Beat the Winter Blues

Day 7 of The 12 Day Blogger Challenge

Seasonal Inspired Post. 

Would you believe this is a post that I have been dreading. When I saw seasonal inspired, my mind immediately went to fashion, trends and all things current. This made me panic because there are so many brilliant bloggers and websites who cover this kind of thing, are much better at it than I am and infinitely more successful. Then I had a moment of resolution, Why should I compare myself to others and their work? I’m incredibly proud of my little website and nobody covers the range of subjects the way I do or the way I do it. So instead I decided to write something that was authentic to myself and incomparable with anyone else. Sure it might sound a little egotistical but to quote one of the greats:

Winter is slowly creeping in. The days are getting shorter and there’s a distinct chill in the air. With the dreary weather and long nights, even the best of us can get a little down sometimes. The “winter blues” are a mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during the cold season. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to prevent the blues from coming on and get you back to you if they’ve already arrived.

1. Get out in the air!
I know you’d expect as a fat chick that this wouldn’t even be on my list but hear me out. Exercise is more than a weight loss and fitness tool. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. You’ll have more energy throughout the day and  sleep soundly at night. I’m not saying you suddenly need to get into full on training mode but wrap up well and go for a stroll, I promise you’ll feel better for it.

2. Eat more Healthy Options

What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. An excess of processed food can zap your energy levels and can affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get your daily 8 glasses of water. These healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels. They are also full of important vitamins to help fight off the nasty winter sniffles.

3. Set some goals and work towards them. 
Many studies have shown a strong link between healthy behaviors and depression. Setting a goal and working towards it not only provides you with motivation but also gives you something to focus on. Your goal can be anything you would like, start a new hobby, read more, write more, pay yourself a compliment each day, whatever works for you. This will give your life a positive focus and result in positive thoughts.

4. Watch the Booze
Staying in with big fire and  a nice glass of wine may seem like the only thing to do in the winter months, and many people who feel down also tend to turn to alcohol when they’re feeling down. The thing is alcohol is actually a depressant, and rather than improving your mood, it only makes it worse. Avoiding alcohol when you are already depressed is a good idea. Moderate drinking is fine for most people, but binge drinking (defined as having 5 or more drinks in one sitting) isn’t the healthiest choice. The morning after will have you feeling sick, depressed, and even more tired, which will affect many aspects of your life. This will make your low energy and bad mood even worse.

5. Spoil Yourself
Having something to look forward to can keep you excited and motivated. Winter can seem endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you—a weekend trip, a day at the spa, a party, or special event like a Burlesque Show, girls or guys night out, or sporting event. The world is your oyster, with City of Culture in Limerick this Year you have no excuse not to check out some of the brilliant events.

6. Relax!
You’re a busy person! Work, class, family, friends, appointments, meetings—even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Don’t be afraid to say “No” to extra work (covering a shift for a co-worker, bringing food to your son’s class party). Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditations, or take a yoga class. Relaxation, can alleviate stress and leave you with a calm energy. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay. It’s important that you take time out to look after yourself.

7. Get Social Support

Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, co-workers, and neighbors. Who can you turn to when you’re down and need a pick-me-up? Keep a mental list of these special people and don’t be afraid to ask for help or encouragement when you need it. Something as simple as a phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice email or letter can brighten your mood. Sure the prospect can seem daunting if you haven’t been feeling yourself for a while but you’ll feel so much better for it.

8. Catch some Zzzz’s
People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to suffer. With a little time management, and a little  self-discipline, you can meet your sleep needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalize and you’ll have more energy. Try not to oversleep though—those 12-hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you MORE tired. Don’t forget naps! A short (10-30 minute) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize. Ok, so the boss might not approve but a little disco nap at the weekend never hurt anybody. So get some fresh sheets on the bed and make your bed a priority, after all it’s for the good of your health.

Remember if you have tips of your own I’d love to hear them.




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