Cozy Spaces, Happy Faces: At-Home Tips For The Winter Blues

Hello My Friends…After the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas and all the trimmings, even after a sigh of relief, some of us feel a little letdown and a little blue. Especially if you are alone most of the time. Taking down Christmas decorations and the daunting task of packing it up and putting it away seems to be one of the triggers to being overwhelmed and feeling blue.
After living in Arizona, for 8  years, I had gotten pretty-used to sunny days every day and yes, you have to cope with the high temperatures, but it was still better than Winters in Pennsylvania. My first January, I can honestly say that I did have a touch of “Winter Blues” or seasonal depression.  For me each year seems to get a little better. Did you know that there is a name for it and that I just learned and it is called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Now, I have become accustomed to our winters in Pennsylvania. For me, I am somewhat of a organizational zealot. I look forward to the winter months and being almost forced to stay indoors because of the snow and the cold weather. That’s my time for purging, reorganizing the decorations etc. But not everybody is me and I can appreciate that. In my current environment, in a lifestyle community, I experience firsthand how winter takes its toll on, not just seniors, but others as well. Many of my friends have a hard time during the winter with somewhat of winter depression. They say it is lack of dopamine. I always have to laugh at that word, conjures up the first portion of it, “DOPE”.  BUT… it has nothing  whatsoever with being a dope. So let’s shed some light on this very subject.

woman leaning on tree

What Is Dopamine?

We’ve all heard that word one time or another to break it down into simple terms:  It’s a part of our brain that impacts our behavior and emotions. Behavior and Emotions to break it down:  it contributes to our sensation of joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment. Well that’s a triple header , I can relate to all three of those areas. How about you?  I have even been told that is one of the symptoms of ADHD (Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). I guess if we all thought about it, we all want the sensation of joy and satisfaction and above all accomplishment.

Simple Tips To Help With Winter Blues

As we cozy up in our blankets and sip on hot cocoa during the winter months, there’s something about these darker, colder days that can sometimes cast a bit of a shadow on our mood. Ever experienced that? Well, you’re not alone! Many of us deal with what’s often called the Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when the chill sets in and daylight seems in short supply.

Fireplace, warm blanket, drinking hot cocoa girl

There are some neat tricks and habits that can help brighten those gloomy days and put that pep back in your step. Think of these as little rays of sunshine to lift your spirits and keep that winter funk at bay. So, let’s dive into some cozy, friendly ways to tackle those Winter Blues and bring in that warm, happy glow even when it’s frosty outside:

  • Chase the Light: There’s magic in sunlight, even on cloudy days! Try to soak up natural light by opening your curtains wide or stepping outside when the sun’s out. If that’s a rare sight, consider getting a light therapy lamp for an indoor sunshine boost.

  • Move Your Body: Ever notice how a little movement can do wonders for your mood? Take a brisk walk, dance to your favorite tunes, or try a home workout. Exercise releases those feel-good chemicals, making you feel like you’re doing a little happy dance inside.

  • Nourish Yourself: Your tummy and brain are best friends, so feed them well! Load up on colorful fruits, veggies, and foods packed with omega-3s like fish. A healthy diet is like a superhero cape for battling those blues.

  • Zen Mode On: Take a breather! Explore mindfulness activities like meditation or deep breathing. Light some candles, play soothing tunes, and let your mind drift away from the winter chill.

  • Chat and Cheers: Don’t hibernate! Connect with pals, virtually or in person. Sharing a laugh or a heart-to-heart chat can be the best antidote to those wintertime blues.

  • Nest Sweet Nest: Your home’s your haven, so make it cozy! Soft blankets, warm lighting, and pops of cheerful colors can turn your space into a snug retreat from the winter gloom.

  • Dream Big, Start Small: Set achievable goals to keep your motivation in check. Breaking tasks into smaller bits is like taking baby steps towards feeling accomplished and cheerful.

  • Snooze Like a Boss: Good sleep’s your bestie! Stick to a sleep routine and snuggle up for that cozy slumber. A well-rested you is a happy you.

  • Fun is Key: Lastly, indulge in activities that spark joy! Dive into hobbies, movies, or whatever makes your heart sing. It’s all about finding your winter happy place.

  • Talk to a Pro: If things get tough, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a pro. Therapists or healthcare providers have amazing tools up their sleeves to help you tackle those Winter Blues head-on.

SIDE NOTE:  there are several types of mood trackers and mood journals available online. I have never used them, but I know people who have and say that writing it down in conjunction with the above tips seems to even them out. When doing this, you can find what your triggers are and work on that. That is true in ALL things in life. 

Remember, these little strategies can go a long way in brightening those winter days. Hey if you need an extra boost, a chat with a healthcare pro is always a great idea. Here’s to chasing away those Winter Blues and keeping that cozy, happy vibe all season long!

Talking To A Pro

If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of SAD, talk to a health care provider or a mental health specialist about your concerns. They may have you fill out a questionnaire to determine if your symptoms meet the criteria for SAD. 
If you, a family member or friend are diagnosed with SAD they may recommend using what they called a dopaminergic.  Well now that we got that Scary Word out there, let me tell you what it really means. It’s not scary at all.  It can be your best friend.
From reading online, and also speaking with readers and friends, it seems to be one of the common remedies used in addition to the above tips.  Medication wise, that is commonly suggested is: 9-Me—BC solution. This solution that may be recommended TARGET restoring balance, and alleviating the feeling of being blue and I guess we could say depressed. 
NOW on a personal note, in full transparency, I was suffering from depression and anxiety this year. I let it go too long without addressing it with my health professional. In my annual exam, I decided to speak up about it. She not only recommended a medication which I take faithfully every day, but she also recommended the above TIPS that I am providing to you today. It all works together to make a healthy, vibrant and happy person. So I guess you could say I speak from experience. 

Final Conclusion

Well my Winter Warriors and Friends know that you are not Alone this Winter! These cozy but sometimes challenging months, remember that a dash of brightness can make all the difference. Embrace those little moments of sunshine, whether it’s from a laughter-filled chat with a friend, the warmth of your favorite blanket, or the joy of dancing to your go-to tunes. Let’s turn these Winter Blues into shades of cheerful coziness!

Whether it’s creating your own sunshine-filled sanctuary at home, savoring nourishing foods that double up as mood boosters, or simply taking a few moments each day to breathe and appreciate the present – these are the little acts of self-love that keep us glowing. You’ve got this, and together, let’s make this winter a season filled with cozy moments, heartwarming memories, and a whole lot of happiness! Cheers to spreading that cozy, happy glow everywhere we go.

I want to take this time to also say how much I appreciate your ongoing support and readership – you’re not just a reader, but a valued friend on my blogging journey! Your input means the world to me, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below the post. Thank you for being a part of The City Cottage Family. 

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