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Top Secrets To Beat The Winter Blues, Feel More Energized, & Skip The Flu
It’s still cold and somewhat like winter time. That means less daylight hours, heavy, calorie laden food and lots of tight spaces crammed with people. Is it any wonder many people feel tired, sad, burned out, and even downright depressed?
Even if you don’t suffer from SAD, chances are that this time of year you feel some type of fatigue or suffer from what is commonly referred to as “the winter blues” from time to time. OK, maybe the entire winter, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are plenty of natural ways that can help you feeling more like yourself other than moving to the Caribbean (although that is an option for some). Take a look at these top secret ways you can try to get yourself up and going, without coming down with the flu, all winter long.
1. Let the Sunshine In
If you are like many people, it’s the lack of sunlight that seems to depress you and zap your energy. Fix this problem with all the tools you have! When there is no sunlight, consider investing in some UV lights. These are bulbs that imitate sunlight and can help you feel better. Put them in lamps where you commonly sit at home in the evenings. Turn on all the lights in whatever room you are in so it’s as bright as possible. If there is any sunlight at all, open up the blinds and pull back the curtains. Go outside on your lunch break, weather permitting, and get some much needed vitamin D from whatever sunlight there might be.
2. Find Ways to Enjoy Winter
Some of your unhappiness is your own attitude. If you look at snowstorms, blocked roads, or being snowed in as a hassle and something ugly, then it will be. You can take the weather as something different to enjoy. Think of it as a staycation! Have a movie day where you snuggle in a blanket and watch several movies or television shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on. Build a snowman, or build something different like a snow monster. If you have children, you can play board games, video games, bake cookies, make tents in the house, build a snow fortress, and have a snow ball fight. Try to find ways to have fun, relax, and make winter one of best seasons ever.
Helping out those who are less fortunate is a great way to get a new perspective on life. When you see people shivering in the streets, you realize how lucky you are to have your own home, even when you are snowed in. Volunteer at a homeless shelter once a week and perhaps get some co-workers to pitch in. Volunteer at Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, or even at your local animal shelter. When you help others, chances are you are going to feel a lot better about yourself, about life, even about winter.
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4. Soak the Blues Away
If you have a hard time falling asleep at night or if you are one of those people with perpetually cold feet, try soaking in a hot tub about 2 hours or so before bed. If you don’t have a bathtub, even just soaking your feet in a pan of hot water, then massaging them with sweetly scented lotion makes you feel more relaxed, not to mention WARM. It feels so good to be warm when it’s cold, wet, and windy outside.
5. Pretend It’s Summer!
Have you ever watched a movie that takes place in the winter or in the snow and found that, after a while, you also started to feel chilly? A great deal of what goes on is in your mind! There was once a woman who really hated the cold. Anything under 70 was cold to her. She moved to Central California where the winters are quite foggy and cold. A typical day in December and January consisted of highs around 35 and nights in the teens, with no sunshine for weeks due to endless days of heavy fog. Her first winter was difficult, but the next year she decided to change her attitude. She bought a used fireplace insert, and bought firewood in August when it was cheapest. On those cold winter days, she cranked up the fireplace so that the house was 75 or 80 and wore T-shirts in the house. She closed all the blinds and curtains trying to keep out “the sun,” and drank lemonade. She simply told herself that it was a hot, sunny day and she was better off inside. Although this couldn’t help her when she had to go outside, she said it really helped her state of mind every winter that she lived there.
6. Plant a Winter Garden
If you live in a place that doesn’t get snow, you can plant a winter garden. Many vegetables like the cold weather, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. This can help you get outside and still enjoy a garden, even if it isn’t summer. If you live in a location that snows, grow herbs inside. Full-spectrum lamps and light bulbs will grow plants even in the darkest rooms (they will help your mood as well). Try growing common kitchen herbs such as basil and chives, along with St. John’s Wort and rosemary, or valerian. All of these seeds are readily available and easy to grow. Read more about fruits and veggies you can regrow at home again and again.
7. Spruce Up in the Shower
Try this for a winter pick me up as well as a terrific way to fight off cold and flu germs. After your shower, put about 10 drops (more or less, depending on your size) of black spruce oil in your hands. Spread it all over your body, avoiding the eyes, inside the nostrils, and the genitals. Rub it in well, especially in your abdomen. Take a few deep breaths, and then rinse with some warm water. Don’t use soap, just plain water to remove the excess. Black spruce oil is antiviral, anti-bacterial and supports the adrenal glands. You will smell great, feel great, and you can skip that toxic flu shot.
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8. Don’t Make Sickness a Priority
Well, OK, perhaps no one makes being sick a priority in their life on purpose, but it happens when we aren’t paying attention. Is the clerk that is ringing up your Christmas gift coughing and sneezing? Be sure you don’t touch hands with her, and use some hand sanitizer afterwards. Avoid physical contact with the general public as much as possible during this time of year. Take anti-viral herbs and eat right to support your immune system. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid people who are obviously sick. If you share workspaces, wipe down things such as keyboards, countertops, computer mice, and anything else people typically touch with sanitizing wipes and spray some antiviral essential oils in the air. This might sound a bit extreme, but would you rather wipe down that computer keyboard or get the flu? Thought so.
Yeah, you hear this one a lot, but only because it’s so very helpful. No one will argue that going out for a morning walk when the streets are an icy 20 degrees is fun, but a regular exercise schedule is going to boost your immune system and help you avoid that seasonal weight gain. However you choose to get some exercise, it’s a good thing; whether it be ice skating or using your treadmill, you will feel better if you just do it!
10. Set Some Future Goals
If the snow and grey skies make you feel as if winter is never ending, shake things up by setting some short term and then slightly longer term goals. For example, a short term goal might be that you are going to finish a book by tomorrow, or you are going to paint your bathroom over the weekend. A slightly longer term goal might be that you are going to have all your Christmas decorations up or down by a certain day or you might want to start browsing through college or adult school classes for that new yoga class you want to start in January. Go all out and start planning today to take a Bermuda vacation in July and start searching for the perfect bikini, plan meal and exercise charts so you can fit into that new bikini, and think about a savings plan so you can actually get there. You will feel better making future plans that show you that winter will end one day and you will be ready for it!