Blah. The sun is gone, the air is cold, the wind is ugly and there’s not even snow on the ground to make it all seem worthwhile. My figure does not look good in a bulky winter coat, hats do not become me. When I have to wear thick socks, my right foot will barely fit in my shoe, which then pinches me all day. There are no more flowers in the garden, no twinkly lights strung on the gutters.
I could go on and on like this for hours. There are a bunch of reasons why I just sort of get blah this time of year. I’ve met a lot of people with the same problem, but with much better excuses – like a loved one passed away this time of year long ago, or their finances have been drained by the holidays, parking tickets, and/or increased heating costs. I don’t have any really good reasons like those. I just kinda don’t like the winter blah.
I’ve gathered a lot of suggestions over the years and a few have worked, and a bunch have not. Share whatever tips you have that work, too. There are people out there dealing with even more severe forms like SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, that might benefit from your idea. This is what I like:
1) Get out. I mean, really Get Out. I usually have no interest in getting out at this time of year. I sometimes assign my good friend to come over and harass me to get out. It actually works because I always feel guilty for delegating the task, so I cooperate. There are some cool places to visit even in the winter: Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville (or DC, or Alexandria) provides wi-fi, comfortable seating options, cozy caffeinated beverages, and performance events occasionally. Nearby is Franklin’s old-fashioned toy & gift shop
which is just a good time no matter what. In and all around DC there are cool museums for nearly every possible interest you could dream up, the indoor National Botanic Gardens next to the Capitol is full of oxygen, light and greenery (dress in layers, it gets a bit humid) ~ and its just awesome for a day of renewal.
2) Good fats. The omega 3 in salmon, flax seed oil, and other nutritional oils helps your mood and brain function. It also displaces a bit of the bad fats in your diet (scale back on bad fats as best you can anyway), helps keep your skin from drying up like a falafel chip, keeps your heart pumping, and helps support healthy eye function. There have been multiple published studies on the benefits of omega 3 on mood. If you buy an omega 3 supplement, get a good, clean source; don’t by a junk brand that could be rancid inside the pill.
3) Blog. Express your self: your disappointment, your woes, your joys, your interests. You’ll feel a little better. Blogging doesn’t require any great aptitude, just spill it out. You can be entirely anonymous if you want. The self reflection looking back on it later in the year will surprise you.
4) Exercise. I am not interested, when I’m blah, in heading out to the sweaty, greasy gym or out into the nasty cold to exercise this time of year. I do love my recumbent stationary bike ($170 on overstock with just $3 shipping), though, and a pilates video or two. In at least one study, exercise has been shown to be as effective as some medications in benefiting mood problems (do not discontinue medications without the advice of your doctor). See #1 for other options like walking around Botanic Gardens and climbing the stairs to their catwalk.
5) Twitter. Everyone loves to hate twitter. But twitter is fun, its an inside circle of the social media world that is much more low-key than facebook. Imagine it this way: Who are 10 people in this world that you greatly admire, or that make you laugh? Imagine if you could see what they were reading about every day. You can choose to read it too, or ignore it, whatever, nobody cares what you do or don’t do. That’s twitter. Well, its actually better than that but it can’t be explained. In fact, send your first tweet to @momsorganicmrkt and we’ll say Hi.
6) Vitamins D and B complex. Sunshine, energy and stress relief. These vitamins govern all that’s good in the universe of You. Seriously. Don’t be shy, basically every human needs them nowadays. Take them during the day, with food.
6) Stay in. But, stay in with intention. Make cookies or a stew and invite over a friend for a movie. Make snowflake ornaments. Groom & snuggle your cat. Or you could even start a tradition – get a group of friends to host a winter card game tournament, rotating homes.
7) Take your own advice. If you had a loved one that was sad and gloomy right now, what would you tell them? It might just help you, too, which reminds me – I’m outta here, I’ve got cookies to bake.
PS – a spa evening never hurts… even if its at home. Choose citrus and other uplifting aromatherapy.
Alyssa works in multiple MOMs locations.