Winter is here once again and so are the blues. The temptation to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary movement is very strong. Everywhere you look, there is gloom. The weather accentuates your feelings of misery and enslavement to your small space. You long for the day the sun will shine again. Is there a way to lift your spirits before then?
How can you overcome the overwhelming depression that often hits you during this gloomy season? This is the time that sleep takes a flight because you feel very cold. Many people are also lethargic and are not ready to venture outdoors. Did you also know that you are likely to overeat during winter? Perhaps it is because there is little activity and you spend much time indoors. You probably know someone who becomes irritable during winter; this is a symptom of winter blues. Winter is the time that you also feel like not socialising.
There are several strategies you can use to lift the gloom and actually enjoy winter instead of enduring it.
Avoid Passive Life
Winter will nudge you to remain indoors but you need to avoid this temptation if you are to fight off the gloom. I am not saying that you should remain in your house as I am against locking yourself inside the entire day. Rather, dress in warm clothing as winter demands and give your muscles some walking workout. This will remove the strain from your legs, give you some exercise, refresh your brain and lift the gloom off your face. Yes, you can take a walk in winter and actually enjoy it.
Get Fresh Air
Just as with taking a walk, you need fresh air. The air inside your house can get contaminated. You need to move out and absorb fresh air outdoors. This you can do especially when it’s brighter outside or during midday when there is a little warmth. You will also do your body a favour if you sit near windows where you can see what is happening outside. There is still a lot of excitement and life outside your house and you need not lose touch with nature simply because of winter.
Watch Your Diet
One of the best strategies to keep off the blues during winter is to eat well. Invest in a balanced diet. A well-fed person is able to overcome the extreme cold that is associated with winter. Avoid junk food and eat healthy, natural and fresh food. Look for the foods that are in season during winter. For example, incorporate sweet potatoes, lentils, onions, leafy vegetables, oranges, ginger and so on in your diet. Take lots of warm water as well as teas, coffees and soups as they will help you meet your daily fluid requirements easily.
As the temperatures dip in winter, so do moods. Depression and irritability result from such situations, not to mention illnesses such as asthma, the common cold and pneumonia. You cannot afford to suffer from any illness during this gloomy time. You need to keep your body warm at all times. Choose warm clothing; eat warm food and drink warm beverages. Make sure there is a system to regulate temperature in your house, particularly to safely keep you warm. Do not venture outdoors in light clothing even when your body seems to have no problem with your actions.
Let The Light In
Winter has a way of keeping away natural light at times. Sometimes you cannot tell whether it is night or day. Having gathered enough provisions and remained indoors, you may begin to lose acquaintance with natural light. Whenever you have the opportunity, let natural light into your house. Make sure the lights in your house are working and keep them working for as long as possible. You may want to invest in a light box which will offer an alternative to natural light especially on the days when winter is at its peak.
I know you may not have a gym in your house, but you can improvise. You need to stretch out your body as much as possible. Create space in your living room or bedroom and practice yoga, for example. Use your furniture for support. Get a mat or stretch out on your bed. Get a skipping rope and use it every day. Many of the lighter gym equipment are also easily available and affordable. Use the internet to learn new ways of exercising. Apart from keeping you warm, working out will ensure your blood is flowing optimally and that you avoid winter illnesses.
Build And Maintain A Social Network
Don’t live alone during winter. Even if you are forced to live alone, keep your communication lines open. People need your help and you need to help them too. Mental blues have a way of compromising the mental health of some people. Keeping close to family and friends will ensure you can face winter blues together. Go out and meet friends in social events. Don’t lock yourself in because this makes you vulnerable.
If you have any other tips, or any secret practice that you know works for you we would love to hear about it! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_
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