Sometimes, no matter how much free time you have, no matter how many new colored pencils you have awaiting use, no matter how many new creative programs you own, none of them seem worth looking at. Yet with society's emphasis on doing doing doing, it can be almost agonizing to not know what to do next.
Yes, there's the holiday shopping. Yes, there are parties to go to. Perhaps you could decorate some more or make cookies for your folks. But sometimes, it's just the blues. And that's okay.
We aren't talking about major depression here or even mild depression, just plain old blues or blahs. So, take a peek out the window. See that sun? No? I don't either. It's gray outside. And depending upon where you live, it's pretty cold, too. Actually where I live, it's about 50 degrees out which is way too warm for this time of year (global warming people). So it doesn't feel like Winter yet. Technically it isn't winter yet. But the winter blues are making their way into many people's homes or cubicles.
Also, I find when I get the winter blues, nothing has any color. Sure I'm surrounded by winter lights, in your face holiday ads, and goodies galore. But despite all the in your face holiday good cheer, it's like watching fireworks on a black and white TV: no sparks, no life.
Granted it may be worrisome to find yourself apathetic to the holidays. But don't stress too much. Here are some tips to get through the winter blues.
- Get outside. Getting any sunshine during this time of year is pivotal. If you can't do that, get a light box or sun therapy light. They are kind of expensive, but worth it if you feel better when using one.
- Get some exercise. Yes, as unappealing as it sounds, moving your body does help.
- Go to bed early. Before the light bulb people went to bed when it got dark. Follow nature's cycle and take it easy. It's okay. I give you permission.
- Journal. If your mind is spinning yet your body is slow, release some of that energy through your pen. It will help, I promise.
- Watch funny movies. I signed up for Netflix again and rented a bunch of comedies. The power of laughter is very important. There's even a new type of yoga that focuses on whole body laughter.
- Eat more carbs. Yes, you'll probably grow a bigger behind in the process, but eating carbs helps to increase the serotonin in your system. That's why we eat carbs in the first place when we are stressing out. Get fat for the winter. No one will notice it under those bulky sweaters anyway.
- Drink tea. Along with many healthful benefits of drinking tea, the act of sipping hot tea is something I find very relaxing. Tea is the beverage that gives you permission to relax. While coffee is the beverage that allows you to run around at top speed. Think tea. Not coffee.
- Volunteer. There's always someone out there who has less than you. You'll feel better knowing you are making a difference. And perhaps you'll start to see the abundance in your own life, too.
Those are just some tips for getting through the winter blues. But like the Chinese proverb says,
When its hot, sweat. When it's cold, shiver.
Sometimes we try too hard to fix ourselves, to self-medicate with food or chocolate (yes I know I just told you to eat more carbs), or to drown our sorrows with retail therapy or some such other escape. But there's something to be said for being in the present moment, acknowledging you feel like crap or like nothing at all, and being okay with that.
It's okay to have the blues. They will pass. You'll feel better and forget about it until next year. I promise.