The holidays are over, the company has gone away, and it's grey. All the time. It's the middle of winter and you know that spring isn't coming anytime soon. You start to feel yourself slipping into a funk. Or the winter blues.
Does this sound like you? It was for me last January. I was also newly pregnant and so tired. I slept a lot and felt so blah. But how can you change it? At some point last winter I decided enough was enough, I was going to enjoy winter and climb out of my funk. I know here in the UP, so many of us get the winter blues, so I wanted to let you know what helped for me.
5 ways to beat the winter blues:
1. Up your Vitamin D
You may have heard this, but this is so important. In fact, according to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient. What?! Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to so many things including getting sick, feeling tired, or even muscle pain (1). Especially here in the UP, we don't get nearly enough sun, so most of the the time, if we don't take a supplement, we are deficient. Even in the summer, most of us are just digging ourselves out of a hole, and when we finally are getting to better numbers, fall hits. Even if you are taking a multivitamin, add Vitamin D to that as well. There isn't enough in your supplement alone. When I upped my Vitamin D intake significantly, the change was amazing. I felt so much happier, and had a much better outlook on life. As far as how much, I personally take 5,000iu per day. But, I cannot prescribe or diagnose, so if you have any questions, ask your doctor or medical provider. Another note: make sure it is Vitamin D3 that you are taking.
2. Get outside!
Just because it's cold doesn't mean you can't get outside! In fact, you will warm up once you start moving. Every time I get outside I wonder why I don't do it more often. I tend to hang out indoors a lot, but getting out is awesome. Some of my favorite activities are snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and walking. Plus, getting exercise will release those endorphins- your bodies natural feel-good hormones! Win-win!
3. Take a Self-Care Day
Have you ever gotten a babysitter and gone out alone for a few hours? For me, these days look like getting a massage, then sitting down for lunch, getting a coffee and even running a few errands. Even just a couple hours is makes a world of difference. Think about it, you just stretched yourself with the holidays taking care of everyone else, running around, baking/cooking extra. No wonder you're worn out! You deserve an afternoon to yourself to reset after all of that craziness. When I do this for myself, I come back singing a tune, happy as can be, relaxed and a MUCH more patient mom. (And I don't even notice those grey skies).
4. Reset your Nutrition
Over the past few years I have slowly been eating healthier. This fall, I cut out corn, eggs and most dairy for Ethan (he was a MUCH happier baby when I did). Because I did that, my belly wasn't bloated, I had energy, and my head was clear. Are you noticing the "was"? Yeah, over the holidays, I realized that I can eat those things again and Ethan has outgrown those sensitivities. The problem is, those foods actually effect my body. The bloating is back, and I am more sluggish. I am currently considering a January Whole 30. (Anyone want to join me?!) But I know so many people feel this way after the holidays! But don't judge yourself for eating badly. You probably enjoyed it! I know I did. Instead, I am going to refocus on eating well. Eating well helps so much with energy, anxiety, and my clear head. So yes it will make a difference if you have the winter blues.
5. Get together with friends
This is huge for me. Whether it's during the day with my kids or in the evening without, I need a social life. Days can go by where I work, take care of the kids, husband and home, and I wonder, when was the last time I saw my friends? Friends are great for getting me laughing and knowing that I'm not alone. Friends have the same effect on me as a day out alone. I come home peppy and full of energy (I may be a little extroverted 😄). Plus, a day out in the middle of the week makes the week speed by! And the good energy just keeps me going. A great visit, knowing you're not alone, worn out kids, is a recipe for a happy ride home and long naps.
So what do you think? Will you try some of these?
Let me know your tips too! Winter can be hard, but let’s make it better and try to even enjoy it!
Best of Health,