How To Combat The Winter Blues
This winter has been brutal and we still have a ways to go. I don’t know about you but the it is really starting to get to me! There is the physical aspect – the endless shoveling, cleaning off your car, waiting for the train that never shows up, sitting in traffic! Then there is the emotional toll – feeling stressed, feeling like this is never going to end, disappointment over important events being cancelled, and feelings of isolation. In order to get through this difficult time I have come up with a few ideas to help combat the winter blues. Here is a quick guide for how to take care of yourself when Mother Nature isn’t taking care of you.
Meditate to relax, de-stress and eliminate anxiety
The thought of meditation can feel overwhelming and stressful. I don’t have time for that or I don’t know how to do it. Well I promise you that these two free apps will eliminate the mystery and make it easy for you to relax! They are easy to use, are self-explanatory and can be done in as little as 2 minutes a day! Who doesn’t have two minutes? Calm and Take a Break are both available for download in the app store for free.
Exercising is extremely helpful in alleviating anxiety and stress and improving your mood. Don’t think about doing it to lose weight – then it becomes too overwhelming. Do it purely for the mental health benefits. Download the 7 Minute Workout for free in the app store. You don’t need any equipment so you can do it anywhere plus it tells you when exercises to do so you don’t even need to think about it! I recently joined a Facebook group where we have to report to each other when we have exercised every day. Joining a group helps you stay accountable and provides you with support you need to stay focused.
This weather can give us cabin fever and make us feel isolated. Try and reconnect with friends in person but if it’s no possible use technology. Facetime or Skype with your family, nieces and nephews, parents, friends, whoever! If you are stuck inside with the same faces around you try and strengthen your connection with them. Take time to give a genuine compliment (i.e. The dinner you made me tonight was wonderful, I can tell you went to a lot of trouble to make it). A lot of the time we forget to remember and recognize all of the efforts we make for each other. By acknowledging them you will make your partner feel better and strengthen your connection. If you are feeling isolated don’t wait for someone to reach out to you, make sure you take the first step and reach out to others!
Journal/Blog or Create a Hashtag a day
This record-breaking winter will be something that we will all remember forever. Try and take pictures and document what it is like. You never know if down the line a new generation will need to interview you about the great winter of 2015! Put on some music and take a few minutes to write or draw about your day. If you’re not a writer challenge yourself to write a hashtag a day. Think about if your life were an instagram post today what would the hashtag be? (i.e. #stuckinsideandwanttoscream, #bingewatchedentireseasonofbreakingbad) It’s only for you so be as funny, vulgar, corny or emotional as you want!
All of the snow days have provided many opportunities for people to tap into their creative ideas. Spend some time doing what makes you feel good! Bake, draw, paint, do some graphic designing, knit, blog, write a poem, reorganize your space at home. If you have kids it can be very overwhelming to have them home day after day! Search pinterest for ideas for projects. Challenge them to write a poem a day, create a play or give them a few different items and tell them to make something from it! Help them build their imaginations and their own creativity.
I challenge you to try one of these and see if you feel any benefit! Remember this winter will end you will get through it!
Written by Kelly DiBenedetto
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