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While I’m not a huge fan of the cold weather and the dry skin that is bound to follow, I’ve always been a lover of winter time. Cuddling up in a warm blanket and drinking hot coffee while snow falls delicately outside is like a scene from a movie. This being said; a lot of people, including myself, have struggles with anxiety and sadness during this time of year. Whether it is due to financial issues, family struggles, or just feeling down, the holidays aren’t always a time for joy and happiness.
While some of us just feel a little down, a reason for the grin not coming around could be due to seasonal affective disorder. This usually occurs around the fall season and likes to stick its ugly head out throughout the winter season. This can be caused by simple time change that makes our days a little darker; causing a gloom to hover over our heads.
If you have seasonal affective disorder I would always suggest seeing a professional who can help get you through tough times. There is no shame in needing help and SAD is nothing to feel guilty about. I myself struggle with heightened anxiety throughout the months and, while I don’t have it as bad as some, I have found certain things that have helped immensely in getting rid of the gloom. Even if you don’t get the blues, these tips are still a great way to pep up your step and feel better about yourself whenever you might be feeling down.
I’m not saying you need to go out and lift weights for an hour straight. While it has been proven that exercise can boost your mood a lot of people see that word and have an inner groan (guilty as charged). Don’t think of it as "exercising" so much as moving around. Whenever you are sick and lie around the house for days on end we always get a little down. This is because we aren’t using our muscles as much or getting our blood pumping. Even if you don’t want to go to the gym or walk in freezing temperatures, you can still move.
I love blasting music while folding laundry or working on little chores around the house. I’ll shimmy and shake to the upbeat songs and it always puts me in a slightly better mood than before. Make a playlist of your favorite songs or catchy tunes from the radio and dance around the house when you are doing little chores. Want to leave the house? Go to your nearest mall outlet and just walk around the perimeter. This gets you out and moving without being in the freezing weather (or purchasing a membership to a gym).
2. Treat Yourself
Seems simple right? Yet, a lot of us put ourselves on the wayside when it comes to important things. Overworking yourself and constantly putting others before you isn’t necessarily a bad thing! However, we should always take a little time for ourselves in the process, otherwise we burn out way too fast. Be a little selfish from time to time (it’s okay)! Go see a movie, soak in a bubble bath, get your hair done, take a girls trip. Whatever you enjoy doing, go out and do it. Taking care of your soul will help you in more ways than one. I find giving myself one day to do things for myself, rejuvenating and enlightening.
3. Eat Healthy
Ever have a night where you binge on junk food? The next day you are filled with regret and your stomach usually punishes you for hours after. I have a bad sweet tooth for, well, everything sweet! That being said I’ve been trying to find healthier alternatives to binge on that don’t leave my stomach in knots. When you treat your body with love it will return the favor.
While I love myself a good burger (and that’s okay!), I’ve noticed when I turn to strawberries over Twinkies it not only satisfies that sugar craving, but in turn, I feel better. Healthier food is easier to process for the body, boosts metabolism, and doesn’t give you an energy dump that leaves you in a slump (and it rhymes).
4. Dress to Impress
When I dress for myself I always feel good in my own skin. “I’ll buy cute clothes when I lose a few pounds.” I hear this a lot from friends and family and it always make me a little sad. While it is good to give yourself a reward for reaching a goal you should always feel good in your skin no matter what size you are. We all have insecurities that we struggle with but it is important to love ourselves. Confidence is the sexiest thing we can wear. I might not be at the perfect weight I want to be but I still go out and find clothes that make me feel great with the body I have.
You are beautiful no matter what size, shape, or color. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your inner goddess!
5. Reach Out
It is normal that when we aren’t feeling the best we close ourselves off to our friends and family. We might think this keeps the burden on only us alone, but that is not the case. When I’m feeling down I have a habit of not going out or not being as talkative; something my mother can always tell right away. In turn, this puts her in a gloomy state because she worries why I’m not feeling the best.
Your friends and family love you just as you love them. Keeping your feelings enclosed won’t help you or them. You know the term "fake it till you make it?" In some instances this truly does help out. When you aren’t feeling that well call a friend, talk about it, and then force yourself to go do something with them. Sometimes a good talk with a friend and a fake smile can help push the gloom aside.
We all get ups and downs in life; it is inevitable. Just know that you are not alone. Whether it be through writing, a friend, a professional, or running it off; find a channel that helps you move through the gloom to the other side.