In the dark, cold, post-holiday-bliss days of winter in not-so-sunny New Jersey, I sit and type and wonder WHY? Why do I feel so blah? So tired? Lethargic? Angsty? Irritable? And then (after warning him of my mood) my husband reminds me, “Might be those Winter Blues.”
Oh, is he right! I am a self-proclaimed Beach Bum, who thrives on sunshine, warm weather, sun-kissed skin, salty hair, and would prefer to embarrassingly sweat through every article of clothing than to be cold. So, therefore, the long, dark days of winter really bum me out. Along with 5 percent of the US population, 4 out of 5 women, and that is onset during ones 20s to 30s .
Thankfully, there are studies and lists and medical help for those who suffer from Season Affective Disorder and for those of us who experience The Blues. This Time article (originally featured in Real Simple) highlights 8 scientifically-backed options to combat the winter doldrums:
- SWEAT A DAY: 30 minutes a day ladies and gents
- Break it up into small chunks of time throughout your day
- Make it something you do with friends, colleagues, and family. The benefits of daily exercise DRASTICALLY outweigh the negatives.
- Eat healthily
- Fruits, veggies and chocolate are on the scientifically-backed list = Winter WIN.
- Invest in a light box to brighten up your environment
- Invest in a dawn simulator for your AM wake-ups
- I have a love/hate relationship with mine…something about alarm clocks in general…
- Play peppy music
- Plan a vacation
- Looking forward to something helps in the positivity department
- Even on a budget!
- Help others
- Volunteer in your community
- Schedule visits with family and loved ones
- Get outside
Finally, I hope it helps to know that you aren’t the only one experiencing these blues! Soon enough, the sun will shine, the temperature will rise, our moods will improve, and our sun-kissed skin will return!
Until then, reach out to others and to me with:
- your best jokes – the cornier, the better
- comedic movies or shows
- your favorite songs of the moment
- make plans to eat, drink, and be merry
- walk and workout with a friend
- enjoy the warmth of the fires
- the scents in the air
- cuddles under soft blankets
- get comfortable with some hot cocoa and tea
- hot soups – share your recipes!
- good books
- learn something new – knitting, dance moves, a new language, how to solve that Rubix Cube!
- embrace the delicate blanket of freshly fallen snow
- share your smiles, warm hearts, and beautiful souls