Winter got you feeling down? You’re not alone. Many people find the winter to be one of the most difficult times of the year and it’s no wonder why. First, it’s cold, there are few hours of daylight and keeping a busy schedule, or shuffling kids to and from activities can really get you stressed, or depressed. Getting over the winter time blues isn’t always easy but with these tips you may find yourself getting back to normal in no time. You can beat the winter time blues and kick that grumpy, irritable self to the curb.
People get depressed for all sorts of reasons and it doesn’t always have a quick fix. But, you can make yourself feel better, now. Think about the things that make you happy, good memories that you have, and of the people you love and whom love you back. That’s a good start; you’re just getting warmed up right now. When I’m feeling a bit run down or grouchy I try to set aside an hour or two for volunteering in the community. Giving back always makes me feel good and I can’t help but smile as I think of the people I am helping. Plenty of organizations can use volunteers on a daily basis. Whenever you’re starting to get the droopy feelings go down to your church, local animal shelter, or hospital to see if you can volunteer or help out in some way.
The most important thing you have to remember is not to pack your schedule to the brim. Leave time for yourself and the important things in life. If you over schedule yourself you will not enjoy any of the activities in your day and end up depressed. Remember, if you are the jack of all trades you are the master of none. It may be hard to say no at first, but be strong for yourself and the ones who love you. Don’t feel bad about not volunteering on the PTA this year, or going out for the soccer team, or not staying that extra hour at work. Instead, use that time to freshen up, take a nap, or do whatever it is you do to recharge.
Trust me, you will feel much better once you start making time for yourself. If I am rushing around, taking care of other people all day and forgetting about myself, I wind up angry and short tempered. When that happens I just take a deep breath, close my eyes for a second, and then exhale. In my mind I always say to myself, “the task at hand is never more important than I am”. That usually gets me feeling better so I can go on with the day. But, this example just shows the importance of scheduling me time.
I do lots of things during me time, it’s not always volunteering. A great thing I figured out was to call up some friends for drinks or coffee. I always feel better after talking to friends about something that is bothering me. It’s almost as a weight has been lifted off my body and I feel lighter as I head to my car and home. Winding down the day with a good book or a hot bath is also relaxing and can make you feel better.
For those times when I’m feeling really tired and exhausted like I put on the old gym shoes and head out for a walk or to the gym. Exercise always seems to help get rid of those feelings of fatigue. Using the heated pool at the fitness club always relaxes me and gets my heart pumping as well. After a nice swim I feel wide awake and my appetite seems to increase. When I don’t feel like getting out of the house I just turn on my VCR (yes, I still use a VCR) and pop in an exercise tape. Sometimes a little bit of activity can get you up and going all day.
Besides doing the obvious you also should do what might not seem so apparent. It’s really important to get plenty of sleep and for most of us it seems that is the hardest part to master. We’ve all heard the “statement early to bed, early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. Well, in part it is true. As winter progresses and daylight hours dwindle it is more important that ever to get good nights sleep. Because the sun goes down sooner and comes up earlier you should too. The more sun you see the better you feel.
If you’re spending all day indoors under artificial lighting, go outside and get some sun. Sun helps our bodies’ process vitamin D3 which in turn makes you feel better. Just a couple of minutes of direct sunlight are enough for one day. If you want to feel better sooner you should also try a balanced diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, eat less red meat and pork, and of course drink plenty of water. The right foods will make you feel good from the inside out. If you can’t eat right take vitamins. B and C vitamins will keep you from getting sick and give you plenty of energy.
So, if you start feeling stressed or frazzled keep these tips in mind as they may help get you out of a slump. You can beat the winter time blues by focusing on what’s important in life; yourself, those that love you, and others that need your help. Remember to schedule me time every day and you will start feeling better right away!