Are the Winter Blues real? And if it is, can you have it in the Tropics?! I believe the winter blues can hit you no matter where you live. It can hit you in your homeschool, your church, your community or family. So how does this happen and how can we prevent it? Here are a few steps to get you safely through this "season" in life. And they only take 20 minutes!
What Are the Winter Blues?
Wikipedia says, "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter." So this is basically the "winter blues".
So many people say that this SAD mood thing happens because of the shorter daylight hours in winter, or the cold weather that keeps people indoors, or things like that. I always believed it, until I moved to the tropics. How do you explain that I still get "SAD" when there is NO WINTER!
My sad time seems to follow the school year. After the Christmas holidays, things tend to get mundane. We've done school for half a year and then I look ahead to see that there is still half to go!! Then I start looking ahead to the next school year and wading through curriculum. None of which I get to start using for another 5-6 months. How depressing!
Then there's dealing with the children's moods. Apathy kicks in. Getting bored with what we're doing begins. Testing the discipline waters. Tonight I found my son on his DS at 7:30 pm, even though he KNOWS we don't do electronics after supper!
OK, I had better stop or this will turn into a full-blown pity party! 🙂 We can't have that! So how do we combat all the things that get us down at this time of the year? No matter where you live and what the climate is, you can fight the "winter blues"!
Combat Those "Winter Blues" in Only 20 Minutes!
- Get some sun! This one cracks me up. We live at 5,000 ft. in elevation 4 degrees south of the equator. This should be easy for me! BUT, I am seriously white skinned. I cover up and wear hats and sunglasses. The pure vitamin D that is found in direct sunlight is actually wonderful in small doses. I'm talking about 20 minutes. Just that much a day is enough to be a mood booster!
- Get some exercise! Big groan... I have a hard time with this one! But again, we're not talking about loads of time here! Again, 20 minutes can help do the trick. FYI - this can also help you sleep better at night! Which brings us to...
- Get plenty of "good" rest! Did you know that a 20 minute "cat nap" with your feet propped up on a pillow can give you more energy for the rest of the day? When I was in High School and in the dorm, my dorm mom always encouraged us to do this. She said that it helped us get through our homework time at night. I think she was right!
- Spend time in the WORD! Just 20 minutes in God's Word is enough to boost your spirit and draw closer to the ONE who refreshes all of us. I have been doing a lot of Bible Copywork lately for my own quiet time and I LOVE it! There are so many benefits! (Keep your eyes open for a Writing Scripture Challenge coming soon!)
4 More 20 Minute Tips!
- Have a good chat with a friend! Not just any friend will work for this one. You need someone that is an encourager to you. Someone that lifts you up and encourages you to be more than you are. I hope you have someone like that in your life. Someone that helps you to feel refreshed after a 20 minute conversation!
- Do something YOU want to do! Carve out 20 minutes to just do something that you enjoy. Being the 24/7 caregiver can get wearying. Giving yourself permission to enjoy something can really be a spirit booster!
- Brighten Your Surroundings! My husband is always getting on to me about working on a cluttered desk. He's actually right, though I won't admit it to him! I say it doesn't bother me, but it does start wearing on me without me even paying attention to it. Take 20 minutes to straighten up, open windows/shades, and take a deep breath.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate if you prefer)! This is my favorite. I LOVE to sit down with a cup of yummy coffee filled with good stuff and drink it before it gets cold! It's become a joke in our family how many times I have to warm up my coffee each day, but if I have 20 minutes to sit down and enjoy my coffee... it is a better day!!