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How to Beat the Winter Blues

So many people get the winter blues. The abundance of darkness, the cold, and snow or ice keep many people feeling trapped in their homes. Feelings of isolation and loneliness cause some of us to develop a case of the “Winter Blues”. Thanks to the pandemic, many people have felt this way for the entire year, rather than the three months of winter. Verywellmind.com is the source of most of these suggestions, below. Others are tips and tricks I use, myself. (link to post: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-beat-the-winter-blues-5087998)

Do something kind for someone else.
Bake treats and place them by the door of someone else who may need a pick me up. Making others happy is an immediate mood booster for both the giver and the recipient.

Send an actual letter.
Write real letters or even a postcard, to family, friends, or neighbors. It’s easy to feel forgotten when you’re isolated at home. Who wouldn’t love to find a real letter, from a loved one or friend, instead of just bills and flyers in their mailbox?

Take a break from the news.
To help minimize stress, sadness, and despair from the news, especially as it relates to COVID-19, try to limit the amount of time you spend in front of a screen.

Boost your mood with food.
This doesn’t mean eating until you feel better. To reenergize your rundown battery, have protein with every meal and eat and drink foods high in vitamin D. Those with lower vitamin D levels are at greater risk of depression.

Follow a set sleep routine.
As much as possible try to keep to the same bedtimes & wakeup times. Follow a simple bedtime routine that signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Don’t use electronic devices. If you have worries, write them down on a piece of paper and let them go until morning.

Do some physical activity each day.
It can be as simple as 15 – 30 minutes spent doing stretching or walking. You could even count vigorous vacuuming. Physical activity can boost mood, reduce stress and feelings of depression.

Try the 10x10x10 rule.
If thirty minutes of physical exertion is just too much for you, break it into three 10 minute activities. One first thing in the morning, one midday and one in the evening.

Call on your support system.
Loneliness & isolation can make the winter blues worse. Call a family member or friend. Set up a Facetime coffee date or visit with people you miss.

Seek out the sun.
Get outside and get some actual sunshine. If you cannot get outside, follow the example of our cats and dogs. Find a sunny spot in your home and sit there to read or watch the outside world. It’s good for you and can be a mood elevator.

If these tips don’t help you expel the winter blues, you should see your physician or therapist. Seasonal Affective Disorder & Depression require professional help. Please be well and I hope to see your actual smiles soon.

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