It is another cold day here in Kansas- we have had 4 different snow storms and it isn’t even technically winter for 11 more days. Now here me when I say: I love Christmas— but I wouldn’t mind like a California version of how they celebrate it- 80 degrees – no snow- no changes in temperature every other day throwing those with chronic pain in to a tail spin…
I do not like Winter. I wouldn’t like it in a box or with a fox…. Dr. Suess anyone? Anyone, Anyone? Bueller anyone?
Anyway I digress – I do not like Winter. It is cold and filled with a lot of sports watching on my husbands part. There are some unfortunate folks out there who actually suffer drastically this time of year with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and thankfully I am not there (at least my therapist hasn’t told me yet haha) but 4/5 out of those unlucky individuals are women and I can’t deny the changes in my body during this time of year.
- Loss of energy.
- Loss of concentration and interest in hobbies
^^ These would be the things I notice the most- on occasion you can attribute this to my gabs in writing. Bipolar and Depression run in my family and no matter how positive I try to be and conscientious of what’s going on in my body- I can’t deny genetics so I thought I would share a list of my tool box that help me TRY to fight the winter blues, funk city, or the unfortunate downward spiral.
- I Drink Water Like its My Job: but for real I try to drink 100 oz of water. Does this mean I go to the bathroom a lot. Yes, yes it does. Water is good obviously to keep you hydrated- but in the winter it helps you skin look fresh. It is also a great way to flush out your detox path ways to keep you healthy and rid of toxins. I try to get my H20 in by mid afternoon so I’m not up all night using the ol toilet. I heard once though the optimal water amount is half your body weight in ounces just to give you an idea on how much you should be drinking. Also to spruce it up if you get bored- you can put an orange peel, lemons, or my favorite a cinnamon stick with apples.
- I Move My Body: hey girl hey. I love going for a run- but I can’t brave the extreme cold either so a lot of times I will do a 25-30 minute workout video dvd. You can purchase yoga or exercise dvds at thrift shops and even rent them from your library to switch up your routine. When you get bored you quit.
- Hello Vitamin D: Now the best way to get you some of that would be the good ol sunshine with spf on your pretty face of course. This time of year that is hard to come by- or comes at a deep price of layering your clothes making you look like the Miscelin Man walking like a penguin. I personally take Vitamin D3 50 Mcg (2,000IU) and they also have light therapy lamps for sale on amazon.
- Plan, Plan Plan: I make plans with my girlfriends, date nights with my husband even if they are weeks out in advance, or I plan to spend a Sunday alone shipping my family off to my husbands parents for a couple hours so I can clean and jam to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ as loud as I want (and yes it is pretty loud- don’t judge) . Basically, the point is to plan for social- things that keep you feeling alive or connected with the ones you love, or something nurturing just for yourself.. which leads to
- Self Care DIY– I once at a much younger- naïve state thought therapy, meditation, and self care mantras- were for the broken, selfish, and weak– now as I sit and participate in all 3 I can say they have fundamentally shaped me into a better version of myself and propelled me forward to want to daily strive to take care of myself, my soul, my mind, my body, and make me happen to my life- not life just happening to me. Now- I wish I could go to spas monthly and get the works- but that is not in my budget. In fact if I ever do go get a pedicure– it’s usually once a year and because I have a giftcard ha! My favorite self care routine is a nightly bath with Epsom salts, a candle from the dollar store, and a DIY face mask. My favorite face mask is made with coffee ground and sugar that I found off Pinterest. I will note here: it matters what you engage in during your activity that is supposed to relaxing– I am learning– but still not very good at just being- just enjoying relaxing- so what I have done in the past is scroll Instagram or text a friend while I have a kid free moment- but what I’ve found is that before I know it my 25 minutes are up and I don’t feel any more rejuvenated then when I started: so a happy middle ground for me is reading a book usually a personal development book– it is productive and relaxing at the same time in that I spent time resting my body but nourishing my mind.
- I Make A Bored List: I loathe boredom, and for someone whose mind races and isn’t necessarily easily persuaded to relax or sit down- boredom is very anxiety provoking for me and the very thing that will lead me to not make great choices: scrolling Instagram for hours, eating crap that makes me feel like crap, drinking a whole bottle of wine by myself, and you can enter ____ whatever for you that happens when you are sad, bored, mad, anxious, or sometimes trying to self-sabotage growth. Some of the things on my bored list aren’t fun to the outsider-and your list will look different then mine- for example last week one item on there that I completed was to make laundry detergent – no it’s not fun- the process isn’t all that exciting- but by doing it I am reminded I am providing a less toxic way of helping my family stay clean. That boost in energy is enough to get me through that boredom moment and most often propels me to tackling another thing or engaging in another activity.
- Sleep Sister: We most often go to bed at 8:30-9pm. Recently my three year old daughter had an upper respiratory virus causing her the fun stuff coughing all night, greenish looking snot, and extremely irritability. She did not sleep well- and by that I mean a couple days in a row she was up 4-5 times per night and decided 4 am would be a good time to start her day. My husband and I were dragging and during those couple 3-4 days I realized the changes in my body, mood, mind, and spirit when I hadn’t had adequate sleep. We try to rise at the same time 4:45 to get our morning workout in before the littles wake up.
- Essential Oils: Because remember- I’m a hippie. My favorite when I can afford it is Doterra’s Frankincense and then I add Wild Orange and place on the wrist. They are great for the diffuser too.
- Musica Musica: I love music and if I’m ever in a funk or place where I want to reach for something unhealthy or numb out with 2 hours of Bravo instead I try to stop put on some Reggae or Chris Stapleton and handle it. (yes I realize my choice in music– is– awesome!)
- Last but Not Least for those of you under 18 cover your eyes ? Have some Good Ol Sess– the health benefits of healthy sex life are pretty remarkable to include. It boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, lessens pain, improves sleep, eases stress, and hey counts as exercise 😉 . It is also important to have check ins with your partner or healthy conversations about what you do and don’t like, what is working what could improve- although sometimes these conversations are tough or are awkward- they most often lead to more satisfying pleasurable time due to the fact that you now are both aware of what the other person desires because ladies — men can’t read our minds– so we must tell them. Better sex means more sex which means more health benefits am I right?
I hope one of these ten is easily accessible for you to start TODAY if you are filling the wears and tears of the approaching change in season. It’s also important to know- I don’t always get it right and do not have all the correct answers. What works for me might not work for you- I think if you do daily check ins on how you are feeling, living, and showing up that is a great start. The next step is to do something about it if you aren’t satisfied with your answers.
Until next time,