7 Easy Steps to Beat the Winter Blues and Prepare for a Powerful New Year
January 11, 2020 | Ramseier Realty Group
Winter is here. Even though we have turned the corner and our days are officially getting longer, January often feels like one of the darkest, gloomiest months of the year. Without the bows and ribbons of the holiday season, January is the Jan Brady to December’s Marsha.
But, just like Jan Brady, January has its own special purpose. The month of January is a great opportunity to turn inward, focus on yourself, and create a fabulous self-care routine to help fuel you the entire year. Here are seven easy steps to beat the winter blues and prepare for a powerful new year.
1. Get enough sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. The body needs time to rest and heal just as the brain needs time to shut down and process. When you deny yourself sleep, you’re actually sabotaging yourself.
You may not realize it, but when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to be unhappy, less able to cope with stressful situations, and more likely to say or do things that start fights or hurt others. By not getting enough sleep, you end up punishing yourself—and the other people around you.
Most studies show adults needs around 7-9 hours of sleep at night. However, this number is a guideline. Some adults may actually require more sleep than this. Children require anywhere from 8-17 hours of sleep, depending on the age of the child.
2. Fuel up.
What you put into your body is important—particularly during a challenging month like January. You probably already know you should eat healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. However, you might not realize the reason behind this idea is to ensure your body gets the right vitamins and minerals.
In particular, Vitamin D (which is found in fatty fish like salmon and dairy products) can help make the darkest days feel more tolerable. So, if you’re feeling kind of dreary and blah, adding some extra Vitamin D might give your body the boost it needs.
But getting yourself fueled up isn’t just eating right—you also need to be drinking plenty of water. The minimum amount of water you should drink in a day is 64 ounces. Keep in mind, though, many people actually require more than the minimum amount.
For example, people who drink caffeinated beverages should drink an additional ounce of water for every ounce of caffeinated beverage consumed. Also, if you are exercising, you also need additional water to replace the water lost by sweating.
Speaking of sweating, exercise is also a great way to beat the winter blues. In just a short amount of time, your mood will lift as blood and endorphins pump through your body. Just make sure that when you exercise, you are doing something you actually enjoy.
By doing something fun, you increase the chances that you will keep exercising. This is important because regular exercise will yield the most benefits. The Mayo Clinic suggests adults get “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.”
4. Absorb helpful rays.
Although the weather may be cold and sunlight may be at a minimum, it’s still important to chase those rays! Try to take a walk outside when the weather is nice to let yourself be exposed to as much sunlight as possible. If you have long stretches of bad weather or complete darkness, find a light therapy lamp to let your body absorb some helpful rays. (There are a ton of reasonably priced options on Amazon.)
5. Limit your screen time.
Plain and simple, spending too much time in front of a screen is depressing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s summertime or winter; if you’re glued to a screen, you’re prone to be more sad than a person who isn’t anchored to a device.
Plus, screen time can stimulate your brain in a way that makes it tough to fall asleep at night. By spending a couple of hours before bedtime screen-free, you may greatly improve the quality and length of your night’s sleep.
6. Get rid of baggage.
Whether it’s a junky kitchen drawer or nagging friends, January is a great time to get rid of the extra baggage in your life and make some changes. Think of January as Marie Kondo Month, and then come up with a plan to get rid of all the items in your life that don’t “spark joy.”
Go through your drawers, closets, and horizontal surfaces and collect any items that you don’t use or absolutely love. Then, drive those items straight to a local donation site like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Disabled Veterans. You can even write your donation off on that year’s taxes. (Just be sure to ask for a receipt when you donate.)
When you are assessing your personal relationships, it’s a little trickier to apply the Marie Kondo method. Start by examining your work relationships and your friendships. If you feel like there’s a person who brings you down, think about what you can do to spend less time with that person. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Then, be proud of yourself taking action to make yourself happier.
7. Don’t skimp on self-care.
All of the previous six steps for beating the winter blues are crucial components of self-care. However, self-care isn’t just sleeping, eating well, and exercising. It isn’t just ensuring you get enough sunshine and not too much screen time. No, self-care is more than a line of boxes to check on someone else’s list of what you need to do in order to be healthy.
Self-care is paying attention to your needs and taking action to ensure your happiness. This can mean any number of activities. To figure out what you need, take a moment to be quiet and then think about what you really want to do. Most often, the first activity that pops into your mind is what you are really seeking.
By taking the time to ensure you are meeting your own needs, you take responsibility for your happiness and greatly reduce the risk of letting yourself burn out. If you can adopt these seven easy steps to beat the winter blues in January, you will surely have a powerful new year ahead of you.
Ready to Start Your New Year in a New Home?
New year, new you, new home? No problem!
If you’re thinking of relocating in or near the St. Joseph area, the team at Ramseier Realty Group are ready to help. Meet with our experts to find the perfect new spot for your home. Give us a call today at 816.262.8077 to speak with one of our experienced realtors or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment.