3 Tips to Combat the Winter Blues | #wellnesschat

This is what I like to see at the end of the week. Go me 🙂

So, getting up at 5am is rough, especially when you’ve got the winter blues. Let’s banish them!!

I don’t know about you, but in the winter I get the blues. It tends to be a time, especially after the holidays, that friendships fade and I just want to stay in bed all day. The more I talk about it with others, the more I’m learning it’s something many of us northern hemispherites experience it this time of year. Yes, I made that word up.

Chris shared with me a great lifehack to kick the winter blues and stay upbeat year round. While getting up at 5am to exercise may not be for you, it is changing my perspective throughout the day.

A few tips from the article include:

Don’t change when you wake-up based on the season.
As an educator with summers off (unpaid!) I normally make-it-through the early wake-up call all year and then in the summers I lie lazily around the house with my hand to my forehead sighing. Okay, maybe I did that one day, but usually I’m on the go. This summer with a toddler will be no exception!

In the background, I’ve been researching a lot about sleep patterns since I need to get up early and function for tough workouts. Come summer, I’ll be running 4 hours in the mornings – it gets hot by 8am! You do the math.

What I’ve learned is that this is absolutely a must – keeping a standard sleep/wake schedule for your circadian rhythms, as well as your planning sanity. My goal is to keep getting up at 5am or 6am throughout the year. If anything, I’ll get a few quiet hours to myself in the mornings before the house wakes up.

Also, making this decision has quieted a few worries. Worries about sleep, about running, about life in general. There is now no worry that ANYONE will mess with my 5am workouts. No changes of plans to be had. No dinner dates. No after work hangouts. I doubt anyone will want to get together at 5am, unless you’d like to?

Darkness may be as helpful as sunlight.
Last summer, I bought black-out curtains, mainly because I liked how they looked. Only the first night did I realize they were black-out curtains! Shazam! I woke up feeling awesome, and the sun was shining super-bright, but it didn’t wake me up. Learning moment.

Chris has made fun of my growing need for absolute darkness at night. I now turn my alarm clock away from facing me, and complain when there is even a hint of light coming in the doorway. I’ve slept better and more soundly.

Get a daily dose of sunlight.
I don’t have time in the mornings to sit outside and soak up the sun for 30 minutes (and it’s not even out yet!), but since I drive a half hour to work I get watch the sunrise! I am loving the mornings now where the sun is up and shining earlier in my drive.

I also have the privilege of working in a beautiful library that is all glass. While I rarely leave my desk, I do appreciate that I get to enjoy the remnants of sunlight glowing in the space. I will try to walk over to the windows when possible, but my days are rather busy. If I step away a moment, there are a bunch of students/staff who need my assistance usually.

In the end, if nothing helps you with your symptoms, seek professional help. 
I’ve been blessed that while I do get a little down and foggy in the winter, I tend to pick right back up the following spring. Even days are coming now where I’m able to leave the gym in less layers then I walked in with. Now, that is a glorious feeling. I cannot wait until no coats, hats, or gloves are needed on my way in to workout! It’ll be a whole new experience all over again.

Plus, getting used to this rough patch of darkness and cold, but still working out, will make next fall and winter that much easier to wrap my head around 5am.

Do you get the winter blues?

How do you combat feeling the mental chill of winter?

Do you keep to the same sleep schedule all year? How about on weekends?

Equipment used: iPod Touch 5G