If you are not one of the fortunate ones who can escape to warmer and sunnier climates for the winter there are still some things you and I can do to combat the winter darkness and seasonal affect disorder that many suffer from. So here is my list for the winter – unless I am too depressed to do them.
1. Get a timer to turn on your bedroom light to wake you up. We crave light and having a light come on fifteen minutes before the alarm gets your body ready for the day (we’ll see).
2. If it’s sunny (seldom where I live) go find it and sit in the sunlight for several minutes. We need vitamin D and we still need to use sunscreen. No kidding. Even bright cloudy days can help us. Take your lunch break by big windows with lots of light.
3. Buy one of those light boxes that you can sit on a desk or by the chair you sit in so that you can get light – even artificial light can help but it needs to be 2,500 to 10,000 lux. Twenty to thirty minutes can really help. Don’t go to tanning beds. They feel good but they are terrible for you.
4. Move – exercise – work out – drag yourself to the gym if you have to. Take exercise breaks during commercials on tv. Perhaps you can be like those walkers that go to the mall to actually walk. In my opinion that is what malls are best for – walk, don’t shop. If it’s nice outside take a walk in the morning or at noon to get yourself out in sunlight even if it is cloudy it can help.
5. Ditch sugar and eat power foods. I just joined Weight Watchers so that I won’t fall into my normal winter carb loading. Sweets this time of the year are the worst for us. Stay away from those sugary treats – have a piece of dark chocolate to help with cravings – a piece – not several.
6. Set a few new goals. When you are aiming for something you tend to be more energetic. It could be helping at the local food pantry, taking groceries from your church to the food pantry, collecting blankets for a homeless shelter, or any number of things that help those in need. It could also be personal. Is there someplace you can travel in February for a week. Plan for it. Take a break. Set a winter reading list. Give me some of your ideas.
7. Wear bright colored socks. This sounds crazy, I know, but get a little crazy with the clothes you wear. Have some fun. If you have to wear a suit, then wear red socks. Your attitude and mood can be lifted by little things like this and it can start a conversation. Have some fun with color.
8. Here is my favorite. I found a down bath robe; no kidding. I need to buy this. Everyone is trying to save money on heating bills so splurge and get a really nice robe and slippers so you really feel cozy at night. Embrace the season. Write a blog. Call up some friends and invite them over. Light some candles, get out the beverages (one or two adult beverages can’t hurt but be careful not to overdo). We need contact with others so make it happen.
The sun is breaking through the clouds. I’ve got to go and sit in the sunlight for a few minutes and prepare to deal with the winter weather warning that is running across the screen.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12