6 Tips to Survive the Winter Blues
Living in the Midwest can be pretty gray and kind of sad in the winter. It’s not for the faint of heart and can be a time of some serious winter blues.
I have heard that the end of January and beginning of February can be some of the most depressing days of the year.
If you are anything like me, you are missing the sunshine on these shorter days. The holidays are over, and you are assessing how you’ve been doing with your New Year’s resolutions.
All of these things can add up to some big feelings.
I am not a therapist, and I am not diagnosing any of us.
If you are feeling lost, overly (out-of-the-norm) stressed, sad, discontent, sluggish, depressed, tired, and just not feeling yourself, please call a counselor or someone that you can confide in. If you don’t know of one, call your local church and I am sure they can point you in the right direction.
I highly recommend counseling and the help and healing that brings. Reach out for help if you need it. It will be worth it!
This information is not to take the place of counseling, but to help those of us dealing with the ”blah” and general winter blues that happen during the winter months.
It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, we have all found ourselves in dark, cold, and lonely seasons.
Here are just a few remedies that might help us survive the winter blues:
- Do what you can with what you have
- Give Happiness
- Talk to a friend
- Get connected (You don’t have to do this alone)
- Choose Joy
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Do What You Can
Some of the things that I do to help lift me up out of the dark is to:
1. Listen to worship music
When we keep our eyes fixed on worshiping God, then we’re not focused on the things that we can’t control.
I have created worship lists on my Pandora app. Hoopla is a free library app that also has downloadable worship albums.
My current favorites come from Hillsong and Elevation Music, but I also love a good hymn as well.
I suggest checking to see if you are deficient in vitamin b12 and/or vitamin D.
For me, I added a liquid vitamin b12, and my doctor mentioned that most of us in the Midwest (and most of the United States) are vitamin D deficient.
Adding these to my diet this year has helped so much.
READ ALSO: Cold & Flu Prevention Tips– Natural remedies to avoid sickness and boost your immune system.
B12 helps with balance and a boost of natural energy, which has been better for me than adding a couple extra cups of coffee. I have found that too much caffeine can make me jittery and anxious.
Anyone else notice that too much caffeine makes you anxious too? We definitely don’t need to add anxiety when we are already struggling with the blues, right?!
Here is my favorite vitamin b12:
And HERE are amazing tips on adding Vitamin D to your diet naturally.
3. Exercise and Eat Healthier
Get in some exercise. Any kind will do.
There are days when I have just walked laps around my basement just to get a workout in. Find ways to move your body to work up a sweat and to get your body out of a rut.
We have some great resources for you if you follow us on Pinterest!
Just making a few small changes to your eating and exercising adds up to a big difference.
The key is to focus on the positives. Enjoy yourself and have fun. Feel yourself being happy and strong.
These things don’t come overnight, but even one big healthy salad can make you feel pretty good about yourself. Enjoy those moments.
4. Essential Oils
I am a big fan of essential oils. I don’t sell them, but I really love how they help me stay healthy and keep my house smelling fresh and clean.
They also help with my mental state.
I rub orange right on my wrists and it helps me have a burst of energy and happiness from the first sniff.
There are so many blends that help uplift the soul, but my favorites are:
And Christmas Spirit is one of my favorites. I use it all year round, because I’m a rebel like that.
This past Christmas, my parents, kids, siblings, nieces and I all planned a scavenger hunt to collect urgent needs for our local homeless shelter.
It was such a fun scavenger hunt, but the best part was taking the goods in and seeing the staff members’ faces and hearing the exciting things they had to say.
They were so happy and so thankful. How can we be sad when we’re making others happy?
I’m currently doing a book study with our Thursday night group called, “How Happiness Happens” by Max Lucado.
The main idea of the book is: “Happiness happens when we give it away.”
A challenge for each one of us is to find a way to share happiness with someone each day.
It doesn’t have to cost money, but it needs to be something that will brighten someone’s day.
Here are just a few ways to give away happiness. Let us know if you know of others!
- Make a plan to smile at every single person you come across today.
- Pay for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive through line.
- Go on social media just to post 5 positive comments instead of mindless scrolling.
- Make someone dinner that could use a little pick-me-up.
- Call a local nursing home to see if anyone could use a visit.
- Check with a local pet shelter and see if there are any pets that could use some love.
- Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Invite people over for coffee that you know have been left out before.
- Call your local homeless shelter to see what their immediate needs are.
- Ask a friend how you can pray for them.
- Help someone unload their groceries into their car.
These are just a few options, but I hope they spur each one of us to create our own list of ways to make others happy.
I promise you, it will fill your soul and your winter blues will feel a little (or a lot) sunnier.
Talk to a friend
Sometimes, just knowing we aren’t alone helps so much. It is so important to find connection.
I have been reminded lately that when I feel disconnected, I am usually the one to disconnect myself.
I know that there are groups that don’t invite us to participate in fun nights out, or we see things on social media that we didn’t get included in, and that hurts.
We have all been there, but we have to remember that feeling so we don’t cause that to someone else.
Be the one who invites others into your circle.
When we are busy celebrating life with others, then the sting doesn’t quite feel the same. We can just stay in the lane we are in and not worry about what is going on around us.
Get Connected to Community
My hubby is a small groups pastor at our church, and I love his job.
I love standing behind him and cheering him on, but I don’t just support him blindly. One of the biggest reasons I support him is because of how much I believe in groups, connection, and community.
Finding people who are running the same race as you can be such a gift.
Whatever the need is, the group can rise up to meet it.
In a group, you can sit back and just listen, or you can be the loud one.
You can cry and know you are being prayed for. You can share your answered prayers, knowing you have people celebrating with you.
I have seen meals taken care of for new mamas, a mama who was walking her child through cancer treatment, a mama surviving her husband’s deployment, and for amazing single mamas who didn’t need a handout, but just a little joy in the midst of their week.
I don’t know about anyone else, but just having the burden of cooking dinner lifted off me for even one night is such a gift!
It is scary to let your guard down and let people in, but almost every time the risk is worth the reward. Especially if you go in looking for ways to give and to help others connect too.
Never underestimate the power of rest. If God rested a full day after creation, then we can assume that resting would be good for us too, right?
The cold and the dark days make us tired and it’s a beautiful thing to take a nap to refresh your body.
Take an epsom salt bath (using some of those essential oils) and let your body get refreshed.
Read a book just for fun.
Paint your toenails.
Do something that gets your feet up and keeps the pressure off. Your mind and your body will thank you!
One of my friends recently told me that she just wasn’t feeling joy in her life. She really wanted to, but she said to me, “Joy isn’t something you just have, it’s something God gives, and I am asking for it over my marriage, my parenting, my work, and my whole life.”
I have been thinking about this a lot. The winter blues can really steal our joy.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and if we spend time in the Spirit, then we receive the fruit.
Also, Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
While I believe that we receive joy, I think that we can also choose to grab hold of it in everything we do.
READ ALSO: Soul Care– More great ideas from Nicole on how to take care of your heart everyday!
So Long, Winter Blues!
If you are facing the winter blues, I am sorry! It is hard to walk around feeling cold, tired, and sad, but there are definitely things we can do to put the spring back in our step.
Let’s get out there!
Get some exercise, give happiness away, eat something healthy, worship Jesus, get connected into a healthy community, choose joy, and let’s see the winter blues melt away.