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10 Ways to Beat Winter Blues

Every winter I seem to struggle with anxiety and depression. At times it’s been so bad that I’ve had to go to the hospital because I thought I was dying. Last winter I told my husband that I absolutely cannot go through another winter like that. Months of my life have been wasted because the anxiety has been so crippling that I just can’t function. It’s not good for anyone in my home.

So, I vowed to make this winter different! 

How am I doing it? Here are 10 ways to beat the winter blues this year!

1. Embrace it!

I know it’s hard. It’s freezing outside. The days are short and dreary. Darkness messes up your schedule, not to mention your internal clock. But…make a vow to not let those factors get a grip on you. When everyone else is complaining, put on a garment of praise! Thank God for waking you up another day. Thank Him that winter doesn’t last forever. Praise Him for your warm home and all of the traditions that you can create with your family.

2. Buy a UV therapy light like this one!

I have a UV light in my bedroom, but this year, I’m buying a more portable one like the Verilux Happy Light. I want to take it with me from room to room. These lights help you fight fatigue, regain focus and energy, and boost your overall mood. I promise that it will be worth your investment! On top of buying UV lights, I’ve warned my kids to not turn off the lights or close the blinds in the house. Artificial light and what little natural light you let in, can be a tremendous help.

3. Buy Plants

Science on the effects of plants and seasonal depression disorder is debatable. But I’m willing to give anything a try. Here’s a website that I found that lists the different types of plants that are thought to be helpful. It’s called PlantSnap.

4. Exercise!

I know this might be tough for some of you. It’s always been difficult for me to stay consistent. But last winter, I got the kick in the pants I needed to get motivated, and it came in the form of high blood pressure. I can promise you one thing. If you deal with major anxiety and depression every single year like I have, it will eventually take a toll on your health. Exercising is a major way to not only help boost your mood, but also just keep you healthier in general. You will feel so much better once you get into a routine! Try to find an accountability partner to encourage each other.

5. Get out of the house!

This is one of the biggest areas that I personally struggle with. When winter comes, I instantly began to withdraw. The fear of my family becoming ill nearly cripples me. This year I recognize fear as a major stronghold in my life, and I’m doing all that I can to conquer it. As a way to force myself to get out, I have planned events for our homeschool group, in which I am the host. It’s a great way to hold myself accountable and actually get us out of the house. This month alone, I am hosting 4 events. My kids love me for it, so we’re already off to a fabulous start!

Here’s a picture from an event I hosted today at an indoor rock wall climbing place. 

6. Reach out to others.

There are several of my friends and family who know about my struggles with depression and anxiety. I have asked them to check in on me to make sure that I’m doing well. When I’m not ok, it’s really helpful to have those people just checking in on me. I also return the favor to my friends. Once you open up and share your struggles with others, you may be surprised to learn how many others deal with the same problems.

7. Make self care a major priority!

I typically feel extremely guilty for taking time out for myself. Guess where that got me? This year, I plan to do at least one awesome thing for myself, at least once every week. Tomorrow I’m going to get a massage and a facial. It’s not always that extravagant because that could become way too expensive.

I’ve created some printable documents to help make self-care easier for you! You can choose from free and cheap ideas by clicking here!

Or you can choose ideas that are worth saving up for, by clicking here.

8. Find ways to limit your stress.

For me, one of my main triggers is a messy house. It’s really hard to keep up with the housework when you have 4 kids, and two of them are just great at dragging things out and leaving messy trails everywhere they go! Thankfully for me, we have a teenager and a 10 year old who can help pick up the slack. My oldest son is completely responsible for our dishes. Once our youngest two are in bed, that’s when our 10 year old has to pick up their toys, and clean the kitchen table and the area around it. Don’t be afraid to delegate! You weren’t meant to do it all on your own.

9. Watch your diet.

As incredibly hard as it is for a sweet toothed person like me, it’s highly beneficial to eat foods that are good for your body. Certain foods like candy and carbohydrates can actually increase anxiety. As much as possible, try to eat unprocessed foods and be sure to drink a lot of water. Being dehydrated can also add to anxiety and other health problems.

10. Have your blood checked.

Last winter when I went to the doctor for high blood pressure, chest pains, and a rapid heart rate, I learned that I was extremely low in vitamin D. Once I started taking prescribed supplements, I immediately felt better! My heart rate returned to normal (which helped lower my anxiety), and I started feeling more energetic. Having your blood checked for underlying issues is actually the first thing I’d do if anxiety and depression are common for you. 

BONUS POINTS

I can’t end this without stating the obvious, just in case it isn’t that obvious for you. Pray, pray, pray! God is for you doesn’t want you to live depressed, in fear, or anxious. It also helps to memorize Bible verses that will help combat these feelings when they start to arise. Speak them out of your mouth. My absolute favorite verse that has helped me in so many ways is:

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

I hope this list is helpful for you. Please let me know how I can be praying for you!

Be blessed my friends!

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