The Winter Blues are REAL!
Ya know how people say, “oh that’s such a cliché” about lots of sayings? Clichés become clichés for a reason! Winter is a difficult time, not just for people with anxiety, but I feel like for pretty much everyone. It gets way too dark way too early, there is less to do, and it is just really stinkin’ cold (in most places)! So, in the winter especially, people tend to experience: sadness, depression, and anxiety more frequently than in warmer months. However, as I said in my last post, just because something is real, doesn’t mean it is permanent. It is important that in the winter we put in extra effort to live our best life! That being said, here are 5 tips on how to curb anxiety, and live your best life in the winter months:
- Do some sort of physical work with your body!
Many times, people don’t understand what a strong connection there is between physical health and mental health. In the winter, we are outside less, which means we are typically doing less physical activity. But, doing physical activity releases endorphins in the body and helps to improve your mood! Now, you don’t have to do a full out, strenuous, body-builder type work out. That is just not realistic for most people! I definitely don’t do that! But, you can do something that works for YOU. If you have a pet, take them for a walk around the block- I know it stinks and is cold, but it must be done. Try doing yoga! There are a lot of beginner’s yoga videos on the internet. The same can go for “10 minutes workouts”; there’s a lot of them out there.
- Let’s try not to completely go crazy with the junk food!
I have no idea what it is, but for some reason in the winter time we tend to want to really go crazy with the junk food! I’m not sure if braving the cold (or even just knowing that it is cold outside) everyday just makes us too tired to cook or what. Don’t fall into that habit!! This again is linked to the concept above; physical health and mental health are connected. If you eat healthier, you will feel better about yourself, and get a sense of accomplishment (which is always nice)!
- Let the light shine!
We all know that winter is dark to begin with. It gets dark at like 5PM and it is incredibly annoying. I’m literally ready to pass out and go to sleep at 6:30. That is totally beside the point though. During the winter it can be very hard to kick the habit of curling up in a blanket, in the dark, and watching Netflix. Watch Netflix, do your thing. BUT LET THE LIGHT SHINE! During the day especially, open all the curtains/blinds! It may be cold out, but the sun is still there! Opening the blinds is going to let the sun come through and it is honestly SO therapeutic! Obviously, at nighttime there is NOT light from outside to let in. I personally like to keep my fairy lights plugged in, at least one light on, and I light A LOT of candles. I also keep one of the candles close to me. It sounds weird, but this is because, for me, the warmth from the candle is pretty comforting. So, bring plenty of brightness to the winter time!
- Get a Fish!
Ok ok, you don’t have to get a fish, per say. I have a fish, and anyone who knows me knows that I love him more than anything! His name is Captain (short for Captain Jack Sparrow), he is a betta fish. This is him!
This is going to sound weird, but it has been so incredibly therapeutic for me during the winter to have Captain! Being able to put effort into caring for a living thing, other than me, is a great way to help curb my anxiety. It makes me smile so much to watch him grow and move around, and just live such a simple little life. So, you obviously don’t have to get a fish. I just find it is easy to take care of a fish, and I live in a dorm room so I needed something that didn’t take up so much space, honestly. Even if you don’t want an animal for some reason, maybe just try even taking care of a plant! There is something beautiful about caring for something so that it blooms into something beautiful and wonderful. You just have to find your “fish”.
- Find Your Outlet!
This is definitely not just a winter time tip, but it is especially helpful in the winter. As we spend most of our time inside during the winter, it is important to find something that will keep you productive while you are inside! Being productive is one of the most helpful tips I can give for curbing anxiety and living your best life! When you have anxiety, you need an outlet so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment, and something that calms you. There are a lot of different types of outlets! They are as unique as the people trying to find them! Some examples are: the physical outlet person, the mental outlet person, and the creative outlet person. People who are “physical outlet” people, get the most out of doing physical activity. Meaning, doing exercises and activity with their body relieves their anxiety more than anything else and leaves them feeling their best! If you are a “physical outlet” person (firstly, tips 1 and 2 are going to be extra beneficial for you), some things to try may be: yoga, going for walks, going for runs (outside if you can, but on a treadmill/inside is also fine), lifting weights, and doing regular workouts. Anything to really get your body moving! If you are a “mental outlet”, I feel ya, but you also need to make sure you are using that in a productive way! Make sure that you aren’t using that to think about things too much, which is just going to lead to worsening your anxiety. But, if you find that you are more of a left-brained person and are relaxed by mental stimulation, some things you may want to try are: doing a research project-find something you’re really interested and learn everything you can about it, find an interesting book to read, find something you need to organize and do it! Lastly, if you’re a “creative outlet” person, welcome to the club! So am I! I control my anxiety the best through being creative. So, if you’re a “creative outlet” person, some things you might want to try are: painting, sketching, writing (journaling, blogging-hint, me), or something like bullet journaling! You should definitely look them up if you don’t know what they are, I am totally in love with mine! It is a way to organize your life AND be creative! If you would be interested in seeing mine and how I set it up, just comment below!
But there you have it, folks! My 5 tips and tricks to kicking the winter blues this year! As per usual, I want this page to be for you; comment any ideas, questions, concerns, post suggestions, etc. down below! Just click the “leave a comment” button up top; I would love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: I have no medical or psychological degree or background! I speak only from my personal experience and what works for me. I do not guarantee that anything I post here will cure or even help with anxiety. That is only what I am attempting to do.