6 Easy Tips To Cure Your Winter Blues
I’m going to refrain from the phrase we Game of Thrones fans know and love, but y’all...winter is HERE. During this lovely time I enjoy anything that involves staying inside with a cup of something hot and avoiding the freezing temperatures. As a Chicago girl, I already know the weather does not play in the wintertime. You can find me in my Uggs (yes I said Uggs, those things are warm and essential to my feet’s wellbeing), wrapped up in chunky scarves, and with my super poofy coat on...typically unzipped -- don’t ask me why.
If I’m being completely honest though, winter is probably my least favorite time of the year. I am not blessed with living in a warm place, and my depression can really kick in if I’m not careful. There’s something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, what most refer to as seasonal depression, that can affect many of us during the colder months. It’s not easy to overcome, but with a little practice and a bit of initiative, you can make this winter easier on yourself.
I know the first reaction to 30 degree weather with a chance of snow is to plop ourselves in front of the TV and call it a day, but winter is actually a time where we probably need the most body movement. Staying active and giving yourself a little extra push when you’d rather not leave that cozy spot on the couch will help boost those happy endorphins and provide a way to be in consistently better moods. To make it easier on yourself, fit something in before or after work/school, so once you’re posted up at home you can stay there. Check out my blog on creating a mindful movement practice if you’re looking to lay the groundwork for an exercise routine you love.
Wear Bright Colors
This one sounds a little funky, but as a person who can always be seen in a combination of white, gray, and black, adding a little fun color to my wardrobe has actually improved my mood. For instance, I have a bright yellow sweatshirt that says “Sunday” on it three times, and every time I wear it I feel so good. If not bright colors, try to find clothes that make you feel good while you’re in them. Whether it’s empowered, sexy, or just downright happy, mindfully choosing what you wear can influence how you feel in a positive way.
Lean on your community
Being around a community you love can help shrug off the bitter feelings you may get from having to walk that 15 minutes in the freezing cold. I mean, who is better suited to the job of making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside again? No matter how yucky some days are, at times staying inside isn’t the answer. Sometimes it’s game night, or drinks at a cozy bar, or dragging your bestie to a yoga class. Bottom line is, you have to remind yourself that you are not alone.
Make a running list of what makes you feel good
This comes in handy when you’ve already found yourself singin’ the winter blues. Write down a list of things you like to do that make you feel good. It can be anything you want, and make sure there’s at least 10 of them. That way, depending on your mood, you’ll still have plenty of options for things that might raise your frequency. Sometimes, when we’re already in a rut, it can be a lot easier to pick from a list of already curated tasks to make ourselves feel better than try and figure out something while you’re in a crappy mood. Trust, you’ll thank me later for this.
In transitioning from college to full-on adult life, I decided to try Talkspace. I’ve had a lot of experience with in-person therapy, and always had been apprehensive of text therapy because I liked the feeling of voicing what was going on. Talkspace, however, was a pretty pleasant surprise. Some things I really like about it are the fact that I can choose from multiple therapists, send voice messages, and if I’m feeling some type of way I don’t have to wait until my appointment to let it out. Also, I talk to my therapist every day, usually twice a day, which helps me feel constantly supported. She’s right in my pocket whenever I need to let things out, and is definitely a huge help when my anxiety and depression feel less than manageable. If you’re not ready to sit in front of someone and spill your guts, a platform like this can help you get used to being vulnerable without as much added pressure.
One of my personal favorite things to do for entertainment is listen to podcasts. You can find them on pretty much any topic, including those that have a special affinity for uplifting others. Here’s my top three for black women, and a couple of my other favorites are Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations and Side Hustle Pro. If not empowering, then try funny and uplifting. The Read is always my go-to when I need a good laugh. The point is to listen to things that raise your vibration, so for now, leave the crime podcasts for later and instead focus on content you can consume that will put you in a better mood.
Now, go forth and commit to being a least a little bit happier this winter. Got a favorite or have ideas of your own? Leave me a comment below!