10 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

10 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

How To Smile Like a Snowman This Winter!
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Does your snowman wear a frown?
A lot of people are affected by the Winter Blues, known medically as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is most likely caused by the reduced amount of sunlight in the late fall and winter months, and it causes many people to feel very depressed without any outside stimulation to cause it. Does this sound like you? If it does, I'm here to help with 10 ways to make yourself a little happier this season.

1. Get outside.

Since you are spending a lot more time indoors, now is a great time to immerse yourself in a new hobby. This can even be your new year's resolution! Find a passion that gets your excited and keeps you occupied for hours. You won't have any time to think about the things that get you down.

3. Journal

Writing is a great way to get out those pent-up emotions. Instead of talking to someone about your problems, which can only extend the time you think about your troubles, or keeping them to yourself, mulling them over in your mind for hours, write down your thoughts. It supplies the release you need by sharing your thoughts, but once you've written them down, the conversation is over and you can move on. Additionally, journaling is a great way to achieve your new year's resolutions - keep a log of your eating, finances, and anything else you want to improve.

4. Increase Your Intake of Vitamin D

Speaking of eating healthier, increasing Vitamin D in your diet can be a great way of supplementing that luck of sunshine. Vitamin D, normally soaked up through our skin from the sun, can greatly contribute to your mood elevation or depression. Vitamin D can be found in fish, eggs, and dairy products made from whole milk. If you don't think you're getting enough in your diet, consider asking your personal physician to do some blood work - if you find your body's lacking, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. Make sure you choose one from a reputable brand and take it as instructed to reap the greatest benefits.

5. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to increase your own joy while helping someone else as well. It's proven that helping others makes us feel better about ourselves - it gives us a sense of community, importance, and usefulness, and it can be a a great way to meet other people and better the world around you. This is an especially good idea for anyone who is feeling lonely this winter. You'll be working with others and meeting other people who you can build relationships with that will keep you feeling happy and loved all through the year.

6. Declutter Your Surroundings

Don't wait for spring cleaning to get your organize your belongings. A cluttered environment can increase anxiety. Take a day to clean up the house and give yourself room to breathe. Donate items you no longer need. Gift items you think someone you know would love. Make yourself a spot where you can sit and relax when you need a moment of peace.

7. Cook a Hearty Meal

In the winter, we tend to have some unhealthy eating habits. Some, because of depression, tend to eat to little, while others eat to much. Meanwhile, there are plenty of sugary temptations to wreak havoc on our diet and digestive systems. A great way to solve this problem, and improve your mood, is to take this time to cook yourself a hearty meal. It will keep you from snacking unhealthily through the day (if you're a chronic eater), or it will force you to actually sit down and eat a nutritious meal (if you tend to stay away from food when you're in a bad mood). Make sure the meal is high in protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and carbohydrates with a high fiber content so you feel satisfied. Cooking is a great hobby that can be fueled into a way to beat depression, while eating the delicious food increases your serotonin levels, making you happier.

8. Exercise

Exercise increases your endorphin levels, which makes you a very happy person. Additionally, it makes you healthier and can help you achieve that new year's resolution you've been working on for years now. Take the time to do a 30 minute workout each day and you'll love the results.

9. Enjoy Free Activities in Your City

There are lots of indoor events that happening in your city during the winter to keep you entertained and get you out of the house. Check your local libraries page for special events. Look up local museums to see if they are featuring a gallery free-of-charge or having a free-admission day. Check if your local community college is having any free concerts. Get out and about and enjoy the world around you.

10. Drink Lots of Water

This is quite possibly the most simple and most important thing you can do to improve your mood. A dehydrated body is an unhappy body. Make sure you are drinking at least 64oz of water a day, every day, not just in the winter. You'll find yourself having more energy, a happier mood, and a healthier body.

The winter blues can turn what would otherwise be another beautiful season into dreaded, dreary months. Take some time to elevate your mood and enjoy life around you - every moment is precious, and you deserve to spend it smiling.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Regardless Of The Trials In Your Life Right Now, Always Keep Smiling

A simple smile can release all your negative psychological emotions and transform them into positive emotions.

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"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight" should always resonate in your hearts and minds whenever you are going through a rough patch. A simple smile can release all your negative psychological emotions and transform them into positive emotions. I strongly believe that when you smile, most of your stress neurons disappear leaving you more subdued towards the positive prospects of life. Life is short and I sincerely urge everyone to spend more time smiling and enjoying the precious moments with loved ones. You never know how much your smile can mean to others around you.

I'm blessed to be able to experience this immaculate feeling whenever I'm volunteering at my local hospital. Whenever I walk in to interact and check in with patients, I always enter with a bright smile on my face in the hopes of cheering them up. Most of the patients who I'm able to see are the elderly who are suffering from various debilitating diseases or are on their road to recovery. It is truly a special and remarkable feeling to observe the glow on their faces when I speak to them with a huge smile on my face. Their smile in response to mine brightens up my day in a mind-blowing way!

Furthermore, your smile is precious and priceless. There shouldn't be any price or strings attached to it. Smiling has been proven to be a universal form of communication globally because it views everyone as equals without any type of discrimination. In other words, a smile brings two nations together just like love brings two hearts together. The intensity of your smile will bewilder people around you and make them want to smile too.

Another reason everyone should always encourage others to smile is that it can release any type of internalized tension that they are trying to lock inside their hearts. Any type of stress, anxiety, or emotional conflicts should not be suppressed inside you. In fact, you should strive to conquer your failures, hardships, and emotional turmoil with a breathtakingly expressive smile! Keep in mind, smiling can be viewed as a coping mechanism as well as a therapeutic route to recovery.

No matter how many difficulties you have, never let it get to you and always keep on smiling!

Cover Image Credit:

Erikka Chowdhury

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