In a Winter Funk? by Stephanie Nickel
How does the cold weather affect your state of mind? Do you find yourself thinking too much, over-analyzing your life? Do you jump aboard the emotional rollercoaster?
I admit that over the last little while, I’ve dealt with low grade depression, more of a funk really.
When we’re faced with those things that drag us down, there are some things we should do—and others we shouldn’t.
Go for it!
Make a list each day of things you’re thankful for.
Make the list early in the day and refer to it often if you find yourself slipping into negativity.
Develop consistent sleeping habits.
As much as possible, go to bed and get up at the same time every day—even on the weekend and holidays.
Make an exercise schedule—and stick to it.
Set reasonable goals for yourself and increase them every couple of weeks.
Listen to upbeat music.
If you get distracted by the lyrics, play instrumental music that doesn’t bring words to mind. YouTube is a great resource. I like worship music, swing, and some classical.
What do you especially love to do? Go out for dinner? Curl up with a good book? Go for a photo walk? Grab a coffee with a friend? Head to the art gallery? Go to the movies? Take a long, warm bubble bath? It’s so easy to fill the days with busywork. While your tasks are important, so is taking care of yourself. Give yourself permission to take a break.
Don’t pretend everything is okay.
Family and friends will likely pick up on your mood—even if you do your best to hide it. They may even think it’s because of something they’ve done. Although you don’t want to burden them, it really is okay to let others know you’re struggling and would appreciate their understanding, patience, and prayer.
Be careful not to oversleep.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep, but when we’re feeling down, it’s easy to oversleep. One of the best things to do is develop consistent sleep habits, as mentioned above.
Resist the temptation to curl up on the couch instead of getting active.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s a great idea to take a break and read a book or watch your favourite TV show. Just make sure you go for a walk or do even a brief workout every day.
Don’t grab unhealthy comfort foods.
It is especially important to keep ready-to-grab healthy foods on hand—especially when you really don’t feel like preparing a nutritious meal. And remember, eating that row of cookies has more long-term negative effects than the momentary enjoyment.
Don’t focus on the countless tasks before you.
Instead, create a list and then organize it in order of priority. It’s okay if you don’t get everything done. Focus on the one thing you are working on and then move on to the next. Don’t forget to include healthy eating and physical activity in your daily schedule—and don’t put it at the bottom of the list.
Please note that if you have a more serious form of depression, I encourage you to seek professional help.
Read other posts by Stephanie