As another storm bears down on us here in the Northeast, we’re definitely struggling with a bit of the blues. The dark, cold, short days have us dreaming of sunshine and open windows. Not to mention we wouldn’t mind leaving the house with less than five layers!
But dreaming can only go so far, so we spent some time researching the best strategies for beating the blahs. Of course, even a full-proof plan can be hard to implement when you’re feeling off your game. Consequently, we liked the tips that were simple and easy to do!
1.) Organize A Space
Not surprisingly, this is our favorite! Notice that it says “A” space; not every space or all the spaces or even your space. Being stuck inside for days on end can get wearisome and depressing, especially if clutter is stressing you out on top of everything else. But you may not be up for a complete overhaul. Instead, think about the areas where you’re spending the most time. Has the living room become snow day central? Then maybe just going through all the magazines on your coffee table would give you a sense of accomplishment and ease your cabin fever. Small, managable tasks can brighten your mood by making you feel like you have some control over your environment, even if you can’t control Old Man Winter.
2.) Eat Healthier
Yep, it’s true! This one really does make a difference. While we would love to stick with mac and cheese and pizza delivery, heavy processed foods will not improve the doldrums of winter. We’re not suggesting cold green salads or smoothies when you come in from the freezing cold. But you can still get your veggies and have comfort food at the same time. Consider hearty vegetable soups (we love this recipe) and seasonal fruits such as Clementines, kiwis and grapefruit.
3.) Move Move Move!
We know nothing sounds better than snuggling down on the couch under your favorite throw and getting your hygge on. But if you’re feeling down, sometimes you need to get the blood pumping to change things around. We’re not even saying you have to go for a full hour of hard sweaty exercise. Think a snowball fight with the kids, a walk around the block with your favorite four-legged friend or a yoga video first thing in the morning. Be kind to yourself and make concessions for the fact that a long run through the park is not a ton of fun when it’s 20 degrees. But even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, find the time to get some endorphins flowing!
4.) Plan Ahead
While it may seem that spring is an eternity away, it will arrive eventually. Improve your mood by planning some activities to look forward to. Maybe this is the year you’ll finally get the backyard ready for a garden. Start browsing seed magazines and gardening books to strategize the layout. Or perhaps a vacation is in the works for Spring Break! Now is the perfect time to start making reservations and researching fun activities to do while you’re away.
It completely makes sense that in your spare time you want to hunker down and hibernate at home. But isolation can just contribute to the blues. Try to make an effort to connect with friends or even just acquaintances. Grab a cup of coffee with your neighbor or share your break time with a co-worker. Even just calling (not texting!) an old friend can make a world a difference for your outlook.
Most importantly, remember that you aren’t the only one feeling down and spring will be here before you know it! The gray days will disappear and soon we’ll all be complaining about the current heat wave!