The winter blues are not just in people’s heads, it is documented fact that people get more lonely and sad during the winter months. Especially where the climate is cooler but it can happen anywhere the weather is not consistently warm year round. Winter can become a love-hate relationship. Learning balance is key to beating winter blues in recovery.
When days get shorter, there seem to be fewer opportunities to be outdoors and stress can come easily. The holidays come around and people get more stressed, especially if that involves colder weather, travel, or being indoors a lot. The slump can go further and turn into the winter blues. It is easy to justify being inside for long periods of time but sleeping late and staying inside is not the way to get over it. It’s easier to beat if a person gets outside and gets fresh air.
Beat the Blues
The best way to beat the blues is to avoid staying inside but there are other ways to beat the blues, too. It is easy to get caught up in the routine of life but there are ways to help combat this. Try the following seven activities to help beat the winter blues:
- Get outside. Don’t wait because it’s too cold or it’s not the right time. Get out and breathe some fresh air, get the heart pumping and remove any cobwebs in the head.
- Get up earlier to maximize daylight. Get out of bed, get moving and sleep at a decent time at night rather than staying up too late.
- Exercise. Go out for a few minutes and shovel, get some vigorous exercise 3-5 times a week and work on improving overall mood with some more frequent movement.
- Get out with friends and family. People who socialize often feel better in recovery than those who remain indoors. Going on Facebook is not the way to stay healthy. It is better to do face-to-face interactions and get together with people who matter. Stay engaged, see things and explore. Plan a trip and see interesting museums or try new activities.
- Give gratitude a try. Make it a daily habit and try to put it on the list every single day. It is the most effective way to tap into feeling grateful for what is available here and now.
- Make a schedule and stick to it. Don’t wake up without a plan. The couch is pretty comfortable but it helps to get up and move. Make a commitment to showing up regularly for things and don’t forget to show up.
- Get spiritual. Winter is a great time to read, reflect, and add new things to the routine. Buy some self-development books and audio cds or podcasts. Read 30 minutes a day and bring some clarity and sharpness to that outlook.
The winter blues love inaction. Don’t give in by staying put. Get up and get out as often as possible. It will happen that the blues take over but when it does, reach out. Call a friend or trusted therapist and family member.
Cypress Lakes Lodge believes in the power of healthy mind, body, and spirit for recovery. If you are struggling with the blues, we are here to help you. Recovery is hard but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. We will stay with you through your struggles and provide you with some tools to empower self-confidence and promote positive change for yourself. Call us to find out how we can help: 877-938-1577