Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fighting the Winter Blues

Have you ever noticed  that February and March seem to be extra long months? At least, they tend to be for me. It's kind of funny though, considering February is actually a few days shorter than any month in the year. Maybe that's for a reason? With all of that in mind, I've come up with five easy ways to fight the winter blues. These have worked for me, maybe they could be helpful for you; that is assuming you can't wait for spring and feel kind of blah.
1. Go for a walk. I know, it's cold out and the snow is melting or falling, usually it can't quite decide which, but get out and exercise. It is so strange how one walk can improve mood and level of productivity. Most of you who  read my blog are dog lovers and have a few of the four legged creatures running about your homes. Take them too: they'll thank you for it. And if you can't quite convince yourself that YOU need the walk, then do it for your dog. You will   be amazed at how much good,  just twenty minutes of stretching your legs can do.
2. Make yourself feel special; treat yourself. I'm not saying go out and blow a whole bunch of cash, I mean, who can really do that these days? But, invest in a great smelling shampoo a deep conditioning treatment, a new fruity smelling lotion. Hop in the shower and spend some quality time making your hair shine. Even turn some music on. I'm always surprised how good I feel after I've used a new shampoo or lotion. Sometimes I even get excited about trying new toothpaste. If it's not body care products that floats your boat, then find something inexpensive that does. Maybe you like fuzzy socks or a new brew of coffee you can enjoy in the mornings. I find getting up in the morning is more exciting when I know I've got a new coffee to try or a new flavor of yogurt to eat. Did I ever mention the simple things in life make me happy?
One of my best friends was recently working from home and she was finding it dull and boring. So, to keep her spirits lifted, she wore a fancy bra under her "stay in" clothes. No one else knew she had purple with lace under her sweatshirt, but she sure did and it made all the difference for her.
3. Find a way to make yourself feel decadent.    Again, we're on a budget right? So, find an inexpensive way to do this. Just the other day I bought a dark chocolate bar with sea salt and snapped a small square off with my breakfast this morning. Sure, probably not recommended by the health food people in the world, but tasty. I've also made myself a lavender foot soak that I plan on using after today's run. Not overly  extravagant, but it's got a "at the spa" feel without paying through the nose for such a treatment.
4. Find a fuzzy creature and hug it. It sounds so simple and a bit ridiculous to actually make an effort because you probably hug your pets without thinking about it, but the benefits of having/squishing pets are enormous. As I write this, Glacier is curled up with his side pressed against my leg and just the warmth of him is comforting. My friends don't have pets because their landlord doesn't allow them and so come over for "fuzzy therapy," as we call it. I've heard them say on multiple occasions that they had a bad day and just needed some Glacier or Roscoe love. Taking the time to be aware of your snuggling makes all the difference.
5. Get a puppy! Oops...that just slipped out. That's not really what I meant to say. Ignore that.
5. Do something that allows you to have "you" time. Sometimes we get all wrapped up  in the day to day and forget to be alone for a few minutes. There is nothing wrong with being by yourself. In fact, it can be quite healthy as it allows you to unwind and be fresh for when you see your family and friends. Your alone time could be spent anywhere doing anything really.  Sometimes my alone time is going out for a coffee by myself or it's finding a quiet spot in my flat and reading my book. My best friend lives in a flat with three other people and so being alone is a rare occasion. To combat this problem, she puts her headphones on and goes for a walk; giving herself time to decompress and be on her own. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your time and never feel guilty when you need to take "five" for yourself.
This by no means is a comprehensive list and I am sure there are a lot of different things that people do to combat the winter blues. It's just a few things I do to make February and March not seem so long.
What are some of the things that help you through the winter?


Jen said...

Great list Jes. These are great suggestions. I often do the walk, cuddle the dogs or listen to a few of my favourite tracks loud on headphones, and everything seems better after :)
I always like February but can find January a long month, so glad its over for another year.

Mango said...

Number 5! Ha ha! Seems like the older I get the less tolerant I am of short days and cold weather. I do know that if I force myself to do a 20 minute baby yoga session that I feel much better (oh, and my weekly massage doesn't hurt too much either).

Mango Momma

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

hehehe I Love the Oooops number 5. Get a puppy! How funny.

Amber DaWeenie said...

Very very good ideas.....Mom especially likes "Get a Puppy"