Have you been there too?
As years passed I started to notice something, and I finally realized why I always felt blue or less than stellar. If you can relate to feeling blue, then today’s blog is for you.
I can’t say that I felt in the dumps as a kid, unless perhaps my blood sugar crashed and I was “hangry”. I also felt pretty upbeat and happy in high school (even though high school sucked and had its dramas). I would play outside a ton as a kid and got lots of sunshine and fresh air (although the sunshine was low in the winter). Life was pretty simple back then. Go to school, cuddle my cat, do my homework, play soccer and hang with my best friends!
But, from the age of 18 and on I was somewhat blue here and there and I finally realized .. hey it isn’t me, it’s the damn winter! I actually thought back to every time I have ever felt in a serious funk and traced it back to every single winter season since I quit using the tanning beds.
Yes the evil terrible tanning beds that I used at least once or twice a week for a couple winters during my adolescents. And you know what, as shitty as they are, I never had the winter blues. I quit the tanning beds right around my trip to Costa Rica at age 19. That winter was my first winter feeling the hold of the winter blues. I was just tired and downcast. There was no facebook or social media, and I didn’t have a ton of friends in town to hang with throughout the winter. My low moods and blues transformed within a week of being in the sunshine of Costa Rica (even though I was travelling solo and totally freaking out at 19 years old!)
So as time has gone on, I have realized that winter has a tremendous effect on my moods and I have to be very careful. During the summers I feel happy, up beat and fantastic. I pay close attention to how things change for me when Fall season hits and I gotta say I notice a CHANGE.. And it isn’t a fun one! I hold onto my happy summer vibes and I don’t want to give them up when the cold dark months approach.
Tanning definitely helped, but it is not something I am willing to do these days as it can have damaging effects on skin and health.
Instead I try to implement a winter action plan to save my moods and the sanity of everyone else around me ? #angrywoman
I urge you to:
Think back and consider when you have felt depressed or blue. What was going on in your life? What season was it? Can you see a pattern with the seasons? Did you stay in the north for the entire winter VS going on a sunny holiday?
I am of course not diagnosing or suggesting that you are experiencing the same thing as me, but for me, I have seen a pattern and I realize now that I am very sensitive to winter SAD and I know I am not the only one!
Here’s my current winter action plan.
Feel free to pick and choose some ideas to implement.
- Vitamin D supplements daily (Don’t mess around with low dosages, get your levels checked and take a sufficient dosage for North America e.g I take 5,000 IU/day and sometimes more)
- Regular brain dumping and journaling to get thoughts on paper and shut down the monkey mind
- Fresh air and SUNSHINE (although the sun is weak as hell during the winter months), I get out 4-6 days a week for movement and sunshine (instant mood
- Yoga and meditation (even 5 min of meditation and 20 min of yoga makes a big difference)
- SAD Lamp – I find it increases my energy and boosts my mood
- See gal pals and let loose and laugh a bunch! (need I say more!)
- Sleep more (7-9 hours is the magic range)
- Sunny holiday (Going somewhere warm and sunny even for a week has made a world of difference with my winter mood and ambition and productivity and it’s a great way to appreciate home and break up the winter)
- Start looking at new locations to live besides the Yukon (hahahah)
Foods rich in Vitamin D:
- Cod liver oil
Let me know, do you feel blue throughout the winter and how do you combat it?
If you enjoyed today’s blog please share it with a friend!
Cheers to feeling good this winter,