Have you ever had a day where you wake up and automatically feel off? Maybe you feel a little anxious or unsettled. Sometimes even a sense of dread without really knowing why. That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago.
I decided to take my dog Titus for a walk and get some of the nervous energy out, but it was still with me when I got home. So, I sat down, and I thought about what might be contributing to these low energy feelings.
One of the things that came to mind as I was noodling what the problem might be was several of my loved ones who were dealing with health issues. I’d also watched some news that stressed me out. And I’d been eating things that I normally wouldn’t eat like chips and ice cream and cookies for comfort. When all of these are happening at the same time it’s the perfect storm for me to start feeling low, a bit anxious, and uncomfortable.
Dealing with these issues one at a time is manageable, but when they’re happening at the same time it’s not so easy. Add to that gray, short days, and the letdown after the holidays ‑ no more bright lights, family gatherings, and looking forward to something joyful. I can see why the experts call this time of the year “winter blues.”
If you’re struggling with the winter blues, here are a few things you can do to get you into a better frame of mind:
- Move – Get out of your head and into your body. We tend to spend a great deal of our time thinking and not a whole lot of time moving. Our head is not the only thing on our body that requires attention. Tony Robbins is famous for saying if you want to feel better, you must change your state. At his seminars, he has the entire audience get up and dance like crazy for 60 seconds. That’s it! Just one minute to change the way you feel. I’ve been doing this for about a week now and feel much more energized. Titus loves it too!
- Change the station – If you watch tv (and let’s face it, there’s not a lot of other things to do during the long winter nights), choose programs that make you laugh or inspire you. Experts believe that laughter actually stimulates processes in your brain that counter depressive symptoms. And since laughing is downright contagious, you can invite your whole family or a few pals over to share the popcorn. My new favorite program is That’s My Jam with Jimmy Fallon. It’s on Peacock on Monday nights and it’s hilarious!
- Make a tuna sandwich – Have an albacore tuna sandwich (also lake trout, salmon, and sardines) once or twice a week. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps boost your mood. Also make sure to have plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; and at least one egg with the yolk (a good source of choline, which helps regulate nerve function and metabolism, and is important for keeping energy levels stable) each day.
I hope this helps improve your mood as we wait out another six weeks of winter (thanks groundhog!) in the North.
Wishing you well,