Is anyone else out there struggling right now? Don’t let me suffer alone! Raise your hand if you’re trudging along, lifeless as that bare oak tree out your window, hanging on by your fingernails till spring. I know you didn’t raise your hand, because that might draw attention to yourself, or make your blah-ness a bigger deal than it is, or just be plain weird.
Don’t worry, I see you. I see you curled up in your fuzzy jammies, either literally or desperately wishing you were. I’m there, too - literally wearing fuzzy blue snowflake pajamas, and it’s 11am. Every winter this happens to me. They call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. I call it Midwinter Blues, because it sounds more descriptive and romantic and makes a nice party theme, if you like blues music. Before kids, I always had a party in mid-January with blues music and red beans and rice. That usually kept me out of the deepest funk, but alas, the rhythm of life changes.
Last winter, I pulled out the big guns and headed to a sunny Caribbean island with my honey. It was fabulous. The GI bug I brought home, the three rounds of medicine and the six weeks of tummy issues was NOT FABULOUS!! So this winter, I am fighting this depression with a thousand tiny cuts. And it seems to be working. The last few nights I have slept better.
The last few days my mood has been lighter , my thoughts more positive and my energy level existent. This morning I didn’t have to give myself a pep talk to load the dishwasher!! Yes I’m celebrating the baby steps. It’s on the list. Check it out. I hope at least one of these helps you get your sparkle back!
SLEEP - Go to bed early. Put down your device 30 minutes beforehand. Put all that expensive cream you bought on your face. And your neck! Nobody wants turkey neck! For more sleep tips check 7 Secrets to Good Sleep
MAGNESIUM - great for menopausal sleep issues. I take 125 mg Magnesium OXIDE. Adjust the dose to your liking - enough to relax, not enough to cause diarrhea. Don’t get Magnesium Citrate!! That is a laxative.
PLAN SOMETHING FUN - I’m not talking throwing a cocktail soirée. I mean lunch with a good friend, who knows you’re struggling and is willing to cheer you up. No draining people allowed. Dress cute. And put on lipstick. Lipstick makes everything better.
KEEP MOVING - Exercise? I’m not delusional. Just go for a walk. Or if you aren’t parting with your jammies, sit in the floor and stretch, pretending you're going to exercise. Just stop after stretching, unless you’re feeling like a boss. Then go for it!!
VITAMIN D - When sunshine is scarce, supplement vit D. I take 15,000 IU every day.
FEED THE MACHINE - Eat more protein and less sugar. Drink more water. Supplement B vitamins. Add probiotics. I like Align. Wal-Mart carries it.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES - Cut yourself some slack. Break big tasks into manageable bites and celebrate each small step.
POSITIVE WORDS - Post encouraging thoughts around your house. Put a vision board of your goals where you can see it. It can be as simple as a picture of daffodils. That’s my signal that I’ve made it through another winter. Before bed, jot down something good about the day, or something you are thankful for. Your brain will mull over those positive ideas while you sleep, so it’s less occupied with worrying and fretting and all the other nonsense our brains get up to while we try to sleep.
MEDICATION - If you already take medication for depression, don’t get busy and excited and forget it half the time. If you’re faithful with taking it, but winter is killing you, talk to your doctor about adjusting the dose. Please contact your doctor immediately if you are not able to function because of depression or you are having thoughts of death or suicide.
RETAIL THERAPY - I know this isn’t for everyone but there are great sales this time of year. And nothing says HAPPY like a cute new outfit! YOU ARE WORTH IT, GORGEOUS!!