Winter blues? They. Are. Here. Any one else feel the same way?
I have never gone to the trouble of getting an official S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) diagnosis* but I can say that each winter I really, really feel the effects of the weather. I literally am WORKING each day to keep my spirits up. I’m really needing to dial in being intentional about the things that bring me joy and vibrance in the winter.
*Update: I conferenced with my doctor this past spring and she asserted that I DO have seasonal affective disorder, but the on ramp and off ramp for going on a medication for my severity wouldn’t be worthwhile. She encouraged me to continue to do all the things listed in this post. But I am not your doctor and this post is not a Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment plan. If you think you are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder please consult with your physician or mental health provider.
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15 Winter Blues Tips
Lighten things up!
- Sit in a sun lamp — A sun lamp is something I have been hearing over and over as a seasonal affective disorder treatment so I bought one last week and am doing 10-20 minute sessions in the morning while I do my Bible reading and coffee drinking in the morning. It definitely helped me last winter and I’m so glad I got it! I generally sat in the light first thing in the morning, but would turn it on during the afternoon as well if I felt like I needed to get more time in. For the cost I figured I couldn’t go wrong! I bought this sun lamp from Amazon.
- Along with the sun lamp I open all the blinds and shades in my house so any outdoor light can get in! I also turn on a lot of lamps in the room I am currently in!
- Getting outside and just out and about if I can! I talked about this in my post about non-weight loss health goals, but just getting outside for a bit everyday is SOO good for your health! Last week with the polar vortex it was impossible, but I met a friend for brunch and then went to a yoga class afterwards and it was amazing!
Up Your Nutrition Intake!
- Take Vitamin D, probiotics, and Fish oil supplements. The Vitamin D is really key for me! I have also been experimenting with taking a B6 vitamin for additional energy.
- Drink a smoothie once a day for added nutrition. These are some of my favorite energizing and filling smoothies! The peanut butter chocolate one is the one I make the most! These recipes follow the fab four smoothie formula from the Body Love book. I like the emphasis on healthy fats and greens! I swear I feel more mentally balanced when I make sure I have them at each meal. (Here are a ton of reasons why healthy fats are so awesome!)
Check Your Heart!
- Read and reflect on Scripture and uplifting words. Clearly, this is huge for my spiritual health. Along with my Bible study I’ve been repeating “All things are working together for MY good and HIS glory.” (Romans 8:28) to myself OFTEN.
- Play worshipful or upbeat music that makes me feel happy! Give me your recommendations in the comments!! Music is SUCH a mood lifter! When your song comes on you can’t help but smile!
- Weekly date night with my husband Nate. We’ve been putting the kids to bed early and eating a “fancy” meal together at home in blissful silence or quiet conversation. It’s the best! Seriously! You could go out on a real date or meet up with a friend for a happy hour or coffee!
Take Good Care of Your Body!
- Showering more often. I know this one is kind of weird, but I can go 3-4 days without washing my hair (thanks to my all natural hair products!) but I’m actually going to increase my showers this week just because I feel more positive and accomplished and uplifted after washing my hair. #whateverittakes
- Getting well. You guys I have been SICK with a nasty cold off and on the last month. It finally got bad enough that I filled a prescription for some antibiotics and will hopefully be feeling better soon! But of course if I’m physically sick I’m not going to be feeling mentally great either!
- Move my body every single day. I’m given up perfection and focusing on consistency and building habits. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga from the Yoga with Adrienne youtube channel!
Support My Mental Health
- Relax my to-do list. It’s ok if I don’t get much done. I am enough just as I am…my accomplishments don’t mean I’m more valuable. This is hard for me, but not holding myself to a crazy high standard helps me not get defeated and down.
- Roll on essential oils — I have a mix of anxiety relief and uplifting+energizing essential oils I use on my pressure points and up the inside of my arm! It definitely helps me feel more uplifted!
- I’m also listening to encouraging, helpful and funny podcasts to keep my mindset right! I love That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs and The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman. (Her voice is soo soothing!)
- Plan some fun! If a tropical vacation isn’t in the cards that’s okay! Find smaller fun ways to enjoy the season–go ice skating, make snow cream, go sledding, make some Valentines for friends. Or find some indoor fun like roller skating, going to movies, the Chick-fil-A play place, an overnight at a hotel with an indoor pool.
Winter is my least favorite season. It’s cold and dark and honestly, I already can’t wait for spring!! I have found these products really help me to beat the winter blues and I hope they help you too!
- Happy Light Sun Lamp
- Vitamin D supplements
- Anxiety Relief Essential Oil + Uplifting and Energizing Essential Oil
- Himalayan Salt Lamp – Haven’t bought this yet, but it’s on my Christmas list!
BUT I’m going to be intentional about finding joy and vibrance even in this dark season! There is beauty and coziness and goodness in it–I may just have to be a bit more intentional to find it!
Keep Chasing Vibrance,
Do your spirits dip in the winter? What tips do you use to help with the winter blues?
If this post has been helpful to you please share it with someone you know who could use some help with their winter blues!