20 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

It’s here!  It’s officially the season  of the Winter Blahs.  We’re talkin’ tired!  Where did my energy go?  Perhaps it had enough sense to head south to warmer vistas.  Sadly depleated enthusiasm – I think I’m a candidate for an enthusiasm transplant or transfusion … fusion … which reminds me, I think one of the answers might be to head over to Corn Fusion, the fun store at the mall which sells White Cheddar Popcorn (spoken in hushed tones), plus a multitude of other snacky delights.  I’m seriously considering it. In fact, I just might invite all my local friends to join me there for a Winter Blahs Party! 

So how do we combat the battle of the blah?  Believe me, I’m making this list for myself first, and if you happen to benefit, fabulous!  Just so you know, these are not listed in order of importance …

Winter Blahs Prescription
Choose two and call me in the morning.

1.  Eat right.  This is so hard for me … it takes planning.  My favorite way of eating to feel good is to  vamp up the fiber by eating more fruits and veggies, whole grains and beans, almost completely eliminate sugar, keeping my calories at 1,600 daily, have healthy snacks ready to grab (gotta love those snack sized ziplock bags), and eat two 41 calorie Dove dark chocolate pieces every day.  🙂

2.  Take Vitamin D – Our body isn’t getting enough sun, so choose foods and OJ that have D, and/or get a reliable supplement.  I like Standard Processing and Garden of Life products.  Add in some B vitamins as well.  I found a liquid form at the health store I put under my tongue every day.  It makes a difference!

3.  Drink more water. It’s extra dry, so we can become dehydrated easily.  To see if you’re dehydrated, poke your fingernail into the tip of a finger.  If it stays with a dent for too long, without bouncing back, you are most likely dehydrating. 

4.  Take time to breathe.  More oxygen will help me feel better and more energetic.  I also recently learned, from the Oxycise! program, that we expel fat through our carbon dioxide.  Hallelujuh!  I can lose weight simply by breathing!  Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth as if through a straw.

5.  Lower expectations.  Keep the list reasonable, and beware of trying too intently to impress or please others.  We aren’t the only ones struggling, so we should also lower our expectations of other people as well.

6.  Call a friend.  It’s amazing what this can do for us!  A chat over the phone or a get-together at the coffee shop can be the best therapy.

7.  Don’t take self or others too seriously.  At this time I can just about fall off the cart with my wacky emotions.  Take one day, one hour at a time. 

8.  Ask for help.  It’s embarrassing to admit that we can’t “do it all”!  But, it’s true.  We need to tell people if we need help – it will probably lead to a deeper and more meaningful friendship.  Buy frozen pizzas on sale to have on hand.  I thank God for frozen pizza (self, see #1).

9.  Pray!  Of course we need to pray, but we probably need it even more now.  I don’t mean getting up at 3:30 a.m. and kneeling by our bed for 3.75 hours.  I mean talking to God about everything throughout the day. 

10.  Remember God.  That means we read His Word and think about it through our daily tasks. Is God the same every season? Yes! He is the same every season of the year, as well as every season of life! God is faithful no matter our circumstances.

11.  Shake it up.  Do something different!  Go to a new store or restaurant.  Cheer up a friend by kidnapping them for an hour or two.  Surprise your family one morning with Chocolate Cheerios (I personally crave the Honey Nut Cheerios with chocolate milk!).  Try a new hairstyle.  Rent a Corvette (well, maybe that’s going a bit too far).

12.  Keep going to church.  We need the fellowship, we need teaching from the Word.  If you’ve been gone for long, it’s time to go back!

13.  Journal.  Sometimes it really helps to write it all out.  I love writing out my prayers to God.  It helps me focus and even get a better understanding of my heart.

14.  Dream.  What are some of your hopes and dreams?  You may already have the husband, the house, the children, and are too tired to daydream.  If you’re like me, you’re just hoping for a good night sleep with pleasant dreams!  Have some room in your schedule to plan things to look forward to: a play, a concert, a communitee cooking class, ask a friend to teach you how to knit, plan a dinner party (it can be potluck!), etc.  Subscribe to a magazine that features a current interest.  Begin planning (and planting seeds inside) for your garden and think ahead to those fresh spring smells.

15.  Reach out.  Think of someone who is worse off than you – shut in, someone alone, anyone who is needy physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.  Send an email, call, visit, meet for coffee, take your kids so you teach them to think of others, or go just yourself so you can talk “girl talk” more easily.

16.  Rest.  This means to take a breather.  I should probably be napping right now, but writing is up there with eating or breathing, so it is restful for me.  Rest to you might be baking, walking, listening to music, exercising, going somewhere quiet, extra Bible time, taking a bubble bath, or shopping. 

17.  Get moving.  I hate the “E” word, so I prefer to say, “I’m going to go jubilate for 30 minutes.”  This makes me feel better, preparing me for more restful sleep and keeping my emotions in better control.

18.  Tie up loose ends.  We’re talking about finally writing a note to your aunt, making that dentist appointment, balancing the checkbook, paying the fine, apologizing to your neighbor, keeping your promise to take your son out on a date … take care of something important, but not necessarily urgent, that is weighing on you.  You won’t want to clean out the basement when the weather gets nice, so do it now.

19.  Laugh!  Watch a funny (and clean) movie or old comedy reruns.  Check out Tim Hawkins or Jeff Allen, two of many Christian comedians.

20.  Look around the corner.  It’s not going to always be like this.  Spring will come again to our world and to our hearts.

If you are truly depressed you may need to see a medical doctor.  If your condition is easily diagnosed as a case of the Winter Blahs, please pick one or more from the above list and add it to your life.

Remember, you’re not alone!  Winter blahs come to everyone everywhere, and can hit at any time of the year. Thankfully, our God never changes, and we can always count on Him to get us through!

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

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