are two totally different things requiring two totally different plans, the blues you can one hundred percent snap your self out of with a few tricks, actual depression is a chemical imbalance requiring a lot more treatment. I’m here to help with those blues that love to creep in during the coldest, darkest post holiday part of the winter with a few tricks that are amazing for helping me turn that right around. Here are my favorite tricks for how to cope with the winter blues.
Watch the Wine Intake
As sad as this is to say wine is a major depressant as really all alcohol is, so avoiding it when you know you are headed down a blue path can really help to turn that mood around. I will totally admit I am writing while drinking a glass as we speak but when that string of nasty grey days hits I make an effort to switch to other non alcoholic options. Some of my favorites include, hot tea (decaf or I’ll never sleep at night), sparkling water especially Strawberry flavored, and simple infused waters. Alcohol is a major depressant to switch if you notice the blues creeping in, can make a huge difference in how to cope with the winter blues.
A Quick Walk or Some Simple Exercise
I’m sure we have all heard that exercise increases serotonin which keeps us happier. This is an easy way of how to cope with the winter blues. A simple 10 minute walk everyday, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking the long way around are all some easy short cuts to adding to your daily activity. If none of these are options (something I totally get and have been there before) try a simple workout before your daily shower, ten jumping jacks, a few push-ups, ten squats and thirty bicycles will really get your blood pumping and if you are a morning shower person really get your day started out right! This mini workout is enough to genuinely get those levels up and get you in a much better mood, it may start out rough to get moving more but in the end it will really pay off and you will feel so much better for doing so.
Eat Lunch Near the Windows or Go Out on Occasion
The winter blues are mostly caused by lack of light, so making a few easy shifts like eating outside (weather permitting) or near windows really helps with the doom and gloom of the darkness. Even if you need to escape from your workplace once a week to eat lunch do so! Getting the real chance to breathe gives me real clarity on the little things that irritate me, frustrate me and often then seem petty and are purely because I am cranky because its the winter blues. Being locked in a dark building with those ugly, unflattering florescent lights can really put a damper on anyone, even the happiest person’s mood so simply finding a new location to eat that has natural light can totally turn my day around and changes the chemistry in your brain. The lack of natural light confuses our brains and our natural sleep rhythms so soak up all the sun you can during lunch or anytime of day, your brain and mood will absolutely thank you!
Never underestimate the power of a cuddly animal! They can lower blood pressure, are amazing for stress and are wonderful for the blues! Having an especially blue day? Cuddle your animal! If you don’t have an animal to cuddle ask a friend if you can come and play with theirs or walk it. As a mom of 3 dogs I would be thrilled to have someone come wear them out, they can be a handful. Take some extra time to snuggle with them extra and give them extra attention, they will love the extra love and it will make you feel so much better. Love, kiss and play with some fur babies your blues will thank you! Let’s be honest this is the easiest way of how to cope with the winter blues.
Giving to others is the easiest way to feel warm and fuzzy. It can be as simple as picking up your coworker coffee on the way into work or as amazing as donating your time. When you give back it gives the sense of purpose. It makes us feel as though we are more worth while which makes us feel happier! Its a really easy way to trick our brains into feeling less blue and feel like we have contributed in a way of value, giving back and doing something kind for others. A smile makes us smile wether we realize it or not so start the trend and bring out the warm fuzzies, it will make you warm and fuzzy too!
Take Some Real Self Care Time
So I think this is one of the most important one of all for those winter blues. Taking care of ourselves is the first thing to go when we get blue. Take the time to do all those silly personal care things we forget about, deep conditioning our hair, reading a good book, painting our nails, a great face mask (maybe all three at once). Those moments where you focus on actually caring for yourself really and truly matter. In the stress, hustle and bustle and craziness of life we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we so often forget about ourselves or we come last. Please never forget, you can’t fill the cups of others until you fill your own cup first. I am by no means saying neglect the people in your life but sometimes the me time is really critical! I also added in daily mantras that have changed my outlook, incorporating them can be easy, read about it here
Don’t let those winter blues, the cold weather with the clouds and dark skies bring you down. There are so many ways to combat it and really never face them again without better tools. You’ve got this and you will have an amazing winter this year, I believe in you!