The calendar says spring is fast approaching, but for many of us, winter rages on. We cling to the moments of sunshine while wading through many inches of snow, longing for warmer days, pretty flowers, and the sound of happy birds.
The longer winter is, the harder it becomes to battle back against the winter blues and blahs. Here are 10 things to do to brighten your mood:
- Make sure your vitamin D levels are healthy. If you tend to burn out just because it’s winter, have your D levels checked. I struggled with winter and SAD (seasonal affect disorder) until two winters ago when I started taking D supplements. They really helped me get through winter without feeling that sadness, and get this: when my D levels were checked they were normal. That means that they were low before I started taking the supplements so I needed them! You might too.
- Invest in a circadian “happy light” that helps mimic the sun. These are very helpful to many folks.
- Eat healthy and get enough rest. These are important every day, not just in winter. But if you have a tendency to feel depressed in winter, make sure you’re eating right and getting enough rest, but not too much rest.
- I know, I know. Nobody wants to go to the gym when it’s a blizzard outside and you don’t have to. You can access tons of free workouts on YouTube or look up exercises almost anywhere online. Invest in some equipment at home, even if it’s minimal like resistance bands or hand weights. Or just get in the recommended 10,000 steps per day simply by running in place or walking around your house. Exercise releases those happy hormones and makes you healthier overall.
- Read encouraging books, magazines, articles, and watch light things. By this I mean, steer away from sad shows or movies. Read uplifting things that will encourage you. Watch things that will make you laugh.
- Spend time with people you love. This lifts my spirits and gives me peace.
- Dive into the Word and see what God says to you during this time.
- Stay in close touch with people who matter most to you. Don’t withdraw. Make sure you keep your support system close and make sure you also confide in them if you feel like you’re getting down. Don’t keep it a secret.
- Get the appropriate check-ups with your physicians. Make sure your health is on track so you’re not worrying unnecessarily and so you get what you need.
- Talk to people. If you need to talk with your pastor or a therapist on a regular basis to get through this season, do it. It’s a healthy thing to share what you’re feeling. Don’t bottle it up and don’t feel ashamed if you need more help than exercise and vitamins to get through this time. Learn from the experts ways to cope and lift your spirits and deal with any underlying issues.
Spring will come. This gloomy, will-the-sun-ever-shine-again season never lasts forever. Before you know it, flowers and trees will be budding, birds will be chirping, and the light will last longer. Look for the good and bright things, and never, ever give up.
Don’t give up,