Happy New Year Friends! As we enter the new year I know that many of you are excited about all of the opportunities it may bring. I tend to get very excited about fresh starts but not everyone feels giddy about moving into what for many can be a pretty bleak time of year. I think most of us realize that the winter months are tough. Its cold temps, short days, and lack of serotonin from the sun can be challenging-especially this winter where there may not be as many opportunities to change your scenery. On top of that coming off the holiday season can be hard for some too. As someone with a pretty sunny outlook, I want to remind you (and myself) that It’s ok to own your feelings, no one feels jolly all the time, but if you’re feeling stuck and looking for ways to combat the winter blues here are some small things you can do
Make sure you have (or create) a support system. Enlist a good friend or family member as someone you can call on and someone who will check in on you. Be honest about how you’re feeling. Try to be consistent in your efforts to reach out (a daily text, a weekly call or biweekly FaceTime chat) and make sure the other person is committed to being there for you. If you don’t have a close family or a circle of friends consider reaching out to some of your online friends that you may have connected with. I’ve made some really strong connections through Instagram, my older daughter has made connections through her mom centered Facebook groups, and my younger daughter chats with friends in the friendship (not dating) feature in Bumble BFF.
Try something new-start a new puzzle, try new recipes, or learn to play chess. Mixing up your regular activities might give you a little boost. Many of you may remember I took a writing class this summer. I not only learned new writing techniques, but I made a really good friend with who I still have a penpal (via email) relationship with, so signing up for that class was certainly a win-win.
Spend time outdoors. Once the weather changes it’s easy to retreat indoors but break out your winter wear for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or enjoy hot coco on your patio. This might be a good opportunity for you to spend some time alone too if your current quarantine situation has you constantly surrounded by others. A little me time is essential.
Remember that it’s ok to say no-this one is really more holiday-related but the invites to celebrate milestones or happy hours aren’t completely going away. Your friends and family will still want to connect-which is a good thing and gatherings online or IRL (I hope they’re mostly online) can be fun but they can also be overwhelming too. Back to back zoom invites can be just as stressful as packed calendars of in-person events. Pick one or two and know that it’s ok to say no to any subsequent invites.
The most important thing you can do to combat the winter blues is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself! And if things are really tough for you make sure you reach out for help. Many counselors and therapists are still providing counseling services via teletherapy which might be a great way for you to get started if you’re not already seeing someone regularly.
So those are my 4 small tips for combating the winter blues. If you have a tip or two that works well for you I’d love for you to share below in the comments too.
Until Next Post,
Xo Tonya Parker
*As usual you can shop my look here