The winter blahs.
Or the winter blues, as you may call it, but I don't often feel blue, I feel blah. I'm not convinced colors have feelings. Does one ever "feel" purple, or maybe burgundy? Haha, anyway... So many of my friends are telling me that they are piled under feet of snow. And, just about the time it melts, or gets shoveled to a manageable level, more snow. We haven't had any snow here in my corner of Arizona, but we have had TONS of rain. The only thing worse than winter snow, is winter rain. Cold, wet, gray outside. Well, if you read my blogs (of course you do right!) then you know how I feel about rain. No sir, I don't like it! It makes me feel like I am trapped inside a cloud myself, and not a nice, white, puffy one.
Too make matters blah-er, it has been so cold! Now I know what you are going to say "It's Arizona, how cold can it be?" Well, first of all, most people don't know that the year-round warmth that Arizona is so famous for, is reserved for those who live in the Phoenix area, and south. If you live north, or east of "the valley of the sun," you will not have a 70 degree winter. That being said, mid 30's is about as cold as it gets at my house, but cold is relative. The reason people can survive in nothern Canada is, that -40, while indeed cold, is the norm for them. They're used to it. But they would die in the 115 degree heat that we love, we're used to it. It' been cold here, and wet, and gray, and I feel blah.
I suspect that you too have felt less than stellar these last few months, low energy, low motivation, feeling well, low. So, today I offer a few winter weather, snow trapped, gray skies, froze from your nosies to your toes-ies survival tips.
1. Our bodies need vitamin D to survive. It improves our mood, our energy level, our heart function, and it helps us absorb calcium into our bones. Vitamin D comes from two places- the food we eat, and from a chemical process in our bodies when we are out in the sun. So, get out in the sun! I know, I know, it's C.O.L.D. Here is what I suggest: Bundle up in some warm clothes, go outside and scrape off a chair, (or a swing weeeeeee!). Take a hot cup of coffee, or tea, and sit with your face in the sun. Do this for about 20 minutes on each day that the sun comes out, and you will see a great improvement to your mood, guaranteed! If you have kids, 20 minutes of peace and quiet with a hot cup of joe may be just what you need. This is also a good time to catch up on some much needed time with God. Sounds good eh?
2. Get some exercise. If your streets are paved, go out and take a 20 minute walk. You don't have to hoof it, just take a walk at your normal mall-walking pace. (Doing this could knock out point #1 also!) If going outside just isn't an option, strap on your ipod to some jammin tunes and just dance around the house a bit. Your kids might enjoy this too! Crank up their favorite tunes and get silly!
3. Have a cup of coffee. Caffeine can give your mood a boost, but don't over do it, you don't want the shakes! Also, beware, this boost is temporary. Try a new coffee creamer!
4. Try an herbal remedy. Have you ever heard of St. John's Wort? It's an herb that helps "support a positive mood" as it says on the label. St. John's Wort doesn't work for everyone, but I have taken this herb every day for years instead of an antidepressant. This herb won't make you giddy. What it will do is take away that shoulders sunk, *sigh*, kind of feeling, and it never makes me jittery. I highly recommend it. $4.00 in the vitamin isle at Walmart. (*A note of warning. St. John's Wort may reduce the effectiveness of Birth Control pills, or other types of hormonally based birth control. you're welcome.)
5. Make a lunch date with a friend. Many of us really need a break from the hum drum of the day-today. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom like me, or you're locked up in an office all day, you could probably benefit from a great lunch, and some time to connect with a friend. Why don't we do this more often? Well, it takes effort. Effort to find a babysitter, to take an extra half hour from work, effort to set a time and place with an equally busy buddy. Make the effort. It will exercise a social part of your brain that may have been sitting dormant while we have been stuck indoors. No man is an island, we need each other!
6. Finally, as the song goes "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!" I won't go into detail, you know what I mean. Philippians 4:8 says-"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Let's do it together shall we?
I'll start. Here are a few of my favorite things!
1. When a new magazine comes in the mail.
2. My favorite coffee cup. It' pink with lady bugs, and really holds 2 cups!! Haha, I know, girly.
3. Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry Herbal tea. Yum!
4. Reading a Francine Rivers novel.
5. Going to Target.
6. The dollar spot at Target!!!
7. A colorful new pair of socks.
8. Kung Fu Panda, in HD.
9. Pretty new jewelry, even if it's super cheap!!
10. Fresh flowers, I don't buy them, I just look through them at Walmart. Sometimes I buy a potted flower and plant it outside.
11. Iced Mochas
12. XM radio, The Message, 90's on 9, and Flight 26.
13. http://www.lisaleonardonline.com, to focus on things that are lovely.
14. http://www.thenewfaceofdowns.org/blog/ The Chaos Diaries, when you need a good laugh!
15. Hearing from you. Please comment and share any winter blahs survival tips you have, and some of your favorite things!!!!!