Lots of snow, holly, and winter cheer is upon us!!! Let’s be real with each other though, it’s not all gifts and giggles. We’ve all experienced depression one season or another. Most of us experience it in the winter months when it’s cold and dreadful. It’s okay to experience sadness, what’s not okay is numbing your sorrows with comfort food, prescription drugs or holiday shopping to rid the feeling. You are a complex, unique being that goes through changes every single day. To make your days better, here are some tips for preventing or getting out of the winter depression.
~Going Outside for the Sun
Sounds bizzare— and I don’t recommend taking a stroll during a blizzard, okay. What I can recommend first is getting a really good weather app, or just looking outside for the SUN! Yes, anytime the sun is out shining, that’s your cue to take a 5-minute stroll. Clear, cold, sunny days are your best friends when fighting depression in the winter. It’s a rarity during the harsh months to feel even a little of the suns warmth. Unless you’re in the desert like me and it’s perfect all the time. 🌵
~Journal & Tea Time
(make this a morning or night ritual)
Shifting to the dark, cold nights when you’re alone, is an opportune time to reflect on your day. I’m here to tell you that tea is not lame!! Herbs are an effective medicine we’ve used for thousands of years. Tea will stimulate and warm your body. Writing will allow you some moments of peace without too many thoughts bouncing around. Focus on one thought at a time, and journal for yourself.
Even if journaling isn’t your thing, you could try going into a room (with some tea) and sitting in-front of a camera. Just talking it all out so there’s no more cloudiness or confusion in your head. You are your best listener. I say camera because saving the videos, or immediately watching them over again will give you a clear sense of… you.
Don’t ever be fake, or lie to yourself when journaling. Allow your true, beautiful thoughts to flow out along with with your stress and depression.
~Exercise Of Course!
When it’s super cold outside, what better thing to do than train your body. One time or another you have proved to yourself that exercising is pretty awesome. It’s also healing to you mentally. Pumping it out in the gym or just walking outside, the results are always reassuring. Study after study has shown us that there is a sure link between exercise and depression.
Since the beginning of time, we have been walking, climbing, and running on planet Earth. It’s only recently we’ve become so stale. Even in large cities, folks would get out more than we do today, just ask your grandma. Your body needs motion, honey!! It may be uncomfortable, or be even painful the first few days, but just as life is, YOU WILL get through it! Not only that, you’ll become stronger and in most cases, refreshed.
I enjoy doing an hour of yoga in the morning or hitting the gym a few times a week. Let’s get over Netflix and chill, and go for a hike up the hill~ 😅
~Eat Seasonal Plant Food
On hot summer days, most of us enjoy fresh fruit compared to winter when it’s chili day, every day. Generation after generation, we have been following the natural cycle of foods with our eating habits. Eating the fruits and veggies that are in their harvest season means you’ll be getting optimal nutrients (& taste!) from that plant! That matters a lot because during the colder months especially, it’s key to help your body push through winter depression. Sitting and gorging on animal fat this winter is definitely not going to improve your mood.
*Speaking of, did you know 300,000,000 Turkeys are slaughtered each year because we hold so tightly to our traditions. 45,000,000 for Thanksgiving alone. Thanks for the numbers, Peta. Try a Tofurkey or going meatless altogether. The planet, the turkeys and you will thank you.
Fill your plates and bowls with color!
You can check out this link to find a seasonal foods calendar.
If you’re anything like me, you can say that cleaning calms you in a way. Personally, it’s a profound impact on my mindset, and my day. Tidying up even just one area of my apartment makes me feel productive. That little spark I can ignore, or allow it to carry me into more meaningful things to do. When you’re sitting on the couch binge-watching a show over break, consider cleaning up for 20 minutes every 3 episodes or so.
If you like to get all of the house cleaning done at once then great! My tip for you is to make it as enjoyable as possible. Shoot for hardcore cleaning once a week. It’ll surprise you to see the change in yourself at the end of the day while journaling.
Just like the seasons, there are highs and lows inside of us constantly. Like the autumn trees, even though they are dying, you see the transformation as beauty. We fall and we bloom again, even brighter. 🍁
Be Friendly. Be Open. Share your story.
Green Vibes Always ~ Emerald E