With as fun as the Holidays can be, there’s always a sadness that can creep in. Hiding behind gifts and games and friends and family; many of us struggle with the holidays, whether it’s from missing a deceased relative or if the cold weather and minimal sunshine just bring you down. But regardless of the reason, there are ways you can help yourself with the holiday blues so you can get back to celebrating.
1. Let The Light In
I started sleeping with my blinds open so that the moment the sun rises, it starts getting lighter in my room, making it easier to wake up even on the really cold days. I keep my blinds open anytime I’m in my room to let as much natural light in as possible. But I also have plenty of lamps and candles to emanate light when natural light isn’t possible. I have a sea salt lamp that I am entirely too obsessed with, but I love that it gives off light without being an obnoxious, glaring, boring lamp. I love that you can adjust the brightness is it can even work as a good night light. I also burn candles so much in the winter, I love the coziness ambiance that they give. When it’s 6pm and everything outside is pitch black, I’ll light a candle and turn on my salt lamp to give more natural lighting to wake me up and give a positivity boost.
The more light that you allow will help you feel less sluggish. Getting as much natural light can help with the vitamin D you’re lacking from so little daylight. Lack of Vitamin D can cause your immune system to go down and put you at a higher risk for depression. Natural light is the best to get but opting for other sources of light that aren’t overtly glaring, even small Christmas lights or decorative lights can bring a little light to help brighten up your winter.
2. Be Social
Now, I am never one to encourage human interaction if the alternative is none. But when it comes to winter, sometimes meeting up with friends is actually a really good thing. The last thing most of us want to do is get out of bed and put on anything other than sweatpants to go outside into the cold and be social. Typing that sentence was painful for me, so I get it; we all want to stay inland to be warm and hibernate. But socializing can actually make you feel so much better when you’re in a winter blues funk. Even if it’s just meeting for a cup of coffee, you’ll be glad to talk to someone other than your cat for a change. Or if it’s super cold, opt for something like a movie marathon or cook dinner at home for a few friends. This way you avoid going out in the cold, but still get to see people who can brighten your day.
As much as we may say we don’t like interacting with people, you just have to be around the right people. There are so many people in this world you just have to find the right ones that make you laugh, listen to you and care for you. Think about the people who you know you make their day when you see them; whether it’s a grandparent, a younger sibling, an old friend. Those are the people you should make time to see, socializing with them will brighten your mood and theirs.
3. Relax In Open Spaces
I find that if I come home and go straight to my bedroom, I’ll be there mindlessly scrolling through social media for hours. But if I come home and go to a more open room, my family room which attaches to my kitchen, I tend to be more productive. I may be watching TV but I also tend to actually unload the dishwasher, or watch the new episodes of Schitt’s Creek in-between loads of laundry. And even If I am just sitting there on the couch, I feel less closed off. So if anyone loves with comes home, I can take to them for a bit or we can sit and watch a movie together. You feel less isolated being in open spaces and less confined. So even if you do choose to stay home, only hang out in your bedroom when you’re sleeping. Having other comfortable spaces that are more open will give you a more positive mindset, and you won’t be falling asleep scrolling through Instagram at 7pm.
4. Exercise And Eat Well
This is something you should do year-round, but if we are being honest with ourselves, we could probably use a little reminder. This is especially important in winter because so many of us feel down in the cold. Exercising will help you maintain a better mentality, and can help boost your mood. Even if you just do a thirty-minute workout at home, you’ll feel so much better and more accomplished having done that than laying under five blankets. It will get your heart rate going and you’ll warm up in no time. And as an added bonus, grab a friend and workout with them, you’re twice as likely to actually go through with it if you have someone to keep you accountable, plus it’s a good time to catch up if you haven’t seen them in awhile.
One of the reasons I actually like winter is because of the food, mostly soup. But maintaining a healthy balance during winter will help your immune system when everyone you know has a cold. Comfort food also tends to be more fatty so it will only make you feel more lethargic and lazy creating a cycle of unhealthy eating and minimal exercise. Plus, after all the holiday meals of casseroles and fried food, your body will love the nutrients for a change.
5. Do Something Fun
When you’re in the peak of the cold weather, sometimes you need something more than a cup of coffee for a pick me up. Planning a weekend trip, or a night out at a theatre, something a bit out of your ordinary routine can get you excited for the season. It can be something as little as dinner at a restaurant you typically can’t go to, save up some money and plan an evening around it. Going out and getting a little dressed up can change your entire mood. You’ll feel great changing out of your sweats and into a sleek dress. Look good, feel good has always been my motto; if you need a little pick me up just putting on an outfit you love that’s cute and comfortable can transform your day.
Even just going into work for a mundane Monday, if you put on your favorite turtleneck and blazer you’ll go into the week in a better mood than rolling in late in the same pants you wore on Friday.
6. Make Time For “Me Time”
Making time for yourself during the holidays can be really difficult. With having to see friends and family, going to various parties and events on top of work and other day to day obligations, it seems impossible. But scheduling a time to recharge and relax with yourself is the best way to not get overwhelmed during winter. Schedule a massage to really unwind, or schedule out a time for you to just organize your room, or take a bath. Whatever it is, make sure that there’s some time for you to take to yourself that will best help you to unwind so you can beat the holiday blues.
How are you going to beat the holiday blues this winter? What tips do you have that work for you when the holiday blues are getting to you?
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MARIA HEHMAN IS A GRADUATE OF THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, WHERE SHE OBTAINED A BACHELOR'S OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, WITH AN EMPHASIS IN CREATIVE WRITING. SHE WORKS AS A MANAGER IN RETAIL AND DOES FREELANCE WRITING IN HER SPARE TIME. HER WRITING TOPIC WITH SOCIETY19 VARY, BUT FASHION IS HER GREATEST INTEREST. YOU CAN FIND HER MOST DAYS DRINKING ENTIRELY TOO MUCH COFFEE WHILE WATCHING HER FAVORITE SHOW, FRIENDS.