Tips for Beating the Winter Doldrums

Tips for Beating the Winter DoldrumsBy Christy Schutz

Whether it is a moody Mother Nature, that infamous shadow-seeing groundhog (aka, Punxsutawney Phil), or the work of the nose-nipping Jack Frost, this winter is starting to get old with a capital O for many of my fellow Work at Home Women. We can have a propensity for developing cabin fever on a good day, but, mix in a couple of feet of snow, frozen roads, and no school for the kiddos, and we are well on our way toward a full-blown case of the Winter Doldrums. I’ve decided to focus today’s post on some practical ways to avoid the Winter Blues.

Plan a Vacation

The first and easiest way to survive winter is to get the heck out of dodge. All you have to do is think like a bird and head South. I can make a shameless plug for my neck of the woods, Tampa Bay. Shed your parka, grab a swim suit and shorts, and head on down … we are expecting highs in the low 80’s today. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always an inexpensive cruise option to the Caribbean, a quick flight to Puerto Rico, or, if you have the means, an extravagant trip to Brazil or Fiji. Bottom line is, a change of scenery can be the best medicine for that weather report promising another deluge of snow.

Get Some Vitamin D

According to research, over 40% of American adults are not getting enough vitamin D. This is concerning because a lack of vitamin D has been linked to depression, heart disease, increased rates of cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, Alzheimers and a partridge in a pear tree. The best way to get this valuable nutrient is from the sun’s rays, but in the winter months, anyone living north of Atlanta is not able to get enough from the sun’s rays due to the angle of the rays and how they hit the ozone layer and some other science stuff that your 5th grader can try to explain to you. One way you can compensate is to look into a good vitamin D (labeled as Vitamin D3) supplement that will deliver roughly 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. There are some dietary sources of vitamin D you can add to the mix, too. Focus on foods like mushrooms, wild salmon (which offers up more than 500 IU per 3oz serving), eggs, meat and dairy. As a last resort, you can also consider an in-home UV Lamp, like the one marketed by Sperti.

Remember to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements.

Get Ready for Spring

Spend some of the time stuck indoors to do some early Spring Cleaning. First of all, the phrase itself, SPRING cleaning, is sure to bring a psychological pick-me-up. Secondly, there is just something uplifting about purging all our excess junk. Spring Cleaning is something I try to do in my Work at Home environment every year. I’ve even written a post about it … check it out.

Refresh Your Workspace

It is often the little things that can really brighten up your workspace. I find that a few happy, bright colored folders, or some new floral, pastel stationary, is enough to transport me out of the ho hum I was experiencing in my home office. If you are feeling especially ambitious, some new curtains with a pop of color, or even a fresh coat of paint in a fun hue can help lift your spirits. There are lots of great boards on Pinterest you can check out for inspiration!

Embrace It

Last, but definitely not least, if you know that the snow is going to stick around for awhile, might as well get out there and have some fun. When is the last time you allowed yourself to really frolic in the snow? Make some snow angels. Construct a snowman, or a snow unicorn, or one of those characters from Frozen. Orchestrate a neighborhood snowball fight. Sledding, cross country skiing, and snowboarding can be lots of fun, too. It is a good reason to put on your best winter garb, a great excuse for a hot chocolate and definitely entitles you to a good cuddle with a loved one (pets included). And what can be a better pick-me up than that?

What are you doing to beat the Winter Doldrums? How are you staying active and staving off cabin fever? What ideas would you add to the list?

Christy Schutz is a communications professional and freelance writer focused on topics like employer/personal branding, career management, personal development, women in the workplace, and female entrepreneurs. She enjoys putting 16+ years of experience in the advertising, recruitment marketing, employee/internal communications and special events industries to good use by helping others to discover, develop and market their own distinct calling or mission. This Tampa Bay, FL-based Mom also keeps herself busy by raising 4 kids, caring for her husband & doting on her dogs Petey and Daisy!

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