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Beating the Winter Blues

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’re feeling excited and full of purpose as 2018 begins. I’m fully believing there is so much to look forward to in the New Year! At midnight on New Year’s Eve I was the life of the party–the decluttering party of one, upstairs in my daughter’s room while she slept across the hall, boxing up a bunch of toys that don’t get played with to make room for the ones that do. What can I say? A newly decluttered space makes me enjoy my home so much more! This year I want to create a place of healing, coziness, peace, and laughter in our home, and decluttering + organizing is step one. I’m taking one room at a time and throwing away things that just take up space, so the truly important and beautiful items can shine.

Tidying up is one way I’m beating the winter blues. Having work to feel proud of and newly beautiful spaces to enjoy can really turn around my mood! Even though I live in the sunshine state, I’ve recently noticed I start feeling unmotivated, easily discouraged, and like life is slipping by so fast during the short winter days. I like the cooler weather but I miss the sunshine! Someone needs to get rid of daylight savings, pronto! The lack of light combined with a flare up of some health problems this Fall was really getting me down. So I put together a list of some things that have helped me completely turn around my mood and enjoy every day.

  1. B12 supplements — this is number one for a reason. I started seeing a functional medicine doctor a few months ago, and he recommended I take B12. I thought at best it would give me a little more energy. Within a few days, my winter blues and hopeless feelings had almost completely disappeared. If you only do ONE thing on this list, go get yourself some quality B12! (Cheap supplements from the health food store may be useless, so go with a trusted brand like the one I take.)
  2. Give thanks for everything — out loud! Our words have so much power. Speak about things you’re thankful for, whether you’re alone at home or in the car, or around your kids. The Bible literally says God’s will for us is “in everything, give thanks,” (1 Thes. 5:18) for a reason. It helps renew our mind to see the good in life, not the depressing. This whole gratitude journal trend has been around a long time 😉 If you want to literally keep a gratitude journal, I picked up this $0.99 one from IKEA and here is a cute set of 3 notebooks from Hearth & Hand at Target.
  3. Bright and energizing essential oils — specifically Tangerine and Peppermint. I have been drinking these in my water like nobody’s business this winter! They provide a quick energy and mood boost just from smelling them!
  4. Eat the rainbow — the easiest way to double check if you’re eating something healthy is to look for the colors of the rainbow. Dark reds (beets, apples, cabbage), purples (eggplant, purple onions), greens (spinach, kale, chard), yellows and oranges (summer and winter squash, citrus fruits) are clues that those foods are very nutrient dense. And if you’re fighting the blues, nutrients are your allies!
  5. Spend some time in the sun daily, if possible — vitamin D is a key part of improving your mood, and bright light is just so happy! Have a picnic or just walk around the block. Stop by a park on your way to or from work to get there while it’s still daylight. Vitamin D supplements are an option, as well, but don’t substitute for being outside.
  6. Play dance or worship music in the house, at work, or during your workouts. Lots of studies show music’s benefits to our brains. We have this Bluetooth speaker (in blue) and I love it. I just bring it to whatever room the girls and I are in so we can listen to worship music or kids’ music, and I even use it to listen to podcasts.

What else would you add to this list? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!

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