4 ways to combat the winter blues

Just like that, the first month of the year has come and gone and the post-holiday blues around this time of year can definitely be felt: those drab, blah, mundane feelings that creep up into your world post-holidays…the lights, excitement, family time, and everything just goes back to normal. Here are four of our favorite ways to manage those post-holiday, January blues.

1) Movement & veggies: We as a society often forget the strong link between our physical and mental health and how much our diet impacts our mood and well-being. ┬áDuring these months, try to be really conscious of eating enough vegetables and when you find yourself feeling “crunchy” (as we like to call it), the first thing to ask yourself is whether you’ve eaten any vegetables lately. It’s easy to fall into that comfort, junk food loop but sometimes all you need are a boost of nutrients to boost your mood. Movement is also key during this time, too. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk or an hour yoga class, make a commitment to yourself and your body to somehow move, every day. That’s what our bodies were meant to do.

2) Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness is another key essential to managing health. Studies show that even just 10 minutes of meditation a day has a big impact on your overall mental health. One app that we just love to use during my meditation practice is Insight Timer.  There are all different kinds of free, guided meditations on all different topics, from confidence to sleep that range anywhere from 1 minute to 90 minutes and beyond.

3) Small habits/Values: Whether we choose to do resolutions or not, the start of the year brings about a feeling of a fresh start, a clean slate. Often times our resolutions are goals to improve something about ourselves or our lifestyle, i.e. lose a few pounds, try a new exercise class, be more present with our families. Big goals are accomplished with small, consistent steps.  Before you give up on your goals or resolutions, think about the smallest step that you can take towards that goal. Pack your gym stuff the night before. Leave your yoga mat in the car. Set your alarm 1 minute early. You’ll gain confidence in being able to achieve these tiny wins and in those tiny wins are all part of the process.

4) Find a therapist: If you don’t already have a therapist, start the search to find one. The website www.psychologytoday.com has a great searching tool to find therapists in your area and includes information about their practice, possible insurance or whether they offer sliding scale pay, and general approach to therapy. Write three down that catch your eye from there, and give them a call. Even if you feel like you’re doing okay without one, having a therapist just makes life easier.

Small little tweaks in your daily routine can really make the biggest difference.

Posted in Intentional Living, Occupational Therapy, The WonderWell Experience, Wellbeing and tagged , , , , .

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