Beating The Winter Blues

Now that the high energy from the holidays has subsided, family and friends are back to their routines, and the weather is still less than mediocre (for some) you may find yourself drifting into a post holiday funk or you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD affects 4-6% of the population and another 10-20% mildly and occurs typically in the winter months. Symptoms of SAD include depression, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, and low energy.

So here are some Quick and Easy ways to boost your spirits.

  1. Go to Your Happy Place: Close your eyes, focus on something that you are longing for, focus on the smell, the sights, or tastes, and go there in your mind. Allow yourself to focus, breath, and release all the negative energy. I tend to go to my happy spot on the beach, with my toes nestled in the sand, the air blowing against my face, and the sounds of the waves crashing.
  2. Instant Recess: Step away when you are feeling down and take a break. Get outside, take a short walk, do some body weight squats, push ups, or have a mini dance party.
  3. Exercise: Daily aerobic exercise increases your endorphins and will help you stay fit and energetic during the winter.
  4. Carb Up: This isn't a pass to go crazy at the vending machine, reach for the good carbs. It only takes 30g of carbohydrates to boost your levels of serotonin (a calming brain chemical). My go to mood booster is Hawt Chocolate BeautyWhey blended with a banana.
  5. Journal: Being able to get your worries, stressors, and thoughts off your mind and onto paper allows you to let go and move on. I will use napkins or scratch paper to write down what is causing me any emotional distress then release it to the trash can and move on. This allows for a sense of empowerment,
  6. Pity Party for 1: Yes, for 1. You and you alone. Bringing others into your issues and stressors only creates a chain reaction which can trigger them to get into a funk, depression, anxiety, or a state of heightened awareness. And if someone is trying to bring you into their issues simply step away.

Coping with depression or mental illness is not easy. If you or know someone that is struggling, get help. There many are resources readily available to help.