It’s true what they say about seasonal depression and how it can flare up during the winter months. Some people refer to it as the ‘winter blues.’ I usually have a strong case of the winter blues come January and February, so this year I decided to be proactive about it and get ahead of it. I’ve created a little guide of things that help me beat the sadness that can sometimes creep in in the beginning of the year and I thought it might help for me to share those tips.
1. Pick up a new hobby.
I kept seeing these loosely knit blankets on Pinterest and had been DYING to get one for my future home. I found a girl on FB marketplace who makes them and talked to her about customizing one for me. I then decided to YouTube how to make them, went to Michael’s to buy yarn, and had one made by the end of the day. Making blankets has been such a therapeutic activity for me; it’s so mindless and I just get caught up in it when I am making them that I don’t really have the capacity to think about anything els, which has been AMAZING for my anxiety.
In the last year, I kind of fell away from journaling. I used to only write negative things in my journal which would put me in the worst headspace. I would talk so badly about myself, calling myself the worst names or saying how disappointing I was. Like I said, so horrible. Getting back into journaling though has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, making it a positive space instead of a negative one. So, the first week of January I started waking up early, lighting a lovely candle, and journaling about gratitude. That’s how I have started almost every single day since and it has been the most amazing start to my days. It has put me in such a positive headspace, allowing my day to only improve from there. Sometimes I even journal TWICE a day, morning and night. It’s nice to decompress from my day as well. If you don’t journal, I highly recommend going to the store to get one and starting. It is amazing what it can do for your mood.
Last year I kind of fell of my workout kick and paid the price for it. I am kicking myself for it but I am also more motivated to get in better shape because of it. My boyfriend and I go to the same gym and let me tell you, having someone to hold you accountable for your fitness is LIFE-CHANGING. Not only do I enjoy working out and seeing results, but the way that it changes my mood to a more positive one is most definitely my favorite part. I need to be better about working out when I am in a negative mood because I know how much better I feel once I’ve gotten a good workout in.
4. Get outside.
I know I feel so much better after I’ve gotten some sunshine on my skin, whether that be at the beach or on a walk or hike. Just being able to get outside improves my mood tenfold. I love the smell of fresh air and being close to nature.
5. Call up a friend.
I am so fortunate to have the people that I do in my life. I’ve got such a solid group of friends that I know that I can call up whenever I am feeling down. Being able to just grab coffee with my friends or go for a walk on the beach with them boosts my mood instantly. Most of my friends are well aware of the things that I struggle with so being able to authentically be who I am, having a safe space, is so important and I can trust them with that. I also have an amazing boyfriend, who is my best friend, that I can go to for anything.
Now, these tips aren’t the solution to everything but I think they are a pretty good place to start when struggling with the winter blues.