They might, but unfortunately, we human beings don’t have the luxury of hibernating. Today, I’d like to offer tips on beating the winter blues. These small things can make a big difference, and best of all, they don’t cost anything but time and effort.
- Take care of yourself. The first step to feeling better mentally is to feel better physically. If you don’t like how you feel when you get up in the morning or the person you see in the mirror, then nobody else will either, because the only respect you receive from others is the respect you give yourself. Get on a diet and exercise program that’s right for you, get enough sleep, and take your maintenance medications. And yes, take your lunch hour and breaks too. Don’t fall into the trap of working all of your time away, which leads me to my next tip:
- Stop being busy being busy. We’ve fallen victim to the lie that we have to have it all, and we have to have it all right now. This isn’t true. You have to make choices on what you value in life right now, and live by those values. You can’t work full time, run a home based business, go back to school for an advanced degree, write a novel, make quilts for everybody for Christmas, and be on three committees. There isn’t enough time, and no amount of multi-tasking can master that insanity. You have control over your schedule, so take it. While there are certainly some unmovable mountains (like work), you can still choose what you do with everything around them, which is usually more than we realize. And yes, you should take at least one day a week off for nothing but fun. Even God took a day off when He created the universe – so you can, too.
- Do one nice thing for yourself every day. Do you know why some people are respected and revered, even though they aren’t intelligent, influential, important, or even nice? It’s because they expect to be treated well, and others concede privilege to them regardless of whether they deserve it or not. And the reason that others are relegated to the periphery (even though they are obviously more intelligent, kinder, and capable than these “popular” folks) is because they don’t expect the respect that they deserve. Why not? We are all children of God, and make a contribution to the world that nobody else can – so isn’t it time we started expecting some privilege for what makes us unique? Treat yourself well and make sure your intentions are pure, and you’ll find the world treating you better. This could mean things as simple as wearing special clothes or jewelry on a “normal” day, reading a chapter of a book, taking thirty minutes to watch a TV show you love, taking ten minutes in the morning to drink your coffee and pray/meditate, trying a new hairstyle or makeup, cooking a favorite meal, or wearing a fragrance you love. And in return, you’ll give more respect to others, because expecting respect will open your eyes not only to your own needs, but the needs of others. It’s not arrogant or selfish; it’s actually a good self-fulfilling prophecy that can benefit you and everybody around you.
- Shop your home. Most of us have more in our homes than we realize, and we aren’t taking advantage of it all. Do you have clothes or accessories you don’t use? Are you familiar with all that the services you subscribe to have to offer? Have you redeemed cash or rewards points on all of your cards or memberships? Do you have old technology that you can revive, like taking an AM/FM radio to work, or playing old CD’s in your car? Often, we get stuck in ruts and do the same things out of habit. Open your eyes. There are plenty of ways to spoil yourself and make old things new again without spending a dime on shopping, or even leaving the house. Case in point: do you know how many free ebooks there are on Amazon? Just go to Kindle Books and type in “free kindle books” followed by your favorite genre (i.e. “free kindle books scifi” or “free kindle books mystery suspense”).
- Go ahead and hibernate. If it’s at a point where you’re sick, tired, or too frazzled to keep things in proper perspective, then it’s ok to wipe your schedule clean for the day, the night, or the entire weekend to take care of yourself and get well and back in balance. Getting “back to life” is tough, and some of us need extra grace in making the transition back to full-time-real-life, especially if the return was abrupt or if you were railroaded on January 4 (and you’re still trying to clean up that wreck – and this often happens because people “phase out” and coast through Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means pandemonium in the new year). You’re an adult, and if you need a “time out,” then you don’t have to justify it to anybody. Just take it. They’ll accept it, get over it, or move along, but whichever reaction they choose will be right for everybody. Including you.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.