Snow got you down?
It’s February. And although it’s the month of my birthday and the month of romance’s own holiday, it’s not my favorite month. I think it’s probably my least favorite month. It’s the month when I reach my absolute limit with winter. And being the owner of dogs too big and temperamental (and yes, spoiled) for anyone else to care for, going south is not an option.
Neither, however, is giving in to the winter blahs. You know if you have them. You feel tired all the time, and sit around watching too much TV, overeating. You feel cranky, your joints ache, you think you must be getting old. (Age is way more mental than physical, dear readers.)
I enjoy being up, far too much to let winter get me down. Even in the aftermath of the biggest storm the Northeastern US has seen in a while. I love being happy too much to tolerate being sad. (Or SADD). So here are some of my tools for staying aligned, upbeat and happy during this final few weeks of winter.
1. Vitamin D. Take a supplement, and get extra by exposing skin to sunlight at every possible opportunity. Yes, even here in the frozen north, we have sunny days.
2. Exercise! I know, this is the time you feel LEAST like moving, but it’s also the time you need is most. Exercise releases the same chemicals in your brain that anti-depressants do. Now which do you think is healthier? Get some fun, silly workouts and make a game out of it. Old school Jane Fonda routines complete with leg-warmers, you’ll laugh so hard you can hardly do the steps! They have workout games for every game system on the market now, and dance games too, which serve the same purpose. (Michael Jackson Experience, anyone? Learn to do the Thriller Dance!)
3. Get outside. No matter how awful it is, bundle up and go outdoors. Even fifteen minutes a day will help. That’s a short walk with the dog. (Sidebar: if you don’t have a dog, get one!)
4. Reduce the Carbs! Yes, you crave them more at this time of year. But you need them less. So it’s a great time to start paying attention and eating less carbs, more protein.
5. Increase green leafy veggies and fresh fruits. These food items carry the energy of the sun inside them. Eat them, and you get instant sunshine.
6. Fish Oil! Make sure it’s a good quality supplement (or get it by eating actual fish) and you’ll feel loads better. It’s good for any depression, but especially effective for Seasonal Depression.
7. You can get artificial sunlight by adding full spectrum bulbs. Though they’re expensive, they cost less than therapy and prescriptions.
8. St. John’s Wort has been shown to be helpful too.
9. Laughter is always good. Watch funny movies, read funny books, share a laugh with friends, and just generally do things that you enjoy!
Hope some of this helps you get through the remaining weeks of winter. If not, here’s a bit more. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, which points toward an early spring. And we’ve just passed the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox! It’s all downhill from here!