(Updated from November 2015)
It’s that time of year. It hits me every fall with the time change and even though I’m aware it may come . . . it stills kicks me in the butt every time. The winter blues.
This has been a really tough week of feeling that “Seasonal Affective Disorder.” I’m down, negative, grumpy, unmotivated, tired . . . you know the symptoms. If you are feeling this way too – take heart! It’s SEASONAL, right? So it’s not permanent, it’s not forever, and the winter blues can be managed. (I’m writing this for myself as much as anything.) So, here’s what we know from studies: First, eating healthy and exercise really help. Those two things are crazy hard though when one is feeling crappy like this. All I crave is comfort food – aka carbs – and I have absolutely NO energy to get up and move. Then I feel fat and lazy, which makes me feel even worse, which makes the cycle continue, right?
Okay, small steps then. Start with light. Turn lights on, add an extra lamp to your desk or room. Light a candle – it’s surprisingly soothing and cheery. Turn on some upbeat music – “Happy Music” I call it. Make yourself a collection of songs that give you a good feeling, make you smile, remind you of fun times. I’ve just done those three things at the start of writing this blog, and honestly, I feel a bit better. I may even go to a yoga class tonight!
And finally, think about starting a “Gratefulness Journal” (idea stolen from Oprah). Take just a moment to jot down one or two things each day that you are grateful for. Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, GRATEFUL PEOPLE ARE HAPPY PEOPLE AND THOSE WHO AREN’T, AREN’T.” I’ve never forgotten that saying and recently made a cute chalk sign to hang on my fridge as a reminder. The winter blues will pass.
Okay – let’s go! We can do this.