I have the winter blues, and I’m not alone. I bet you’re having some difficulty facing dead of winter for three more months. The most wonderful time of the year is over. For many people, the parties, homecoming, the gifts were all great. For others, it was a sad, maybe even lonely, time. For me, my routine was disturbed and left me disorganized. I don’t feel as sharp as I was before. Here’s what happened.
Winter blues resulted from the holiday hurricane
- Holiday “taking it easy” turned into laziness, and I didn’t see a gym in weeks
- I was “this” close to being a pescatarian before Thanksgiving, and now I’m in a meat relapse.
- Missing a regular recovery schedule of meetings and mentoring destabilized me and made me feel wonky.
- Having a nice holiday left me with a bit of wanderlust, and now I don’t want to go back to work.
- A relapse in anxiety over income and finances came over me because of gift-giving to others.
This is where recovery resources can help you…well, recover
Let’s face it. Life changes around the seasons. Schedule changes and expectations and disappointments are going to happen in every season. How do you refocus and get back on track? For me, learning how to structure my life around basic recovery principles was a life-changing experience. Taking my cues from the experts over 20 years motivated me to write 100 Tips For Growing Up. The tips are so simple I keep returning to them. They keep me reminded of the things I need to do to stay focused and healthy. Here are five ways to bounce back from the winter blues.
Feel your feelings
It’s OK to feel bummed. It usually passes, but if a feeling of misery lingers, talk to trusted friends family, and advisors so you don’t feel alone with sadness or depression. Try to feel nurtured by the things you care about. Journaling can help. Let out your feelings on paper and that will help neutralize them. Sometimes nature, TV, or any other kind of get out of your head activity can boost your mood too.
Eat healthy again
There was a dish of candy in every business since Halloween, and all the following months of cake, rich food, parties and indulgence might just have put on a few pounds. That can hurt your feelings as well as your body. Do you feel sluggish and lazy? Hey, you’re not alone with this, either.
Solution: Start shopping the outside of the grocery story where the vegetables and fresh foods are. Have a banana and apple a day, a yogurt in place of a muffin. Your energy will come back when you pare down the treats.
Be kind to yourself
If all you did was make a pot of coffee today, congratulate yourself on that incredible task. Now is not the moment to chastise ourselves over having a good time, or having a bad one. It’s time to get motivated and feel good for a new year.
Don’t watch the news
I’m the first to say how important it is to stay informed but personally, I can’t take another picture of a burned koala, sick migrant child, or war scare. This does not mean I don’t care. To the contrary, I care so much my day is disrupted by these images. They make me feel sick and cry and it’s hard to refocus. For me, right now, self-care is limiting how much doom I see. I can send money. That’s the only thing I can do so torturing myself isn’t helpful.
A friendlier season will be here soon. You can meditate, start walking around the block more. And feel okay that you’re doing your best. Remember what the Dalai Lama said. “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.” So, go forth in peace and heal, restore, tell your story, and love as much as you can. It will make you feel better.