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Monday, February 10, 2014

Motivational Monday: Winter Blues

Since the beginning of 2014, I have been fluctuating between feeling inspired and excited about life and seccumming to the January/February blues. Not usually one to comment on my own seasonal depression, I have really noticed a change in my general happy-go-lucky mood. It has gotten me thinking about how many people the winter months affect. While I'm still searching for the culprit of my blues (After Christmas Depression, Diet? PMS? Lack of sleep? Allergies?), I have compiled a list of go-to ways to beat a down mood.

1. Get Moving- 

I can tell you firsthand that when the weather gets cold and the snow starts falling, the last thing I want to do is go outside and be active. I'm more likely to be found on my couch watching Gilmore Girls on a constant loop. But if you can, find yourself a winter sport or activity that you enjoy and do it! The activity combined with the extra boost of vitamin D is is a magic cocktail of happiness. Go sledding or snowshoeing. Go on a winter nature walk or shovel your driveway (and maybe your neighbors). Bundle up and go for a walk around the block! Anything that will get you outside, get your blood moving and release some happy-endorphins!  This isn't about losing weight, though you're bound to be healthier the more active you are. This is about avoiding being stationary and getting sad.

Sledding is such the best 

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2. READ-  

Sometimes it's so cold outside or the roads are so bad, you don't have much of a choice but to stay inside. While it might be tempting to watch every season of Supernatural that Netflix has to offer and then start on re-watching Arrested Development (Don't judge me), but that's not going to do a lot for your mood. Head on down to the brain factory (my brother's name for the library) and pick yourself up some books! SuggestionsAssassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and Mercury by Hope Larson.

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3. Get Creative- 

Winter is such a great time to learn a new craft! Ever wanted to learn to knit or crochet? Want to learn to quilt or sew? What better time than a season where you definitely want to be covered by yards of fabric and yarn!  Or maybe you want to learn an instrument? I received a ukulele for Christmas and I have loved learning how to play it! Whatever craft you've been wanting to try, pull together your supplies and resources and give it a go! Who knows? By springtime you might have a brand new hobby that you love!

Keep Calm and GET CREATIVE Poster


4. Drink Water- 

Being dehydrated causes a number of problems in your body, some of which include headache, poor mood and fatigue. That's not good any time of the year, but during the winter when it's extra dry you don't need any more strikes against you. So, drink early. Drink often. Drink up, friends!

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5. Break the Silence- 

While I know everyone needs some time for introspection, sometimes that time turns into crazy-analyze-time that leaves you awake at 2am wondering if things will ever be okay ever again. Silence is golden, but let's be real; Silence can also be really depressing. If the house is too silent, mix things up; Play some music and sing at the top of your lungs, call your mom or invite a friend over for tea and board games. Throw a theme party or invite some folks over to watch movies. The point is, sometimes you need to be alone. And sometimes you really don't. Bring the people you love and who love you into your life. You never know. They might be struggling just as much as you are.

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Now, I have absolutely no credentials that would give me any authority to tell people how to live their lives. And I think it should be said that I've never seen a doctor or taken medication for my seasonal depression. If you are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or any type of depression and can't pull yourself out of it, please seek professional help. There is no shame in admitting you can't do it alone. No one can. Ask for help.

These are just some tips that work for me, so maybe they'll work for someone else, or at least get someone thinking about what might make them feel better this winter. I'm a firm believer that this crazy journey we call life takes a village, you know? Welcome to my village, friends. 

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