Over the weekend, I wrote about my bad day and how I just didn’t feel like myself. I’m not quite sure it’s Winter Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder or anything like that. It’s just that time of year. You guys know what I’m talking about: the holidays are over, but we still have to get through a cold winter (at least in my part of the country); it’s a brand new year, but it doesn’t quite feel like a brand new you; everyone’s making resolutions, so you feel like it’s expected that you come up with all these things to change about yourself, when you’re still just trying make sense of the same old you. Or some variation of these feelings. Know what I’m sayin’?
I call it the Winter Drearies.
When it’s so cold you just want to curl up in bed all day every day. When the slightest task annoys and/or exhausts you. When even the thought of Spring Cleaning excites you because at least it will be warm. You just need to Make. It. To. Spring. The Drearies.
To help, I have come up with 6 ideas to help motivate you, distract you, and just help you to get through this difficult time of the year.
To quote the wise Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy; happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” Now hopefully that last part in no way applies to you, but you get the point. Sure, maybe it’s too cold outside to run or you hate the gym at this time of year because all the “resolutioners” are there, taking over your elliptical, but you can do something. I admit that sometimes I just can’t muster the strength or energy to pick up a dumbbell, but we really all should do something. When you’re in shape (or at least trying to be), you feel great; I think we can all agree to that.
My solution was to start P90X3! It’s the same super intense workouts as P90X and P90X2 but for only THIRTY minutes a day. I mean, really, that’s nothing, so I have NO EXCUSES. I do a different workout for only thirty minutes a day, and I feel really good about myself. Try it! **
I know I mentioned Spring Cleaning, but who says you HAVE to wait until spring to clean? There’s a reason why people chant the mantra “Clean House, Clean Soul.” It typically rings true. Think about when your house is clean, I mean really sparkling clean. Doesn’t it just feel great? You know where everything is; you feel proud; you’re more motivated to invite friends over to show off how good your house looks!
And this doesn’t have to apply to just your house – clean out your closet, your email inbox, even your friends (see below)!
During the months of November and December, everyone seems to be really busy: shopping, traveling, spending time with family, going to office parties, etc. I personally feel as though I don’t see my friends as often during this time. This is why January is the perfect time to check in with and reconnect with your friends. Book a coffee date; go wine tasting; try out that new restaurant that just opened. The point is, as we get older, we unfortunately only tend to grow apart from our friends unless we make the effort to stay together. Everyone’s lives start to grow more and more demanding. Take the time to reconnect.
For example, one of my best friends from high school and I got together the night of New Year’s Day and were reminiscing about the past. She brought up that she still has all our old notebooks from high school (you know, instead of passing notes back and forth, you and your friends would just pass a notebook around?), and we’ve made plans to get together again this weekend to read our ridiculous notebooks over some wine. I can’t wait!
About cleaning out friends; we’ve all heard that those toxic “frienemies” aren’t good for us. I say in with the new year and out with those old friends who are dragging us down. Even if you don’t see or talk to your friends as often as you’d like, they should still be nothing but supportive and uplifting when you do interact. If not, get rid of them! (I know, I know, easier said than done!)
Do something to challenge yourself. It could involve any of the items above, but what about something completely different? Make up your own challenge, or participate in a challenge you’ve seen on the internet that has always interested you. Case in point: the 30×30 challenge. I’ve seen this for years and have always kind of sort of wanted to try it, but never did because I was either too timid or too lazy or convinced myself I was too busy. I’m so glad I finally decided to do it. Even if I have no motivation to do anything during the day, I’m still going photograph my outfit and put it on my blog because I made a commitment to do so. If nothing else, it helps get me dressed every day.
So what can you do? There’s still time to join me in the 30×30 (nothing wrong with a 30×15! Or you could go the TOPIO route). Or what about something complete different? Perhaps you could challenge yourself to complete one Pinterest project a week or cook one completely new recipe a week. Or tackle that sewing project pile that has started to accumulate. You get the idea. But take it a step further: blog about it (if you have a blog), or Instagram, Tweet, Facebook it. Posting makes you more accountable, and it allows you to connect with those in the same situation, thus forming a community.
I mean, come on; if you’re sad, isn’t the fastest remedy to laugh? I know that’s not always as easy as it sounds, but try to find something funny to make yourself laugh. I read somewhere that smiling and laughing tricks the brain into thinking you’re happy. Admittedly, I cannot cite my sources on this one, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? The easiest way I’ve found to make myself laugh in a snap? YouTube videos! I’ve talked about my love for certain YouTubers before, but they really are a bright part of my day. Here are some of my favorites: Miranda Sings, Colleen Ballinger, ItsGrace (she just changed channels, so you can watch DailyGrace to see her old stuff), Mamrie Hart / mametown, & TimWillDestroy You. Happy laughing!
Now, if one of your goals this year was to save money and/or budget, then don’t just run out and blow your money; however, buying yourself a nice thing once awhile can help make you feel better, if only temporarily. This won’t fix your problems, but it can help for a couple days. Don’t turn this into a habit though. It’s not a good idea to run out and spend money every time you’re sad. In that case, I turn to online window shopping. Sometimes just scrolling through my favorite stores and bookmarking things I love helps calm my mood. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try. And because I love you, I did some window shopping for you. I did all the hard work, and all you have to do is look at the pretty things below.
Blouse: H&M, $49.95
Scarf: Nordstrom, $31.20 (on sale!)
Necklace: Francesca’s, $32
Leggings: TopShop, $36
Dress: Anthropologie, $198
Skirt: JCrew, $118
Boots: Madewell, $295
Bag: Kate Spade, $298
*Normally I link to affordable items (typically under $100), but we’re sad, so we’re dreaming big today!
Well, there you have it. My advice on how to kick the pants out of the Winter Drearies. Do you have any ideas that I may be missing? If all else fails, just hibernate. Spring will be here soon.
**I am in no way affiliated with P90X3 or Beach Body; I just really love the program!
Tagged: how to help soothe the winter drearies, how to help winter depression, things to make you happy, things to make you happy in the winter, winter depression, winter drearies, winter sadness, winter wishlist