Nov 4, 2021 in Life Coaching

All the Leaves are Brown - Tips on Beating the Winter Blues

Learn how to deal with the winter blues.

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As winter approaches, so does the cold, cloudy cloak of Winter, shrouding the sunny days of summer. For some of you, this is your playtime. You thrive in cold temperatures and hit the hills, ice, and slopes. For others, it may be considered an irritant, something to drudge through for a short time, or perhaps you find depression start to creep in and it becomes difficult to get out of bed in the morning.

If you find yourself gravitating toward the latter, here are a few simple steps to take to crawl out from under that cloak of depression. You might think, “Hey, I already do this,” and if so, great! Who do you know that needs your help? Help them. And challenge yourself, are you really doing these? Consistently? These 5 simple steps will help you throughout your day;

1.  Create A Mindset of Gratitude - As the Lead Pastor of my church, Pastor Duane Vander Klok said, “You cannot wear the garment of Thanksgiving and the cloak of Depression at the same time.” And he is right. It’s hard to be thankful and depressed at the same time. Gratitude is acknowledging that someone else provided you something you would not otherwise have had yourself, such as air, shelter, eyes, etc. So just start by saying thank you out loud! Thank you, God, for the air so I can breathe! Come on, try it. Thank you, God, for my shelter, so I don’t get wet or cold! Thank you, God, for my eyes so I can read! We can all find something to be thankful for. 

2.  Call Someone - I know I sound old when I say this, but use your phone to actually call someone. With social media so prevalent these days, we forget how to have a conversation with someone. There is nothing more social than talking to another person. A teacher in a local school district allows her students to use the last 10 minutes of class time for talk time--yes, talk time--with devices out of the way. At first, it was awkward, because students didn’t know how to have a conversation, but then it started to get easier. Don't underestimate the power of conversation. 

3.  Get Out of Your Head - My mother in law who is 87 has a great remedy for depression; she visits her friends at the senior care facility in town to check on those who are not as physically capable as she is. That helps her get her focus off her and her problems and allows her to serve others. It’s hard to be depressed when others are thanking you. 

4.  Self-Care - This does not mean hot tub spa and pedicure. That comes later. This means actually loving yourself enough to eat right, sleep well, drink water, and exercise regularly. These are all things we should do for ourselves regardless of what season we find ourselves in. If you ever traveled on an airplane, you recall the flight attendants explaining how to use the oxygen mask. The one point they emphasize is if you have small children or others who require your care, place the oxygen mask on yourself first before attending to others. If you don’t, you die, and can’t help them. The same goes for self-care. If you don't take care of yourself properly, how can you give your best to those who count on you and love you?

5.  Reward yourself - This is where the hot tub and pedicure come in. Treat yourself. Not excessively, but celebrate small wins, like getting dressed, or getting out of the house. Set a goal each day and reward yourself when you accomplish it. And challenge yourself each day to do something new. Establish a daily plan of action of things to accomplish. When you begin to accomplish them, it’s amazing how quickly your mood changes, and how empowered you feel. 

All of these steps require action, and that’s the challenging part. Act. And if you are, great! Be a beacon to others, and show them the light. If you happen to catch yourself falling into the depression trap, please reach out.

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