As January winds down, you might find yourself fighting the winter blues. It’s cold, cloudy, and there’s just not a whole lot of excitement that happens after the holidays. In some way or another, we are psychologically affected by this shift. The lack of sunshine (Vitamin D) and reduced daylight creates changes in our mood! Because of this, you might be feeling a bit down!
Even if you’re not battling “the blues”, I think it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your mental health. Maybe you just had a really bad day this week or you received some crappy news…. Wherever you’re at, it’s important that you keep your spirits up! It’s so easy to fall into feelings of defeat, doubt, and discouragement especially in those months before spring hits!
So, I don’t know about you but I love a short little mood-booster blog post/Pinterest quote that gets me back on my feet in 3 minutes or less. A few have really helped me in this season of my life, and I thought I could pay it forward by creating my own list of helpful tips for you guys! Below are 10 things that ALWAYS cheer me up. I’m positive they’ll bring light into your life too!
- DE-CLUTTER – There are people who would disagree with me but I believe a messy space means a messy mind. A clean and clear environment allows you to feel organized, in control, and less overwhelmed. So clean up around you, get rid of unnecessary junk, sell or donate old clothes, and allow the art of de-cluttering to give you a fresh perspective on life!
- HAVE A SPA NIGHT – Soak your hands and feet, give them a little pedicure, paint your nails, take a bath, do a face mask, and put that stress or anxiety AWAY even if it’s just for the night. I try to make at least one of these things a weekly ritual and it completely relaxes and restarts my mood. Your hands and feet never get a day off so take care of them.
- PLAN A TRIP – You should always have something planned, whether big or small, to look forward to in the near future. This is a great way to keep your spirits boosted! Plan a cheap weekend getaway with your closest friends or save up for a tropical vacation! Having something like this planned for the end of the year or even mid-year will keep you motivated.
- START A NEW HOBBY – Doing something that makes you happy is so, so important. It helps break up the monotony of routine, especially if that routine only consists of eating, sleeping, and working. I picked up blogging and photography recently and it’s changed my life. At the end of the day, no matter what went wrong or right, I have this blog and it makes me happy!
- WORKOUT – Ok, I struggle with this one the most… I dread the gym even though I know how important and beneficial it is. Exercising does incredible things for our mental health. When we exercise, we increase the levels of the hormones and chemicals in our brain that are naturally compromised during the winter months.
- CALL OR VISIT MOM AND DAD – Did you know scientific studies show hugging a parent, specifically your mom, increases oxtytocin and reduces cortisol (a stress hormone)? That’s right, a simple hug from mom can instantly diminish the blues! So call up the ‘rents and share your fears, let them build you up, and if you’re able, give them a big hug!
- HAVE A VIEWING PARTY WITH FRIENDS – If you and your friends have the same favorite TV show, host a viewing party! Every Monday I look forward to having the bestie over for some takeout, a glass of wine, and The Bachelor! It’s so laid back but I really do look forward to it. It brightens up my Mondays!
- TRY A NEW LOOK – Considering a new hair color, winged eyeliner, a statement necklace ,or a bold patterned outfit? GO FOR IT! Change things up, revive your inner diva! There’s magic in a fresh haircut, I swear!
- CELEBRATE SMALL WINS – If you aren’t positively reinforcing yourself for those victory moments, you’re cheating yourself. Celebrate small accomplishments as much as you can! Give yourself recognition when it’s due. Your faults and disappointments will fade when you realize how far you’ve come.
- DO A SOCIAL MEDIA CLEANSE – The grass isn’t greener on the other side, IT’S GREEN WHERE YOU WATER IT. It’s so easy to get swooped up in the distortions social media sometimes feeds us. Actually, it can become quite harmful if you’re not careful. If you often compare or feel depressed after scrolling through Facebook, try to remember this: it’s not fair to judge someone else’s middle to your beginning, your journey in life is unique to you, and above all of that – most people only share the highlight reel. So clean up that news feed, “hide” what needs to be hidden, and delete as you see fit.
Pick a tip or two and try to stick with it! Your mood will dramatically improve but you have to make an effort! Ultimately, happiness begins and ends with YOU. Once you decide to make being happy a lifestyle, the blues will fade away!
Hang in there, beautiful!