Surviving Winter Depression

As winter winds rage outside my window, I watch the trees bow low and the snow swirl like mini sand storms. January is a tough month. Not only does the bitter cold make my bones ache, but the let down after the holiday frenzy leaves me feeling frazzled and empty. Throw a nasty virus into the mix leading to burning lungs, a pounding head and gunk-stuffed nose and the month becomes unbearable. Add to that an election result that filled so many with anxiety and a sense of doom that the January blues seem insurmountable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been down and out every January for the past decade. Here are some ways I have devised to survive and thrive during the season’s darkest hours.

  1. Scrap the to-do list. Check out mentally. Give into your body and rest.
  2. Read a book or a magazine or anything to take you outside of yourself.
  3. Drink lots of lemon water.
  4. Do something mindless. Zone out watching a favorite team or Netflix series.
  5. Call an old friend.
  6. Walk even if it is only around the house the tiniest bit of exercise can lift your spirits.
  7. Make a gratitude list.
  8. Turn off the news.
  9. Light a candle. Build a fire. Burn a log.
  10. Meditate or pray.

Then remind yourself – this too will pass. There are brighter days ahead. Before long spring will be tap dancing at your doorstep. Daffodils will soon be waltzing in the wind. While trees turn green overnight, flower gardens will burst into a riot of color. When your health falters, bad weather hits and the sad, dark days of January bring you down – rest, reach out and remember gratitude.

Posted in inspiration, Uncategorized.

15 Comments

  1. I’m feeling you, Pat! Thanks for reminding us how to cope on those blah winter days. Just celebrated another birthday. .. bring on the sunshine.

  2. I’m feeling you, Pat! Thanks for reminding us how to cope on those blah winter days. Just celebrated another birthday. .. bring on the sunshine.

  3. Oh, Pat, I’m so sorry your body, January and the election have conspired against you. I hope you feel better soon. But, I know your fighting spirit will shine through as it has through your words and through your wonderful list of remedies. I especially like #1, which I have done. We have to figure out a way to negotiate our way around life’s inevitable twists and turns. Heal fast, my dear friend, and keep thinking Spring.????

  4. Oh, Pat, I’m so sorry your body, January and the election have conspired against you. I hope you feel better soon. But, I know your fighting spirit will shine through as it has through your words and through your wonderful list of remedies. I especially like #1, which I have done. We have to figure out a way to negotiate our way around life’s inevitable twists and turns. Heal fast, my dear friend, and keep thinking Spring.????

  5. That’s a lovely list Pat ???? I have a lemon tree in my garden over here and I pick them one by one for various lemon-based recipes and homemade lemonade. The simple act of mindfully picking one’s own lemons during the cooler end of a hot summer’s day is so relaxing. This kind of mindful action, as well as daily gratitude for the good and beautiful things in my life, help me to keep going too through the rough times. Wish I could pass you on some hugs and fresh lemons! ???? In the meantime, your ‘dancing feet’ friend is enjoying your image of the tap dancing Spring and the waltzing daffodils ???? lots of love and healing to you, I promise I will pass Spring onto you soon xx ????

    • I can just picture you prancing around your garden picking lemons. The imagine brings my heart a lift. Thanks for keeping me dancing even in the hard times.

  6. A good list to tape to the mirror! Thanks for sharing, Pat. The pink ‘pussy’ hats all around the world today gave me a lift on this cold January day (21st)! 🙂

    • I am so much better giving others a pep talk then telling myself, so you idea to tap the list to the mirror is a great idea. Thinking of the women marching all around the world gave me a lift too.

  7. Pat, I feel your pain! Winter can seem especially cruel, with its short, gray days, scarcity of holidays, and forced indoor activities. However, I’ve found that keeping busy — whether it’s burying my nose in a good book or learning something new — is key for me. Also, I try to watch as little TV as possible (this, from a former journalist, ha!), exercise daily, stay under bright lights, and take Vitamin D (most of us are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”!!) Stay strong, my friend — Spring is right around the corner!

    • Thanks for your suggestions. Turning off the TV is a great idea because it seems every time I see the news I feel sicker. Here is to sunshine and spring and the power of words to lift broken spirits.

  8. I hope you feel better soon, Pat. Your list of remedies sound like a good idea to me.

  9. A couple more: listen to upbeat music, watch a comedy, or read a funny book.
    And second, if you feel you’re too down to take care of the damned paperwork, but not taking care of it is even more of a bummer, set a timer for 15 minutes and do one thing for just that amount of time. When you’re racing a little clock, somehow, it seems more — if not FUN, exactly, at least bearable.
    Best wishes, my friend.

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