This time of year can be rough for anyone. Especially if you live in Atlantic Canada. Snow storms, cold, ice and because its winter time less day light.
The on-going joke among friends is ' better get home before it gets dark after work or i'll turn into a pumpkin.' Right ?! I know your nodding your head and chuckling right now. It is so silly. Or is it ??
With shorter days ,less sun we tend to not be as lively as we are in the longer spring/summer/fall days. We tend not to spend as much time outside,we hibernate. Some of us turn into a recluse in the winter months. We go to work, grab essentials we need out and about and than its home again in our safe, cozy warm haven.
Sometimes we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone
So what does that have to do with Winter Blues ? It all sounds wonderful hibernating in the winter months.Especially if you are an introvert like this gal.
It can turn into a slippery slope if we don't push ourselves out of the comfort zone. For some people it isn't as easy to push yourself. Some people tend to get the blues during this time of yea, or SADS About 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. Another 15% will experience a milder form of SAD that leaves them only slightly depressed, but still able to live their life without major disruptions - stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. Please seek out professional help if you or someone you know might be suffering from this.
Tips on Chasing away the Winter Blues
1. Treat yourself that will be restorative. What does that even mean ? I don't mean treat yourself to that chocolate chip muffin. ( or maybe it is) Buy yourself those bouquet of flowers you first see when walking into the grocery store,but say no that is a waste of money. Maybe it's going to your fav coffee shop to catch up with a friend. Or even by yourself to journal and have some yummy coffee with a treat.Or booking yourself a spa treatment. Maybe it is to go skiing with a friend for the day ? (note to self avoid rivers and trees while doing so ) Do something for yourself that you might not normally do for yourself. YOU DESERVE IT !!! and heck you may even have fun and start a new tradition or routine.
2. Light Therapy- Investing in a Broad Spectrum Light. Light therapy is said to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. What you should look for when buying a light is the intensity of lux.(measurement of light you receive) They say it should be 10 000 lux at about 16-24 inches away from your face. Set -up at 10 or 2 in relation to a clock from your face. They say usually within the first 2 hours of you waking up best for about 20-30 minutes. (It may help ease symptoms if you have Seasonal Affect Disorder,increase energy)
3. Exercise regularly. Now i'm not saying you need to run a marathon each day or do 1000 jumping jacks. (Yuck and boring ) sorry marathon runners 🙂 Even 20-30 minutes of movement.Whether it's a walk outside,yoga or a workout at home or in the gym. If you are looking for home workout routines and motivation, you can certainly join me in my virtual workout groups.
4. Proper Nutrition. Usually the winter months we are more sluggish due to us hibernating, less active. Seems its when the macros we take in tend to be more carb laden or processed crap. When we eat more of the quick go to processed foods, or higher sugary carbs our brains and bodies actually crave more and more. It isn't about how much will-power you have. Try to eat more veggies, drink more water and less processed foods. Always helps to have some veggies already prepped for snacking and for easy part of meal prep. I tend to do a few different veggies ready for a few days at a time and in my fridge at eye level. Again if this is something you aren't even sure where to start with all the fads and what is and isn't healthy. I can help you out.
5. Proper Sleep Sleep is so much more important for our health mentally and physically than people think. It seems when people brag about only having to sleep x numbers hours a night and feel just fine that they might get a badge of honor ? I'm not sure. But I think it comes with everything is supposed to be hustle hustle hustle. It is hurting our bodies, brains and health so much more than you think in the long run if you aren't getting proper sleep.When you are well rested it isn't just about having more energy and better focus . It throws your brain chemistry out of wack.Up and down moods, increased food cravings. I could go on. So how to sleep better ? Limit caffeine, and alcohol. But wait a minute Kim alcohol helps me sleep. ...... Research that. It messes with your circadian rhythm. It blocks you from getting into that deep Rem sleep. Try having limited screen time before bed ex. tv, tablets,phones. For myself I read before bed and it helps me go to sleep faster, even when its a awesome book lol.
Hopefully these little tips might help you out in lessening that winter blues funk.Any questions or comments that you might have, or things that help you get out of your winter blues funk. Certainly just comment below.