Beating The Winter Blues

After I published yesterday’s post, it dawned on me that I might be experiencing the start of what some may call “The January Blues.” (For some, that feeling may last all winter). I’ve never been a fan of this particular month; Christmas has come and gone, it’s still cold out, and at some point the beautiful winter scenery turns to mud and slush. It’s the month that a lot of the time leaves me going “now what?” As I’m typing this, I’ve begun to come up with some tips to keep one from feeling down in the dumps all the time. 

#1: Try Something New-There are a million different things to do and hobbies to get involved in, and chances are you’ve only done half of it. If there’s something you’ve been dying to try, quit making excuses (the “I have no time” has become a bunch of BS to me…make time) and go do it! I’ve been wanting to learn how to actually cook for the longest time; last night I started with baked ranch chicken, some rice and mixed veggies. Granted, I had to have a little help…but it’s a start!

#2: Use Technology Sparingly: as I point out in one of my blogs from awhile ago (you can read it here), technology can be both a blessing and a curse. When I say use technology sparingly, I mean the TV, cell phone, and internet. As much as Facebook and texting both help me stay connected with friends and family members, it’s begun to piss me off alot. (I’m just getting this off my chest when I say how much I hate it when people post where they’re going or who they are with: not only is it annoying, but it’s not the safest thing to do).  And I know deep down that it happens to a lot of people: one logs onto Facebook in hopes of seeing that little red notification box indicating that they either have a new message or wall post, and there is nothing. One sends out a text message to either one specific person or a multitude of persons and then they find themselves literally waiting for hours just to hear back from someone. 

I speak truthfully from experience when I say that when neither happens, it can become beyond frustrating. Eventually you start to have doubts about whether or not certain people actually care about you or whether or not they want to spend time with you. In reality, it may or may not even be about you: there are friends of mine that don’t technically have a winter break; they have full time jobs and have to support themselves. Along with that, cell phones break or go dead, and there are times when a person has no control over that. They have their own lives to live, and as hard as that is to do, one should at least try to be understanding of that. 

I’m not saying to avoid it completely; instead, set a designated time when you’re going to use the computer (for me, it’s once in the morning and sometimes at night) and stick to it. Try to make all your phone calls and send out text messages at a specific time as well. Even more than that, skip the texting and just call the person; it helps to have more interaction then just looking at words on a screen. On the other hand, I do know that there are people that prefer texting over calling; but one a friend calls you up and needs to talk, do your best to put your feelings aside and let them vent. That friend may need you more than you know..

#3: Exercise-Physical activity can do so much; you build strength and endurance, give you more energy, and just ultimately put you in a good mood. I’ve started going to my local health club at least once a day; but not everyone enjoys the same old treadmill or weights; instead, do what you’re comfortable with. Play a sport, go rock climbing, practice yoga, etc. It’s a heck of a lot better than sitting on your butt doing nothing. 

#4: Get Into A Routine: It helps me to know when I’m doing something and for how long. I’m a morning person, so I usually like to get up before noon and get going: I drink my coffee and watch General Hospital (yeah yeah, go ahead and laugh), eat a light breakfast, do what I need to do on the computer, go work out, shower, and if I don’t have plans for the evening, I just chill. The key thing about a routine is to stick with it as much as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if you break it at times. I do occasionally stay up late when I’m out with friends and sleep in the next morning. I have lazy days. You need to do those things every once and awhile. 

#5: Don’t Be Afraid to Let it Out-Let’s face it; being happy every single day doesn’t work. For some people, it’s easy to act like everything is OK when they’re screaming inside. But we all go through trials and  difficult times. It’s important to surround yourself with people that will allow you to vent or cry when you need to; the key thing is not to do it all the time. If you have a problem, talk about it once and than move on. The less you focus on it, more than likely it won’t become as big of a deal in your life. Write about. Pray. Whatever you do, don’t hold it in. 

Putting these tips into practice (I will most definitely include myself in this) is easier said than done. However, I do hope that it makes anyone feeling down and out during what I’ve come to call the “blahh” season a bit better. Just take it a day at a time. For me personally, that is the difficult part because I’m not always patient and am more of a planner than spontaneous. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.

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