For some, the cold weather can trigger a more serious reaction to winter, a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Symptoms of SAD, which can include anxiety, oversleeping, social isolation and weight gain, can be the most severe during this time of the year.
But, there’s hope. We can find relief by opening our minds and hearts to breaking out of old routines and doing things differently. In honor of leap year (might as well embrace the extra winter day), here are 30 simple ways to energize yourself whether you suffer from milder symptoms of affective seasonal disorder or a passing case of the winter doldrums or a case if lupus blues from fighting so hard.
1. Plan to do more with your friends, not less. Social support can help fend off those winter blues.
2. Go outside, even if it’s cold, and take in some fresh air.
3. Turn around your negative mood by focusing on the things you are grateful for in life.
4. Connect your mind and body through exercise or yoga. This will reduce stress, and improve your energy and clarity.
5. Reconnect with your life’s passion. Don’t allow winter’s harshness to hold down your dreams.
6. Treat yourself and do something you enjoy – a weekend trip with your partner, a day at the spa or enjoying a concert.
7. Rather than feeling discouraged if you have fallen off your New Year resolutions, follow your intuition instead. Let your intuition guide you to where you need to go next, and to the newfound energy waiting there.
8. Allow the light to shine. Open the curtains and let the sun cover you with its energizing warmth.
9. Change your thoughts. Negative thinking, “Winter is never going to end,” can be replaced with a more positive outlook, “Spring will be here soon, and I can’t wait.”
10. Fill your home with fresh, bright flowers.
11. Reflect on the blessings in your life and remember to bless others, too.
12. Keep a watchful eye on your addictions and ask for help if they seem to be gaining strength during this time of year.
13. Daydream more.
14. Perform a good deed; an act of random kindness, and then take in the warmth that is made.
15. Stick to a healthy diet that is aligned with your budget and food preferences.
16. Seek good sleep. Find the balance between oversleeping and not getting enough rest. Listen to your body each morning, it will tell you what you need.
17. Wrap your hands, and spirit, around warm drinks: tea, coffee, lattes and hot chocolate.
18. Listen to motivational music.
19. Find contentment in the present moment, no matter how dreary it may feel.
20. Simply breathe. Shut down your computer, turn off the television and close your eyes for sixty seconds and then listen to the energy pulsing through your body.
21. Clear the clutter from your home, car and office to allow the positive energy to flow.
22. Learn something exciting by starting a new hobby.
23. Pick up a book and energize your imagination.
24. Start each day by reading an inspirational quote.
25. Spend less time focused on your children and more time on your spouse.
26. Chances are good your children are getting what they need. Fall into the arms of your partner and stay connected with your love’s energy.
27. Stay clear of toxic, negative-thinking people.
28. Drink plenty of water. The heat source in your home can be as dehydrating as a 90-degree day. Water can provide an instant burst of energy.
29. Join a cause or volunteer to be a mentor.
30. Smile and enjoy the sound of your laughter.