Becky’s blog: Three tips for weathering the winterApril 28, 2015
By Becky MacLean
I meant to write this post last month while we were still in the throes of winter, when beating the winter blues was much more applicable, but I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to thwart the winter blues. With the onset of spring at the end of the week, I find I am slowing down enough to get it done.
I haven’t always needed strategies for beating the winter blues. As a kid, I remember winter being like any other season, just colder and with different activities available like sledding, snow angels, skating and such.
The last few years have been different, I didn’t notice it at first. The slight slump in mood, staying in more, the sleepiness and sloth of being stagnant and isolated crept in like a creature undetected in the night. The first couple of years I wasn’t aware of its presence until I started to feel its absence in the onset of better days and better weather. With my new-found awareness I began to think of strategies for beating these blues. I’d like to share my top three strategies.
#1 Avoid isolation
It’s easy to makes excuses to stay home and hibernate when the winter weather really kicks in. This means inviting people over if you can’t get of the house, and getting out of the house if you can. Time spent with others will help fill your spirits. Even if you’re an introvert spending time with others can be really uplifting, you just have to be choosy about the people, and aim for friends and family that aren’t going to drain you. If you are an introvert and really don’t feel you can spare the energy to be around people, getting out of the house and going for a walk, a drive, or a bus ride can be enough to break the monotony of being a homebody.
#2 Eat well
Good food feeds my body and my soul. It is one of my favorite things to do for self-care. I find it comforting to be in my kitchen preparing something for myself or friends. I throw on some tunes, brew some tea, pet the kitty, and go for it. This winter I learned how to make a better broth, and really enjoyed spending a day simmering stock and making soup. If time doesn’t allow you the leisure of spending a day preparing something, then perhaps planning to have easy eats like fruits and salads, or spending an evening prepping ingredients for use throughout the week would work for you. This strategy really sings to me as a food enthusiast, and because it works really well in conjunction with avoiding isolation. I love finding time to share food with friends and family. I’m really fortunate because I live with friends, and frequently find the time to eat with them.
#3 Keeping active
This strategy has played out much better this year than in others. By which I mean to say, this year I have actually kept active when in prior years I merely thought about it. Keeping active looks different to everybody. Everybody has different interests and abilities, so test the waters find stuff that works for you. I tried winter biking for the first time this year. I biked throughout December and January. I didn’t have my bike prepared for the inclement weather, so I gave it up when the snow stuck around too much. I also took to walking when the weather was nice enough. I’m not a gym person so outside things suit me, and dancing. I like to dance at home by myself, or with whomever cares to join. I’ll dance in my room, in the kitchen, in my friend’s room, in my friend’s kitchen, at a show or friend’s DJ set, the side of road, anywhere will do! Skating and sledding are also great, and this is the best time of year to do them.
There are other things I do to mix it up and add to strategies. If the winter blues get you, too, I hope this gives you some insight or direction. For me, these strategies have been a source of power. Thank you for sharing in them with me.