The Seasonal Blues

The seasons have changed, the weather has changed, it’s getting darker earlier, and the holidays are starting. I don’t know about you, but I get a little anxious and feel the shift in my morale as I look ahead, while counting down the days until summer.

The warm summer sun and vitamin D is such a blessing to our bodies and mind! It gives us energy; it pulls us outside and chases away the blues. If you thrive in winter, I’m giving you a hug and an air five; you are lucky. For others, it’s a battle to keep our cups full.

If you fight the seasonal blues, you are not alone. Many of us can relate to a few (if not all) of the following:

The pressure and stress of the holidays – while glorious and fun – the details to get there can bring on anxiety. Thinking ahead to the school parties, gifts, treats and exchanges, and yet trying to end the year full of wonderful memories for our families.

The cold, dreary and darker days that keep us inside lead to more fatigue, lack of energy and focus. Because we spend more time inside, we are more socially disconnected than in the summer.

Add the holiday comfort food, cozy blankets on the couch, and the darkness that sets in at 5pm, and it feels impossible to avoid sinking into “the dark hole”.

As an added bonus, you play the “hot flash-cold flash” game with all your layers while you run errands outside and then back in the car to melt. We spend the next several months not only searching for missing socks for our kids, but now also missing mittens, hats and hoodies.

The holidays bring such a fun spirited high, but then when January hits, it’s as if our brains and bodies are fighting hibernation. Our wallets are empty, leaving us in a state of frozen blues.

I already miss the simplicity of summer, but it’s time to layer up, keep our hot chocolate cups full, and pull up our wool socks to fight the “battle of the blues”!

I grew up in Minnesota and the winters were extremely frigid (-25° temps and wind chills that forced you to stay inside)! Over the years, I learned different things to help me cope. I hope some of these ideas help you too!

What can you do to help with anxiety and the mood shift that comes with this change in season?

1. KEEP MOVING – Write down a weekly exercise goal, put it where you can see it, and stick to it. Call a friend or spouse and ask them to help keep you accountable. (There were several times when I was TIRED, PREGNANT and cold but my husband would gently remind me to go, and I always felt better after.) Showing up is the hardest part.

Studies show that those who were active at least the “minimum” recommended level of physical activity reduced their risk of depression by 25%. Endorphins are the natural anti-depressant medicine our bodies need! 

2. GET OUTSIDE – Bundle up, grab your flashlights, and go explore! Fuel up on fresh air with the kids for a few minutes before bed, even if it’s cold.

3. LIGHT THERAPY – Also known as “Phototherapy”. This special lamp puts out a high amount of light that mimics the sun. This can help with energy, better sleep, improved moods, increased productivity and focus, along with several other benefits. You can find these lamps and more information on Amazon. Put the lamp on while you get ready every morning.

4. FRIEND NIGHT OR DATE NIGHT – Get out of the house, kid-free, relax, go to a comedy or do something that makes you LAUGH!

5. MOTIVATIONALS – When you need a little boost, look up a daily motivational on YouTube and listen on the way to work. It may be just what you need to start the day on a better note or to get out of your head.

6. SPEAK TO A THERAPIST – There are several resources through your church and online. A lot of counselors will do virtual appointments now, so you don’t have to leave your home. Life is hard; the blues are harder. We don’t just grow up and then stop growing. Mental health is ever-changing. Ask for help.

7. RE-FOCUS – As the holidays approach, step back before the busyness starts and make sure you are focused on the reason for the season. The stores are great at enticing us to buy new decorations, and the influencers are showcasing the clothing and all the extras that WE REALLY DON’T NEED.

8. FILL UP – Grab your favorite coffee mug and read a motivational or bible verse in the morning before you tackle the day.

9. WRITE IT OUT – Write your daily to-do list and check things off to keep you motivated.

10. HUGS – Give your kids extra hugs and hold them longer. They need it just as much as you.

11. CHECK IN – Check in on your friends and family MORE. Everyone is truly fighting something, and winter can make things harder. If you are having a good day, share it. Reach out to someone and say something positive.

Do you struggle with the seasonal blues? What triggers it for you and what do you do to fight it? Let’s help each other out with the hope to give someone a brighter and happier winter ahead!

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Richelle is originally from Minnesota and moved to Oklahoma in 1998! She now resides in Arcadia with her husband of 15 years and 4 boys (10,8,6 and 1). She also has a stepdaughter who is 23 and is getting married this year! Richelle is going on her 20th year in the real estate industry and enjoys helping many families obtain the dream of owning or selling a home. In her free time, she enjoys being outside exploring with her family, having movie nights, lunch dates with friends and working out at Orangetheory. One day she hopes to live on some land and own a cow!


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