It can be very easy to give into the doldrums that goes along with dreariness of overcast skies and dealing with bored children and their negative attitudes this time of the year, but there are a few things you can do to fight those doldrums. Here are some refreshing tips.
Do something different or “crazy”: It can be so easy to fall into a boring, hoh-hum existence, and when you are trapped inside on a daily basis, the sam ‘ole same ‘ole can make you feel well…borderline insane. So, why not control your own destiny? Do something spontaneous or out of character. This could be something as simple as taking some time in the morning to try a new hairsyle you have never dared before, all the way to something as dramatic as packing up the car and taking that trip to the shore you have been planning all year long, just to dip your toes in the cold water. The point is to motivate yourself by taking yourself out of a complacent state. You’d be amazed at how the smallest change can revitalize your soul.
Throw the stress out with the bathwater: Not many people would consider throwing cold water on their face this time of year (unless of course, you live in a hot climate), but there is not much of a better way (save something caffeinated) to give yourself a “fresh” state of view. Other options include a slightly damp washcloth in the freezer, your favorite eye gel tub in the freezer, altoids, peppermint oil, etc.
Stay Hydrated: Nothing zaps your energy like rolling around your day dehydrated. A moderately active person should drink 4 liters of water a day. Designate a water bottle to keep by your side all day – I carry around a Deer-Park squeeze bottle that I saved, washed after initual use, and refill regularly with filtered water.
Breathe: You don’t have to be a yoga-enthusiast to recognize and practice the health benefits from breathing exercises. When feeling stressed or overhelmed, take a few moments, close your eyes, and focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply. You will be amazed at how effective 30 seconds to a minute of deep breathing can help you relax and refocus.
Practice your patience: We know its hard, but DON’T lift the lid on your slow cooker! There is no need to stir your recipe, and each lid raise equates to twenty minutes added onto your cook time. We know it is easier than it sounds.
Get your blood pumping: You may not have the physical capability to exercise regularly (a proven destressor), but most everyone can walk a short distance. Take a slow walk outside around the block to get your blood moving to your largest muscle – the brain.
Get your Vitamin-D: Studies have shown that 20 minutes of direct sunlight can make a huge difference in your energy level, and lack of sun interaction is proven scientifically to be one of the direct causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder. You don’t have to go outside to get your melatonin fix, find a sunny spot under a window and soak it in!
Smile more: Ever heard, “fake it ’til you make it?” Scientifically, turning up your mouth lowers your blood pressure, makes “happy wrinkles.” and stimulates certain parts of the brain.
Socialize: Humans by nature are wired to be social animals, but just like it is easy to get stuck in a routine, it is easy to sequester yourself away from interactions. I am especially looking at all you mothers out there. Adult interaction is very important for human development in all stages of life, and you can get it from just saying hello to your local librarian and joining a mom’s group or book club, wherever your interests take you.