Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Fight the Winter Blues

It's around this time of year that things start to get a little dark. Yesterday with Daylight Savings Time and turning an hour back it hit me hard. We're approaching shorter days where you barely get home from work and it's dark outside. It's so hard to find motivation on the best of days and nearly impossible when it's dark by 7:30. It makes you just want to curl up in a blanket and hibernate with your DVR (with a bag of chips, obviously).

Along these same lines many people also begin to suffer from what's been coined S.A.D, or seasonal affective disorder. S.A.D is characterized as a type of depression that's correlated with changes in seasons and can zap your energy and make you moody. All of us struggle in some ways with the winter blues but here are some tips to fight S.A.D--hopefully before you find yourself cooped up with an empty ice cream container next to you! 

Slight Disclaimer: I'd like to note that this post is in no way trying to discount or make light of  those who suffer from other types of anxiety or depression. This post is designed for those (including myself) who occasionally find themselves struggling with the winter blues that can be treated with slight behavior modifications and lifestyle changes. 

1. Let there be light! It may be dark outside but you can brighten up your surroundings by opening blinds to let more natural light in or using non-harsh artificial lighting options.

2. Exercise! Exercise is proven to increase your dopamine levels (naturally). Join a new exercise class, take your dog on a long walk, or drag a friend to the gym!

3. Vacay! There's absolutely no better feeling than jetting off to the beach during a miserable winter. Some time in the sun will recharge your batteries and refresh your spirits. Plan ahead and schedule your vacation for the winter months instead of in the summer. Don't have much time? A change of scenery weekend getaway will also do the trick. I love taking advantage of cheap Allegiant flights for quick trips. 

4. Clean up your diet. We're approaching prime holiday eating season. By all means enjoy this season with the food that you love but if you start to feel a bit sluggish mentally and physically it may be time to cut back. Check out these foods that help boost energy! I'm also pretty partial to this lightened up spinach dip perfect for the holidays. 

5. Sleep it off. If it's already dark out you may as well get in some extra hours, right? Make a habit of going to bed earlier. We could all use the extra shut eye and you'll wake up (maybe earlier) and feel more rested and sharp!


6. Get a hobby. Keep your mind stimulated by trying something new or making time do something you've been putting off. I'm pretty pumped about the online cooking class I'm taking through The Great Courses! 



7. Volunteer. Helping out others or causes you feel passionate about is a great way to lift your spirits. Helping out animals is my poison so I plan on filling my winter fostering dogs! 

via GIPHY
8. Talk it out with a therapist or friend. We all need guidance about issues in our lives. Confide in a close friend or counselor when you feel overwhelmed with life. Saying it out loud is always the first step!



How do you fight the winter blues?

28 comments:

  1. Personally, I go with the sleep if off method, but that's always my answer to everything :) haha. I'm still adjusting to the time change!

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  2. The time change doesn't bother me that much. Call me crazy but I love the shorter days! I love layers and snuggling in front of the fire!

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  3. Oh gosh the winter blues - those usually hit me around January LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. I am also not so happy with the demise of DST - and thanks for your tips!!!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  5. The winter blues are the worst. I am fine until the holidays are over then it's bah! Exercise and LIGHT are two of the key elements in my realm! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Exercising and planning trips are my favorite ways to keep busy in the winter months! I'm hoping for a new hobby this year too!

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  7. Exercise always makes me feel better! It's just finding that motivation to get my booty there half the time is the issue!

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  8. This is the first winter where I have a full time job and I was already dreading the fact that I'll go to work before the sun is up and leave after the sun is down, plus my office has no windows. I knew it was going to be a veryyyy long winter just for that fact. I saved this post and will have to refer back to it and try some of these out and I feel winter getting the best of me.

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  9. Oh what I wouldn't do to be sitting on a beach right now.

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  10. Great tips! I totally went to sleep at 10 p.m. yesterday and I feel amazing today.

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  11. I'd never heard of The Great Courses before, so I'm definitely putting that in my back pocket for when SAD really kicks in later this winter! Thanks for the tips :)

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  12. Great list! I do get a little bummed out when it's dark all the time. I pick myself up with a peppermint mocha and Christmas movies haha.

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  13. Awesome list girl! I am not a fan of daylight savings time (we're losing not saving daylight by turning the clocks back *ugh*), but I do agree that exercise is a great counteract for it. I always feel so much better after a good workout :)

    Green Fashionista

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  14. I think I always get a little bit of SAD during the brutal midwest winters we typically have, these are great tips!

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  15. I really, really love this post. Season depression is a real thing! I will be keeping these tips in mind as I try to make it through another Michigan winter!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  16. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (clinically diagnosed) and I've used some of your tips before and they really do help!

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  17. Great tips! I hate how dark it is in the mornings and early in the evening now. It feels like so much later (or earlier in the mornings) than it really is. I need to get myself moving!

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  18. I love burning a candle and reading some magazines or taking a bath and unwinding. I try to find ways to keep myself busy- try a new recipe, browse Pinterest, lots of fun things!

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  19. Cleaning up your diet and exercise help so much! Do you have any suggestions on post-election depression? ;)

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  20. I definitely feel like I experience some seasonal affective disorder, especially now with it being dark before 6:00! Not a fan, at all. I started taking vitamin D last winter & felt like it helped out a lot! I figured that was healthier than getting it from the tanning bed :).

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  21. actually I have a light box that i use when i start feelin blue and after a week i feel much better!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  22. Great tips! I am so not looking forward to winter :-(
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  23. Nice tips! I must say, your blog is really cute ♥♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  24. Every night when I go home I'm so depressed that it's already dark, but these are some great ideas to help get me out of my funk! I especially love the getting a hobby and exercise!

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  25. I've never dealt with seasonal blues, but, I deal with depression in general... I think these are good tips for everyone year round!

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  26. I HATE when it gets dark so early. It's definitely depressing!! I am trying to exercise and eat well but I'm already ready for spring!!

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  27. Just discovered your blog! I love seeing other lady lawyers field participating in the blogging world.

    Lauren xo || You Have the Right to Remain Fabulous

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