6 Ways I’m Fighting the Winter Blues
It’s been blessedly, unseasonably warm, but I can feel the winter blues setting in. Anyone who’s spent a January or two north of the Mason-Dixon line can attest to the mild depression that permeates the cold-weather months: it’ dark when you get up and when you get home, there’s no real reason to do anything except camp on the couch with hot cocoa and Netflix, and the idea of subjecting your poor, innocent body to the cold/wind/snow outside just seems cruel. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a thing, and the struggle is REAL.
Since I know what to expect, I’m putting together a plan to (hopefully!) mitigate some of the ill effects that make me stabby from January through early April:
1. Eat well
It’s so tempting to hunker down in bed with a pint of Haagen Dazs, but I know that will make me feel worse in the long run. When I’m too lazy to do any real cooking (aka always) roasted veggies and hearty soups are easy to make and let me control what I’m putting into my body. I also rely on hot ginger tea and matcha for a dose of warmth and energy!
2. Take up an indoor hobby
I already know anything that requires me to be outside for more than two minutes is a no-go, so I’m planning to stay indoors and practice calligraphy. I get bored easily, so I need an actual project: I’ve decided to design a poster with a short, meaningful saying.
3. Get a happy light
I’ve been meaning to get one of these for years, but thanks to a little research and Amazon Prime, I’m finally making good. These lights imitate the natural sunlight missing during the winter months and are good for improving mood, energy, and concentration.
It’s too cold out to run or cycle, so right now I’m really only interested in doing yoga. Most yoga studios keep the temperature between 80-85 degrees (90-117 if it’s hot yoga) so it’s nice and toasty; plus the focus on breathing and balance helps clear my mind. To stay motivated, I set specific goals: I love inversions and arm balancing asanas, so I’m working on mastering scorpion pose.
5. Get outta town
For me, a change of scenery and a trip to warmer climes is the best way to physically and mentally recharge. I will go anywhere the temperature hits 60+ degrees, so I’m planning a trip south next month.
6. Forgive my “bad days”
At some point I’ll likely give in to the ice cream, skip yoga to get an extra 45 minutes of sleep, or be in a pissy mood for no real reason. And that’s okay. I’m an imperfect human, not an unfeeling machine, and things don’t always go as planned. No biggie–tomorrow is a new day!
How are you keeping it together this winter? Any advice is appreciated!