By Elizabeth Valera, M. Div., LPC, CT
During winter months, sunlight is limited and especially this year in Atlanta, we have had some extra-cold grey days! For those who are sensitive to this change it may feel more difficult to get out of bed and to stay positive over the winter months. Here are a few tips to beat the winter blues:
Chase the Sun
Even when it feels too cold to stay outside, find a way to bask in sunlight each day. Look for patches of sunlight through the window; open the blinds in your office, or step outside during your lunch break. If you are able, consider taking a few days away to a sunnier spot.
Colder and shorter days mean it may be more difficult to find time for exercise. But, don’t let the dropping temperature stop you from getting your weekly dose of endorphins, a natural mood booster. Try a new gym membership…winter may be the perfect time to perfect your swimming stroke at an indoor pool. Learn to rock climb at one of Atlanta’s rock climbing gyms. Links here: Wall Crawler Climbing Atlanta Rocks Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness
Or, embrace the winter sports and find an ice skating rink! Find an Atlanta Ice Skating Rink Here
But, it doesn’t have to be complicated, bundle up and take a walk in your own neighborhood, or pop in one of those old-school workout DVD’s, pull on those leg warmers, and get your endorphins flowing from the comfort of your own home.
We have learned more and more that there is a strong connection between our physical health and our mental well-being. Nourishing yourself with healthy foods, including a variety of vegetables and lean protein is a great way to combat the winter blues. If you enjoy cooking, take this opportunity to try a n new recipe with a winter vegetable.
Even though reduced sunlight and cold temperatures may be difficult, there are also many gifts of Winter. Like other creatures, we may benefit from a day to hibernate and reflect on our hopes for the year ahead. Winter is a chance to slow our pace and consider our intentions for the year ahead. What do you hope to cultivate in your life going forward? What do you hope to let go of?
Use your creativity indoors to practice a musical instrument, or continue to work on that project you may have set aside in the busy-ness of last year. Look for new sources of inspiration from your own experiences and from the winter landscape.
Even if none of these activities appeal to you, remember that the days are already getting longer. Since it is difficult for us to notice the incremental increases in sunlight day by day, check out the Daylight Chart Here. Moment by moment the sunlight is increasing…Spring will be here soon!
Questions or concerns? Call Metropolitan Counseling Services at 404-321-1794 x350 to schedule an appointment!
Sometimes the winter blues take the form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. For basic information, see here: https://medlineplus.gov/seasonalaffectivedisorder.html