Surviving Seasonal Depression: 6 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

I normally dread winter. DREAD IT. After Christmas and my birthday I am done with winter and I am ready to hop back into a T-shirt and celebrate spring. I am telling you right now, the only thing more than being cooped up in a house for winter is being cooped up in a house with a two year old that has just figured out she has an opinion…and that opinion is almost always the exact opposite of what yours is…and it always contains some form of “NO!” or “DATS MINE!”

Fun times this winter season! Anyways…

The Mayo Clinic describes Seasonal Affective Disorder as follows, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons β€” SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

(Sidenote here: I just think it is hilarious that the abbreviation is SAD. They really outdid themselves naming this issue.)

Every fall I start to prepare for the winter months. If I am being real, I low-key freak out for weeks as the temperature starts to drop because I just know that I will start getting in a funk sooner rather than later. Well, to my pleasant surprise this winter has been a lot different so I comprised a list for you all to hopefully combat the winter blues too! These little things have helped me enjoy winter a little more and I hope they help you too.

  1. Do One Thing a Week That You Genuinely Look Forward To Now if you can fit in more than one thing great for you, but if you are like me and you can not physically squeeze one more thing on to your schedule without your mind exploding…seriously, focus on the one. The routine and the excitement of just this one little added bonus to my life has made all the difference, I swear. Every Wednesday my two year old and I meet my friend/cousin/Kady for doughnuts and walk on over to Playgroup. (If you are in the Hampton Roads area check out the Healthy Families Playgroup in Downtown Hampton. It is a one stop shop for your sanity.) All week I count down the days until our Wednesday morning ritual. It’s fun. We see our people and it wears the kids out, what more could you want?
  2. Find Yourself a Friend So, when I was thinking about what has helped me this winter versus all the other winters of my life this one really has stuck out. Surrounding yourself with people who will help you, uplift you when you need it, and all in all are just there when you need it most is so important. I just have to reiterate here how life giving coffee with a friend once a week is or how having a friend to text and say, “TODAY IS HARD” is all the release you need some days.
  3. Get Yourself a HappyLight These weird little things are like a miracle in a box. You just turn it on and sit in front of it for ten minutes or so like a little plant. It helps with energy, mood, and just overall uplifts you. I like to turn mine one when I am drinking my coffee in the mornings or when I am getting ready. You can find them here(And no I do not get paid for this I just think they are super neat.)
  4. Get Off Your Phone I could write a whole blog post on just this. I probably will one of these days, but this has seriously been a game changer. Take a break off social media if you need it. Focus on what is right in front of you and ask God for new eyes to see everything more clearly. When I am on my phone I find myself comparing…a lot. When I peel my eyes off my screen and actually look at what I do have everything else automatically looks brighter, and once again I reiterate, ASK GOD GIVE YOU NEW EYES! This simple prayer has greatly changed how I see my marriage, my kids, my life in general just by taking a step back and looking at what is actually going right instead of always looking at what is going wrong.
  5. Work with the Winter I am very goal oriented and being a stay-at-home mom means I have either got to make up some goals or I am going to be really bored playing playdoh day after day. A few months ago I decided I wanted to get back into running…Once again, it is winter. So instead I started a 30 day exercise challenge on Youtube with my mom. We check in with each other everyday for accountability and It is something I really look forward to. I also made it a goal to read more. For awhile I had gotten in the habit of binge watching Netflix when the baby napped or after the kids went to bed. Someday we can all use a little Netflix binge but I was staying up entirely too late watching movies that I was waking up more tired than when I went to bed. Give your eyes a break, make yourself some sleepytime tea, and dive headfirst into a good book. You will thank me later.
  6. Go easy on yourself. Seriously, you will have hard days. It is important to remember you are doing better than you think. Winter is just hard to work with sometimes. You will do better tomorrow and you will survive this too. xx

If you have any tips on surviving the colder months leave a comment below! I would love to know your tips on surviving the chilly abyss that is winter. πŸ˜ͺ

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