I don’t know about you but the months of January, February and March can leave me in the “grey zone.” I can easily go to sleep by 8 o’clock, crab about the littlest things and feel as faded as the winter brown that surrounds me. Every year around the time of my birthday in February I long to be gone from this place and somewhere else. I have in younger years been known to buy a plane ticket and be gone to the shores of California to escape the absolute exhausted and angry short tempered girl I had become. (It always worked BTW) Now that I am older and more frugal I have had to find other ways to over come the Winter blues. I hope your blues aren’t as bad as mine, but if they are perhaps this will help you find some pockets of sanity in the midst of the dark nights of winter.
1) Get up and outside no matter the weather: Now as I write this I realize that yesterday it was -18 with a wind chill factor of -35 and when I tried to walk to the curb to put the trash out I feared for my life (Yea drama is a part of blues) but most winter days you can and should go out into it. Walk carefully across the frozen ground and look up into the expanse of sky. Whether it is a blue sky or a blizzard it will energize you. Stay/walk as long as you are able. (Every little bit helps)
2) Deep breathing and stretching: If your able while walking stretch and deep breathe. Inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 6-8 counts. It invigorates your systems and leaves you feeling awake.
3) Eat organic and eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner: A large meal in the morning with protein, healthy fats, vegetables, carbs such as brown rice or a sweet potato is a great way to get your body fueled for the day. At lunch do whatever your body is telling you, soups and salads, yogurts and rolled wraps..all great and by dinner think carbs. Carbs relax us and bring a calm that will take you into your night. Not junk carbs but whole carbs like oatmeal with cinnamon and stevia. A bowl of brown rice with stir fried vegetables. Keep the evening meal light and without strong seasoning. Your body will thank you for it
4) Sleep on schedule: My favorite ritual is to climb into a warm bath with lavender oil and epsom salts, listen to classical music and prepare my body for rest. To sleep is to heal and restore for the day ahead. To place your rest as an importance above all things is one of the most powerful changes you can make for a better winter. Bears hibernating is my inspiration. Giving ourselves permission to slow down and rest in the winter rejuvenates your body and your burned out life. Try it. You will be amazed!
5) Open your curtains and bring in the light: Our brain needs light to produce life affirming chemicals. 20 minutes in the great out doors can raise your energy levels by 50%. If your unable to be out side, open the windows and stand in the light. For those of us who are strongly affected by light get yourself a “Happy light” I have one and in the dark winter I use it often. It helps
6) Take your vitamins: Vitamin D, vitamin B, CoQ-10, Vitamin C are all a necessary boost in the winter months.
7) Essential oils: I am a great believer in using essential oils for health. To blast our beautiful cells with life giving energy I use peppermint, citrus, lavender and oils to massage my body and rub into dry skin and onto my scalp. It truly wakes up your limbic system and enhances immunity.
8) Water, Water everywhere: I seem to lose my thirst in the winter. It is crucial to keep hydrated as the brain (moods) are greatly influenced by dehydration. I have found 1/2 cup an hour is great for my little frame. Find your needs by watching your skin and urine color. Both are strong indicators of your water intake.
9) Color me happy: I run into a serious shortage of color in the winter. The environment outside is blah and I am known to stay in black. So I try to bring color into my world. Fresh flowers, a painting, a photograph, a scarf, a change of pillows or sheets. Coloring your world feeds the soul and helps to lift your spirits!
10) Socialize: Get out and meet others for tea or coffee. Call a friend, send a card, have a party. Don’t wait until spring to seek out your loved ones. Hugs help raise the level of pleasure and connection that we all need. So error on the side of connection over isolation. You will probably feel better for it!