This can be a challenging time of year – the days are shorter, there are more grey skies and weather can be a bit more harsh. It is normal to have a few days of feeling blue, anytime of the year. If you are feeling low, there are little things you can do to help combat the blues:
Get back on track
Maybe it’s a feeling of spending too much money over the holidays or not enough sleep, or maybe you are off your routine due to the weather – this time of year can leave us feeling a bit off track. Getting back to your regular routine is a great first step to feeling good. Remember self-care techniques of focusing on the positives, eating healthy, being active, connecting with friends even reading a good book can go a long way in helping our mood.
Set realistic goals
Many people set New Year’s resolutions which can be good for trying new things, but it’s important to set goals that are attainable. When goals seem unachievable our motivation can go down and we tend to give up on them. This can leave us feeling discouraged and guilty. Set realistic goals and expectations and recognize that every step, no matter how big or small, towards that goal is an important one. Be kind to yourself and focus on positive thoughts.
Ask for help
Take time for friends and family, and talk about your feelings with someone you trust. It’s also important to recognize that the winter blues differ from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, and depression. Keep your eye out for behaviour that is different than usual or seems excessive, including: feeling more tired or lethargic than usual and preferring to stay in bed for more days than usual; decreased motivation; not wanting to talk to or see anyone; eating excessively or not feeling like eating. If you suspect you might be beyond what you would consider normal for you, it is not a bad idea to check in with your family doctor. Help is available.
Click here to find out more about the free Bounce Back program that has been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by half.