You don’t have to suffer seasonal affective disorder to get the blues. Winter or not, the blues or blahs come to everybody at some time or another.
It can be hard to stop them but the key thing is—you can stop them—I’ll show you how. The negative emotions from the blues can be intoxicating.
The first step to stopping them is—wanting to. Your desire to stop them gives you the strength to take action. Your choice is your superpower.
What you need to do may be different than someone else but there IS a way to stop those blues from taking over your life.The negative emotions from the blues can be intoxicating. Click To Tweet
You know you want to be happier so I’ll show you how. You may need to do just one thing, or you may need to do a few. But whatever you do – do something you want to do because you can’t should yourself out of the blues. That will only make them worse.
I’ll show you HOW these 7 things can help you stop the blues and give you examples.
Read through them and find something that sounds lovely to you, something you’d enjoy. You can’t be blue when you’re busy having fun.I'll show you HOW these 7 things can help you stop the blues and give you examples. Click To Tweet
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Winter has less sunlight than summer and our bodies notice. Brighten up your surroundings. For example:
- Freshen up the décor in your home with new paint, new wall hangings, or simply rearrange your furniture.
- Get some fresh cut flowers or a plant to add life and happy colors.
Turn on more lights or get a light box for light therapy. Studies show that even 30 minutes a day can cause effects similar to an antidepressant. Open the blinds and let the sun in. Sit by a window and look out.
GET OUT OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Many people like to take vacations in the winter. Not everyone can. If you can, go for it. Other examples:
- If you can’t go somewhere far, or somewhere warm—go somewhere.
- Be a tourist in your own area. Visit something you’ve not seen that an out of towner would want to experience.
If you don’t know what that might be google places to visit in _______ (your town or area). I did one for southeast Michigan and came up with a ton of options.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Time to ourselves is good but too much isn’t good. Even for introverts.
Many times we get down or depressed because winter is a more isolated time with cold weather driving many indoors. Combat this with an intentional social connection, for example:
- Reach out to an old friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while.
- Call someone on the phone to chat. Or better, meet up for lunch, a coffee, or a drink.
- Invite a group of people over for cards, games or a home party.
Spend some time in prayer and connect with God. Feeling lonely is painful. You’re not alone in the world so don’t be.
ENLARGE YOUR WORLD
Humans are habitual and many live scheduled lives. This can cause boredom and make it feel like the walls are closing in.
Break out into something new, for example:
- Take up a new hobby like puzzles, drawing, painting, reading or more ideas here.
- Enroll in a class that meets in person and not online. You can find these at libraries, local adult education centers, community colleges, and senior centers. The class topics are endless from learning a new language to how to cook.
If you have a skill to share, you can offer to teach a class.
Reach out to others by volunteering or doing simple random acts of kindness. Doing for others always makes us feel good and we see past our own problems.
Maybe you can’t take that vacation this winter but you can plan one for next year. If that’s not possible or too far away to think about there’s next weekend, spring break, or when summer comes again, for example:
- Plan something fun like an activity, party, or a day adventure you’d enjoy.
- Planning this will bring the joy of expectation and anticipation. You’ll have something to look forward to.
If you like Pinterest make a board for your plan and you can add to it continually until the day arrives. I made this board of fun things to do with my grandkids in the summer.
STIR UP ENDORPHINS
Those happy hormones are lacking when we feel blue so we need to stir them up, for example:
- Feed your sense of smell with aromatherapy, essential oils, or a candle.
- Turn on some upbeat music and dance. That not only fuels the soul with happy but the physical movement stirs up those endorphins.
- Stir them up more with other ways of being physically active like mall walking, swimming at the YMCA, getting your bounce on at a trampoline park, or do some yoga.
Sometimes we feel down when things pile up. Overwhelm and stress try to suck the life out of us.
Take back some power by conquering a small task, for example:
- Clean out a closet, a drawer or a toy box and get rid of some stuff.
- Start making your bed every morning and begin the day with a completed task.
Empower your body by eating foods that are good for you. It doesn’t have to be a kale shake or taste like cardboard to be a healthier choice. Grabbing an apple or a cheese stick is a better choice than a candy bar.
Getting enough sleep is important. This chart tells how much we need because it varies by age. This is your permission for a nap.
Drinking enough water is an important thing many people have trouble with. Increasing water intake can be made more enjoyable by flavoring it or getting a water carbonator.
- Which of the above choices do you find enticing or intriguing? Let me know in the comments.
- Doing something to stop the blues is good self-care. Be kind to yourself.
- More things self-care will do for you here.
- Serious depression is not the blues. If you’re suffering depression please seek professional help. You deserve to be well.
- If you need to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours every day.
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