It’s that time of year. The time when we are all worn out from Christmas, shopping, decorating, cleaning up, and paying bills. It is that time when there is so much pressure to set goals and accomplish things, to get a new start. At the moment when we feel like we should be doing it all, we are just plain pooped!
It started for me after Christmas. Boy, was I tired. Some days, I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and make the day go away. For those of you struggling with a stint of the winter blues, here are some ideas to help you get going again. Pick one or two to try and see if they help.
1. Get out of bed and make it! If you make your bed, you will be less likely to get back in it. Why put in the effort to make your bed, if you are just going to mess it up again?
2. Take a shower and get dressed in real clothes. Don’t put your robe back on. Work-out clothes do not count as real clothes unless you work at a gym. Once you shower and get dressed, you will feel more ready to face your day.
3. Turn on the lights and open the blinds. In winter, it is darker, for longer. We need light. When we turn on the lights and let it shine, we will feel more motivated to get going.
4. Turn on some music, not the TV. Music is powerful. It can influence our emotions, our thoughts, and therefore our behaviors. Turn on the music, loud if necessary. Notice how it effects you.
5. Implement some form of self-care. We each need something that makes us feel special. Forms of self-care include: using our favorite body wash/lotion, putting on perfume, applying some form of makeup, painting your nails, taking a bath, reading a book, meditating.
Now before you poo-poo this last one and say I am a “girly-girl”, recognize that all humans like to feel pampered. If makeup and nail polish are not for you, great, but find a way to show yourself, physically, that you are important and worth some time and effort.
6. Find a few minutes to reconnect spiritually. Actually kneel down to say your prayers, read your scriptures, or watch an uplifting devotional. Those few moments will calm your heart and help you remember that there is a greater power at work, and He can help you.
7. Pick a small act of service that you can do for someone else. Now, don’t pick something huge, like cleaning someone else’s house, or devoting one whole day to volunteer (unless you truly feel up to it). When you are feeling down, it is the small things that will help. Write a thank you note. Send a text message. Call a friend you have been thinking about. Write a letter to a missionary or someone you know is having a hard time. These acts will help you step outside yourself and give you a feeling of purpose.
8. Pick a small cleaning or organizing project. Now, again, don’t pick something overwhelming or you will just get back into bed. Pick something achievable. Clean the bathrooms or organize a drawer. Again, these small tasks will help you feel that you are accomplishing something.
9. Leave the house. It is so easy to get cooped up and stay inside, especially when it is snowing or freezing outside. We need a change of pace. Leave the house. Maybe it is just for a walk around the block, or a drive. Maybe you only sit on the front porch for a few minutes. Take a minute and get out. That will help.
10. Be aware of exercise and eating right. We all know this last one, and I put it last on purpose. We all know that we should exercise and eat better. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself (I will talk more about this in a future post), or you will simply again feel like you have failed. But, make sure you take the time to show your body it is worth the time and effort to maintain.
If you are struggling with the winter blues, try one or more of these to help. Remember, only pick a few to work on at once. It is a struggle to get through the dark months from November through February (sometimes later depending on where you live). Good luck. If you like this post, let me know. I can post additional ideas in another post! 🙂
Disclaimer: Note that the winter blues and depression are not the same thing. Depression is a medical illness with symptoms that last two or more weeks, for most of the day every day. I will do a post on depression in the future.