Beating Winter Blues
Ideas For Fighting Seasonal Depression
You may not have a bottle of your favorite antidepressant next to your bed, or think that you are in a funk that will never lift. But maybe you have experienced the blues that tend to settle into some people's bones when the weather is frightful. Winter can bring grey, gloomy skies day after day. The cold weather can make it more difficult to get outside and breathe fresh air. People tend to become more sedentary, more hermit-like, when the temperatures are frigid. And after the rush of the holiday season is over? Forget it! What a let-down! The decorations come down, the parties stop, and we are all exhausted. Don't even mention the fact that it's when we get our credit card bills from all that Christmas spending.
10 Tips for avoiding the cold weather slump . . .
Here are ten tips for chasing those winter blues right out of town.
1. Freshen a room in your house. This can mean a new paint color, new bedspread, or anything that will give a lift to the dcor. A simple vase of store-bought flowers can even facelift a room left bare after taking down the Christmas tree.
2. Get a new hairstyle. This doesn't even have to cost more than you would usually spend on a haircut for the month. Seeing a new look every time you look in the mirror will throw you off guard, making it more difficult for winter depression to get a foothold. Compliments from your friends will undoubtedly elevate your mood, as well!
3. Get out of town. A short weekend trip can offer a new perspective and bring you home on Sunday afternoon with bright ideas and inspiration. Low on dough? Take a day trip, or visit a friend so you don't have to pay for a hotel room.
4. Have a party. The Super Bowl is a popular time to have a party, but if you're no sports fan, you can still have friends over for chili or fondue. If you're single, having all your single friends over for Valentine's Day can be a sweet answer to loneliness.
5. Do charity work. Getting outside of yourself and helping someone else is always beneficial. Serving meals at the soup kitchen or volunteering at your local food bank can remind you just how blessed you really are. You will be thankful to come home, even if your furniture is old and you have to jiggle the handle to make your toilet stop running.
6. Change your diet/exercise routine. There are so many people with weight loss resolutions running around in January that it's easy to turn your back on the gym and call it a trend. But skip the resolutions, and just make one or two changes to make yourself feel better. Throw variety into your existing exercise routine, or put some fresh berries into your daily diet. One simple change in routine can reroute your boredom.
7. Take up a new hobby. Or pick up an old one you haven't tried in a while. Knitting, martial arts, or starting a book club are just a few ideas.
8. Make a point to socialize. With old friends or new, pick up the phone and establish a regular girls' or guys' night out.
9. Create a side income. Start an Ebay business, or get on Etsy and sell all those scarves you've made since you took up knitting!
10. Clean up/ reorganize your house. (That is, if that sort of thing makes you happy.) Some folks thrive on cleaning and organizing. If you are one of them, working your way around the house one closet at a time, one bookshelf at a time, one cabinet at a time promises to give a sense of accomplishment not easily knocked by winter blues.
If all else fails, and you are still feeling blue, consider a trip to the doctor. If you are not able to get up from the sofa long enough to try these ideas (or any others), you may have a more stubborn version of blues that deserves medical attention. There is no longer any social stigma in seeking professional help for depression. There are plenty of treatments available, if you are suffering with more than January blues. Take care of yourself, and explore your options. You will be glad you did!
Having a party can get you moving like nothing else! Is a Super Bowl Party your cup of tea? Valentine celebration?
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