How To Weather The Winter Blues: Top 5 Ways to Bring the Sunshine Back
Fact: It’s 2021 now.
Fact: COVID did not magically disappear. And you basically feel like you are living one big groundhog day.
Fact: Blue Monday is approaching this week (the ‘saddest’ day of the year) and you have the January blues. (Womp, womp.)
Did you know the Winter Blues are an actual thing? According to the CMHA, up to 15% of Canadians experience the Winter Blues (and I reckon, it may be a lot higher this year….thanks for nothing, COVID). So there really isn’t a better time to share this list of ways for you to weather the winter blues.
1. Declutter. Organize.
Feeling stuck inside as it pours for days and days on end? Maybe use that time to declutter, and see where you can create more order. That’s right – Marie Kondo your life. Take some time to meticulously and methodically look at your belongings. Create an inner oasis for yourself by organizing and tidying. Plus, you can donate your good-used condition items to our Thrift store!
The Women in our Drug & Alcohol Recovery program at Lydia Home are taught to journal. Karen, the manager at Lydia Home explains how the process of journaling can be cathartic for all: “Journaling helps the women in our program get in touch with their feelings while they work through the complexities of addiction and trauma. The process of destressing in this way, working through one’s feelings – both negative and positive, and finding moments of gratitude to write about can be a wonderfully therapeutic practice for all people.” And honestly, if you’ve got the time – why not try bullet journaling? It can be life-changing – and a space for both creativity and catharsis.
When you are feeling low – get outside and get moving. There’s scientific evidence that the shorter days can contribute to the Winter Blues, so if you can get out when the sun’s out… DO IT. For the men in our Alcohol & Drug Recovery Program, heading outdoors is essential to aiding their recovery process – it is something they do often through the Expeditions program. And is healthy for us all.
4. Practice Sleep Hygiene.
Claire of Hope & Wonder Life Coaching says, “The long dark days of winter are hard enough to endure without the added social isolation in this year of COVID19 restrictions. Protecting your sleep with good sleep hygiene during the winter is key because quality sleep is needed for overall physical and mental health. Good sleep also helps to reduce irritability, lowers the magnitude of the sensation of pain, and supports mental focus and memory – all positives.” There is a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture – because it can destroy your mental well-being. Unfortunately, many of our guests who use our shelter know all too well that a chronic lack of sleep is crippling. That’s why our shelter is here to provide a safe and consistent place for our guests to sleep soundly.
5. Nourish Your Body.
Treat your body like the temple it is, and nourish it well. Try your best to eat balanced meals, and don’t feel guilty when you reach for your favourite treat. Luckily, we know a little something about how a hot meal can feed more than just your body – it can feed your soul. Every day, Union Gospel Mission serves hundreds of hot meals to those who may otherwise go without.
January won’t last forever. The sun will shine again – eventually, I promise. Until then, take good care.
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