If you’re like me seasonal blues is something that creeps it’s ugly head up around this time of year and sticks around until it’s time to do the spring cleaning. I also had a baby three months ago, so this year my seasonal blues is also dipped in the hormonal ups and downs of postpartum depression. The why’s of feeling blue don’t matter too much, but there are things you can do to help pull you out. Lots of people including myself would like to try things to help fight the winter blues naturally before resorting to medication. Please note…I’m not talking chronic depression here. That should be treated by a medical professional, and I am not one of those.
Here are some of the things I do to help lift my spirits during the darker time of the year.
1. Hire a house cleaner and get the house cleaned. Clutter is depressing and overwhelming. If you’re already not in a good mental space it can be overwhelming to look in a room that needs a thorough cleaning. I’ve found if you hire someone who runs their own company they may be willing to even help you organize and pick up clutter. People who know me well can almost tell by walking into my house if I’m in a good mental place (or just busy). A clean home takes some of the pressure off.
2. Go to the gym and get that seratonin rush. This is probably one of the best ways to feel better, exercise is the gift that keeps on giving. You won’t want to go, specially if you haven’t started the habit yet. Once you are finished your energy level will increase and you will simply feel better. It doesn’t have to be a hard work out either. Go walk a mile..just make it a fast walk, not a leisurely stroll.
3. Call a girl friend and be honest. Tell them you’re feeling crappy. Chose the right friend to talk to though, one who will understand and tell you things that worked for them. At minimum they’ll give you an understanding ear. Take it one step further. Go out for coffee, or lunch. If you have no one to call, you could call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They will listen, even if it’s not an emergency.
4. Get a hair cut. This is all about feeling good about yourself. Sporting a new do, or trimming up your favorite style can be uplifting. One of my favorites is to add fun colors to your hair. Ever try it? They’re temporary, get your favorite color and get a peekaboo highlight. It’s so fun!
5. Go shopping. Again, this is all about feeling good about yourself. Don’t have time to go out shopping. Shop online! Better yet, have someone do the shopping for you. Subscribe to a service like Stitch Fix. I have them deliver a shipment monthly. It’s all the clothes shopping I do all month, and I get cute things stuff that’s picked out for me. Talk about feeling good about yourself!
6. Put on some really cute clothes. Notice a “feeling good about yourself pattern yet?” Being a homeschooling, stay at home mom there are definitely days where I don’t get out of my yoga pants. Those days are more depressing than days when I get dressed, do my hair, put on some makeup and just overall invest in my appearance. I do it for no one but myself, and it makes me feel better.
6. Start a blog. My journey blogging was born out of depression. I started blogging YEARS ago as a way for me to reach out to people. I am a social person by nature and interacting with people even if it’s just online helps lift my spirits. It also helps me use up some creative energy.
7. Comfort Foods. This doesn’t have to come with guilt. Some great soup, or some roasted veggies can bring you comfort with out bringing the “omg I can’t believe I just ate that guilt.” Think carefully and eat carefully so your choices don’t bring you back down after.
8. Enjoy the spa treatment. A nice warm bath with epsom salt. Epsom salt baths help replenish magnesium, and combined with essential oils can help you sleep. My favorite mix is to use dōTERRA’s Citrus Bliss, Elevation and Lavender..either mix it prior with the salt, or drop them directly in the bath. You can email me directly about purchasing these oils (I love talking oils!) or you purchase them directly from me here.
9. Get creative. I spoke of creative energy in #6, but this is different. Paint something, decorate, sew, knit, draw…make something beautiful. A sense of accomplishment with a finished project can really pick you up. It also keeps your mind busy so it doesn’t creep to darker places.
10. Go volunteer. If loneliness is a trigger for your depression, consider volunteering. Think about what you enjoy and go with it. Helping people? Try a food bank, or a homeless shelter. Love books? Lots of libraries can use extra hands to help stock shelves or read to children. Need more of a commitment with lots of physical activity? What about being a volunteer fire fighter, or feeding the animals at your local zoo or aquarium. The possibilities are endless.
Winter Berries: Barbara Freidman
Jogging: E. Campbell
Winter Wonderland: Thomas