I love social media and all of the connections and friends that I've made on it, but it's so good to sometimes take some time out, to refresh my brain and give it a bit of a rest.
I don't know about any of you guys, but I sometimes start to struggle a bit at this time of year. It often starts at around Christmas time and ebbs and flows for a few weeks in to January/February. I think, for me, it's a combination of the shorter days and lack of vitamin D, being inside more, socialising less (because everyone keeps getting ill... as I write this, I have a raging ear infection) and possibly just because I hate being really cold.
I really dislike that I feel like this during the Winter, so over the past couple of years I have made a few changes to try and help combat it. I thought I would share them with you all, as even though everyone is so different, someone might find it useful.
Exercise is obviously good for you physical health, but it has always been something that helps keep my mind on track too. Without it, I get antsy and irritable and struggle to focus on tasks. I now make sure that I exercise at least three times a week - it doesn't have to be anything crazy and long, sometimes I only do it in fifteen minute bursts. I will dance, do aerobics, lift weights, anything really, as I like to vary it and keep it fun and interesting. I find my mood lifts drastically when I stay active. I also like getting outside and going for a short run, which leads me to the next point...
Going on mini adventures is such a mood lifter for me. It's nice to have a change of scenery, I get a tiny bit of vitamin D and I get some exercise, even if it's just a short walk.
There's something so good about breathing in a bit of fresh air and getting my body moving. At this time of year, it also makes me appreciate the times that I am at home more.
However, like with people, I decided to love Winter for who/what it was. It can't help being cold and wet and dark. That's just what it is. I can't change it and wanted to try and embrace it and look for the positives, no matter how small.
So now, as this season is approaching, I try and think "ohhhh I'm looking forward to curling up under warm blankets, drinking hot chocolate and going for bracing walks!" It does help. A bit.
What I do, is on the days that I have energy and more on top of it all, I write a to do list for that week. On the days I'm not really feeling it, I look at the list and choose one or two things on it to do. This often breaks me out of my cycle of moping and I find my enthusiasm gains momentum. This method doesn't always work perfectly, but it has helped a lot.
I have found that being proactive in consistently exercising, getting outside and eating well/enough, has worked wonders for me. The low, unproductive days are rare and when they do happen, it's easier to be more self aware and utilise tools to get through it.
For me, on a day I feel low or anxious, I will literally say to Dan "I'm feeling a bit unhappy and anxious today" and after a bit of back and forth chat, we will look at each other and I will say "I need to go and do some exercise". The endorphins from the exercise help give me a boost and clear my head and usually by the end of the day, or by the next day, it's all good again.
By me vocalising how I'm feeling to Dan, it's letting him know the headspace that I'm in and helping me not feel alone with my feelings. It puts how I'm feeling into words, which makes everything clear and logical and we then put a plan into action, which gives me a sense of control over the feelings.
Basically, communication is key. Talk, talk and talk some more.
I would love to know what you all do, to get through the Winter?