As we turn the corner into March and finally start climbing into springtime, it can be harder and harder to shake the leftover winter blues. Grief can resurface and the short, cold, dark days can make it challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With these tips below, we hope to help you find inspiration for shaking the winter blues and dealing with grief.
It's perfectly natural to want to hunker down inside during the winter months. However, it's remarkable the difference even 15 minutes of movement a day makes for your mental health. Vitamin D is vital when it comes to fighting the winter blues. A consistent routine of movement, especially if it's outside, will work wonders on the winter blues. A bad day becomes just a little brighter when you have a routine to rely on and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing it. If you find yourself struggling to adhere to the routine (this is to be expected!) make a plan with a friend to go for a walk or attend a yoga class together - the added accountability of a buddy will help hold you to the plan.
The dreary winter months can make it easy to seek comfort in heavy, sugary and unhealthy food. Treating yourself in moderation is perfectly normal, but a habit of relying on foods to temporarily soothe your blues can quickly get out of hand and result in low self confidence and even more intense winter blues. Set time aside to plan meals and get excited about cooking healthy meals for yourself - Pinterest boards or food blogs can offer endless inspiration. Explore your culinary creativity with colorful veggie bowls and sweet, healthy smoothies. You'll be surprised the difference incorporating more whole foods into your diet has on your mental health. Protein such as fatty fish (salmon, for example), whole grains such as quinoa, and leafy vegetables have been linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin. Although increasing your consumption of healthy foods will make a huge difference, grief comes in waves and not every day can be a great one. Make sure to take it easy on yourself as you navigate the difficult process of grieving.
Exercise and healthy eating can work wonders on the winter blues and navigating grief, but a supportive community can make the biggest difference of all. When it comes to grieving, there's no easy answer and your emotions can fluctuate dramatically from day to day. Although it can't eliminate your grief entirely, having the support of a community of people who are also grieving can make you feel less alone. This compilation of support groups organized by county is a great resource for finding the right support group for you.
Incorporating these tips into your life throughout the winter can help to alleviate your winter blues and especially give you strength through your grieving process.