The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is officially over. I’m left with bills, a few extra pounds, cold weather and short days. Not very motivating. The hum drum of January can seem so dreary. It’s dark when I leave in the morning and dark when I get home. Even though it was like this in December, I’m usually so busy preparing for the holidays it doesn’t seem to bother me as much. January is the start of my winter blahs, where it’s hard to do anything but snuggle up with a warm blanket, some comfort food, and sleep, only to wake after hibernation.
These next few months will be challenging to keep moving full steam ahead. A lack of sunlight exposure makes it especially hard. While younger kids still get out for recesses during the school day, many teens do not and may be lacking exposure to daily sunlight or enough activity. This can lead to sadness, fatigue, irritability and/or anxiety.
So how to cope? I know…I know… eat healthy and exercise – same as always. But really, when you don’t feel like it, it can be a never-ending battle. One suggestion to make it easier is to do it with someone who motivates you, e.g. a partner, friend, or child. My resolution this year is to not only be active for myself but also for my family.
My beating-the-winter-blahs checklist includes:
- Eat fruits and vegetables; avoid too many carbs or sugary foods
- Eat foods high in Vitamin D
- Get moving (indoors or out), e.g. walk during lunch break
- Get enough sleep but don’t oversleep on the weekends
- Socialize and make time for friends
I started this past weekend. I ditched the errands and went sledding with the kids – actually ON the sled with the kids… (the only parent on the hill doing it and it certainly kept me warm!). I even tried standing on the sled… a form of snowboarding the kids are trying on the hill. I had a great time. My arms are a little sore but the sun felt great! OK, just 2 more months to go…
Share with our readers how you are going to get through the winter blahs?
There is a difference between suffering from the winter blues and SAD – seasonal affective disorder. Always check with your doctor if you suspect that you or your child may be suffering from SAD.
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