Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Turn Winter Blues into Colorful Hues

Early February, cold and blustery, is often a time of year I hear from people in a winter "funk".  While these individuals aren't suffering from Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), they are none the less suffering.  And yes, suffering is part of the human experience.  But I'd like to investigate why these people are feeling this way and find some remedies.
Aside from the obvious, less day light, frigid temperatures, heck even the aftermath of a jubilant holiday season, it is not uncommon for people to find themselves unhappy in early winter.   A lack of physical activity, possibly the intake of heavier meals, and an overall feeling of being inhibited no doubt is frustrating.
To assist myself in not feeling this way, there are a couple of things that I do.
1. Walk the dog.  Dogs can handle the weather better than we can.  And in fact, they prefer to get the activity than to not.
2. Daily yoga.  OK, maybe daily is stretching it- no pun intended.  But having yoga on my to-do list every day means that I usually get to it a few times a week.  Great for flexibility, stress reduction, cardio, and self worth.
3. Open the shades!  The sun is out there even if it is winter.  I try to get the most of the daylight each day when I can.
4. Eat lighter foods that are whole!  Winters used to be meatballs and pasta weather.  In our new adventure, lentil vegetable stews and vegetable egg stratas are taking over.
5. Spend more time in the kitchen.  Because we can't go out all the time in the winter, my daughter and I often find fun "projects" to do in the kitchen.  It could be baking a cake with sugar alternatives or cutting a rainbow of vegetables for an evening meal.
6. Do an art project.  My husband likes to paint.  My daughter likes to draw.  I'll do anything with the colors of the rainbow.  The process and the accomplishment of art activities help us to feel good even when we can't be outside:)