As I sat down to write this post it started to snow. Again. Yes it’s Iowa. Yes it’s Winter. I know all of this. I’ve known it my whole life. The problem is the Winter Blues are real. January and February feel like the longest months of the year. Even if we don’t get record amounts of snow, there is still the cold. Being stuck inside, long periods of darkness, and little to no social activities really drags a person down. Even someone without depression starts to feel the Winter Blues about this time of year.
Here are some of my best tips to surviving this time of year.
1. Open the blinds or curtains! Sounds super simple but with the cost to heat a home many people leave the blinds and curtains closed to protect the windows, or add that extra cold barrier. My suggestion is to invest in the clear plastic window wraps! Not only will it insulate your windows to conserve heat but it also allows you to open the blinds or shades and get as much of that natural sunlight as possible! Lack of sunlight is a big part of winter blues and depression. Open those windows and let in the light.
2. Check your vitamin D level. This goes along with number 1. Vitamin D is essential to our bodies, especially depression. Go get your levels checked, you might need to start taking daily vitamin D during the winter months. I take it year round, and sometimes up my dose in the winter. Daily vitamins are a great idea , but sometimes they don’t provide enough vitamin D specifically.
3. Take a vacation! Get out of the artic tundra and get to a beach. Obviously not everyone can do this every year, myself included, but if you can it’s a great idea. Gives you something to look forward to and gets you out of the tundra for at least a few days. If you’re like me and a vacation is out of the question, see number 4.
4. Plan a trip you aren’t taking. I can sit for hours and research vacation ideas, plan trips I’m not taking, and scroll Pinterest for ideas. It’s a great way to keep the mind busy and think positive warm thoughts. You can also make it a goal to get there eventually!
5. Cleaning and Organizing the house! If you’re going to be stuck in the house, at least get off the couch and get some work done. Make a list at the beginning of winter. Tasks you want to complete around the house. Painting, organizing, decluttering, whatever makes you feel better about the house you’re trapped in!
6. Get outside. I know it’s cold, I know it hurts your cheeks, and breathing is less than fun (ouch) but get outside. Even if it’s just a few minutes. Bundle up, get outside, and get some fresh air in your lungs.
7. Take advantage of days that aren’t as bad. I know it’s still COLD, lol, but on days the snow and ice are missing, get out and make plans. Find that friend or family member that can make last minute plans. We all know the weather is unpredictable this time of year so make pplans often, in hopes of getting to actually getting to do them 2 out of 10 times. Haha. No really, the forecast is 20-90% chance of 1-27 inches of snow, starting in the next 24 hours. Could be 2am could be 8pm. We don’t know.
8. Plan a movie marathon full of tropical movies! Anything with warm weather, boats, sand, and sun! Some of my favorites: Captain Ron, 50 First Dates, Moana, The Sandlot, Fools Gold, and not tropical but still a funny vacation movie, The Great Outdoors! Cook up some warm weather treats and sip a tropical drink and enjoy!
9. Keep the kids busy. Get on Pinterest and find some easy kids crafts or activities. Make some slime, finger paint, or learn to crochet. Sitting on the couch watching tv will not keep your mind busy. Keep your hands and brain working with different activities.
10. Get yourself some indoor plants. It may be white and dreary outside, but inside you can have some green! Plants not only make it look like spring but they also help clean the air in your house! Another good way to clean the air is an air purifier. If you don’t want the plant, get the air purifier. Keeps the air circulating and keeps it from getting stuffy.
None of these are revolutionary, but they are helpful. Warm thoughts and summer vibes!