by Stephanie Nickel
February is upon us. For some, it is an especially long month – though, technically, it’s the shortest of the year. If there are several overcast days, some people suffer from SAD, seasonal affective disorder. Those who do likely need more help than what I’ve listed below.
However, for those who simply find themselves in a funk, here are some suggestions on how to overcome the February Blues.
1. Resist the temptation to hit the snooze button. Even if you don’t feel like it, get up at the regular time.
2. Don’t laze around in your PJs – not too often at least. Getting showered and dressed even when you don’t have to leave the house helps lighten the mood.
3. Make physical activity a part of your day. When possible, get outside. Go for a walk. Go skating, skiing, or snowboarding. The days don’t seem so dreary when you get some exercise. (Physical activity releases endorphins into your system; these hormones that make you feel more positive.)
4. Resist the temptation to eat heavy comfort foods rich in calories. Seek healthier alternatives to old favourites. I highly recommend Skinny Slow Cooker magazine. I love the recipes I’ve tried so far.
5. Hot drinks are delightful on cold, grey days. Instead of drinking an abundance of cappuccinos, lattes, and hot chocolate, choose decaffeinated herbal teas. There are dozens of flavours available. Not only are they calorie-free, they count toward your water intake.
6. And speaking of water, make sure you drink enough. I find it much easier in the summer when it’s hot. However, I keep water at room temperature and find it more appealing than water from the fridge at this time of year.
7. The creators of movie soundtracks realize just how effective music is for creating a mood. Upbeat music can help lift your spirits when you’re feeling down.
8. Begin a new hobby, one you’ve wanted to get into for some time.
9. Grab a book you’ve been wanting to read and make time to do so.
10. Grab a pen and a beautiful new journal. Allow yourself to pour out your thoughts and feelings on paper. I’ve worked through many things on paper. You don’t have to share these words with anyone else, so feel free to be 100 percent honest. As a Christian, these journal entries have often become springboards for prayer.
11. Make an effort to spend time with people whose company you enjoy. It’s easy to withdraw when we feel blah, but it isn’t always the best option.
12. Seek to be a blessing. If we’re thinking about how to make someone else’s life brighter, we almost always find the sun shining on us as well.
Stephanie Nickel, CLD, PTS is a freelance writer and editor, a labour doula, and a personal trainer.