We’re in the midst of Winter, and I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to feel it. I’m getting grumpier than usual and listless and I have spent way too much of my time playing solitaire on my phone.
I see winter as a time to go within and connect with myself and I’ve been thinking about some things that make Winter-time easier to deal with, at least for me.
There’s winter blues – a general sense of grumpiness – which we’re talking about today and then there’s Seasonal Affective Disorder – which can be very serious. If you feel like you suffer from SAD, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider for treatment options. Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal and treatment includes light therapy (phototherapy), talk therapy, and sometimes medication. Really, don’t let yourself suffer. If you’re like me, the thought of going to the doctor can be terrifying, but dooooo it if you’re out of options, there’s no shame in it!
If you are feeling listless, focus on staying connected.
During those times when you don’t feel like finishing projects, or doing much of anything, take the time to connect with your friends, loved ones, or those people that just light you up. Winter is the time for hand-written letters full of doodles and stickers, long e-mails full of heartfelt thoughts, or ya know, facebook messages with a “Wassup?”. Winter is a great time for connection. Back in the day, that’s how our ancestors passed the time, sitting around talking, telling stories, and sharing. It’s good stuff.
It’s also a great time to get in touch with yourself. Pull out the puzzles or the knitting or your favorite book and connect with yourself.
Make lemonade out of lemons. Or hot chocolate out of chocolate.
Instead of thinking of all of the things that Winter is taking away from you, think of all of the Exciting Opportunities (My boss at the day job says this all the time) you’re being given. Think of the lethargy as an exciting opportunity to finish that book that you forgot you didn’t finish reading. Or being snowed in as an exciting opportunity to rearrange the furniture in your living room or clean out your closet.
Winter is the best time for that.
Honor the cycle.
Winter is different than Summer so don’t try to make Winter into Summer. You can’t do the same things, your body isn’t going to feel the same way, you’re going to need different things, go with the cycle, both of the season and of your body.
If you’re not a vibrating ball of passion and energy, just go with it and allow yourself to use these months to relax and refuel. Celebrate that feeling of hibernation.
Wear colors and soak in the light.
Winter doesn’t have to be gloomy and glum. Surround yourself with vibrant, happy colors to offset the browns and the grays of the outside. Just having a space that is colorful and all your own can make a huge difference in how you feel. Make yourself a Woman-Cave! Make it bright and beautiful and if it’s near a window where you can get a bit of Sun, even better!
Don’t be afraid to spend some time outside, the Vitamin D from the Sun is good for you! I draw my curtains back during the day and I have all of the lights on. The brightness makes me feel better.
Ramp up your self-care.
There are a ton of things that can help make this season a little bit easier. Embrace and practice Hygge. Go to your local health food store and get a vitamin D supplement. Try using a light therapy lamp. Listen to upbeat happy music. Move your body, get out ofthe house for a quick, brisk walk, even five minutes counts. Take a warm, pampering, bubble bath. Check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need.
How do you practice self-care for the winter blues?