With the lack of sunshine, warmth, and summer recreation, it is normal to sometimes get a little
“blue” in the winter months. Here are a few ways to combat seasonal depression, and even lift
your spirits year-round.
Having plants in your home cannot only brighten your living space, but also help to purify
the indoor air, which is often more polluted than we think. In addition, research has also
shown that plants are much more conscious than we once believed, and have shown to
have empathy towards other plants as well as their owners. This could also be why
plants are affected differently by different musical genres, (which gives you a great
excuse to blast some Bach while doing chores around the house.)
Having live plants indoors during the winter is a beautiful way to stay connected to
nature, and as a reminder that spring is just around the corner. Many houseplants are
low maintenance, and can propagate (create baby plants) fairly quickly and grow fast.
Spider plants, or Chlorophytum, is a common houseplant that you will be able to take
care of easily, even if you don’t have a green thumb. Philodendrons are also a quick growing
plant, and as it grows you can trim its branches, and by putting them in water, will form
roots to either plant another plant, or leave them in water as a water vase.
While it may be challenging to go out for a walk or do outdoor activities during the winter
months, there are ways to get the circulation pumping to release endorphins (feel good
chemicals) into your brain more quickly. Exercise can be as easy as using proper
techniques for squats when bending over like making a fire in the fireplace, moving
wood, or loading the dishwasher.
Squatting whenever possible, or doing lunges (think vacuuming by bending the knees
more instead of the back) and by making small changes like keeping your back
straighter and upright, and keeping your knees over your ankles while tightening your
core, while doing chores, optimizes your activity to get the blood pumping. Playing feel-
good music and dancing can also be an easy mood-booster, and if you want to dance
like no one is watching (even if they are) you will burn even more calories!
3. Light Therapy and Blue Light Blocking Devices
With more awareness coming into the light about seasonal depression, light therapy
devices have come into the market, boasting incredibly positive results. Without
exposing yourself to harmful Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, light therapy devices give you
many positive benefits of the sun without exposing you to harmful light emissions, or
ever having to leave your house. They even have alarm clocks that are set to emit light
according to the sunrise, in order to help you synchronize to the natural circadian
rhythms of nature.
With artificial light, comes certain frequencies (often referred to as blue light) from our
electronic device, often affecting our ability to go to sleep at normal hours when the sun
goes down (like our ancestors once did.) Light devices and blue light blocking glasses
can help us reprogram our circadian rhythms to get better sleep at night, as well as
waking up more refreshed in the morning.
4. Snow Crafts
There are a number of different ways that you can incorporate the beautiful Sierra
Nevada snow into your crafts, letting mother nature play a role in your designs. One way
to do this is through ice tye dye. By laying out fabric onto the snow, you can take normal
powdered tye dye (without adding water) and sprinkle in on the fabric. Then, using either
snow or ice cubes (this can be done in hot summer months also) place the ice over the
fabric and let it do its magic! The ice will melt over the fabric, creating unique designs,
fun for the whole family! You can also use watercolor pencils and paper, creating your
art and then setting the paper outside to have the snow fall on it. Art in general, as well
as finding other hobbies that fit your lifestyle and preferences, can help tremendously,
especially on those “snow days” where you feel cooped up in the house.
With many people lacking in basic nutrients because of food not being as nutritious as it
was once due to soil quality and environmental aspects, it may be wise to consider
supplementing your diet with additional nutrients, especially in the winter. A high quality
vitamin D supplement can help provide nutrients you may normally get from the sun, as
well as a fish oil or omega 3 supplement, and probiotics. As always, talk to your health
care professional to see what supplements you are lacking, and what you may benefit
from the most.
With winter being a time of inner reflection and gaining a new perspective on how we
desire to manifest and shape our lives for the new coming year, a great way to maintain a
positive perspective on life is by volunteering. Not only does it help other people, it also
releases endorphins, and helps you to have the fulfillment that you are making a
difference in people's (or animals) lives, as well a greater purpose than just yourself. By finding ways to volunteer, you not only get a social outlet, but a way to be involved in your community,
to help to make the world a better place. Getting out of the house and finding ways to
connect can be crucial to not only human potential and well-being, but especially this
time of year where many people feel disconnected and isolated.
7. Community Resources
Take a visit to your local library, you may find the perfect book for a cozy read by the
fireplace! Check out local events, like the longboard races happening monthly, to enjoy winter
festivities. Perhaps consider finding ways to enjoy the snow by snowshoeing, skiing,
snowmobiling, or simply finding a peaceful place to reflect, like by the lake or river that you can
drive to daily easily, and sit in your car if it’s too cold to venture out, even for just a few minutes
of meditation. If travel is not an option, find a comfortable space like a window or chair that you
can do some journaling in, or any activity that comforts you (maybe a jigsaw puzzle?)!
No matter where you find yourself this season, make it the best possible winter you can.
By searching for positive perspectives, and being grateful for what we have, we can find new
opportunities to learn, grow, play, and evolve, into the happiest version of ourselves! Hoping you
find your inner bliss no matter what time of year it is, and my wish is that joy, peace, and love,
are with you, no matter what part of this journey you are on.