Pick-me-ups to combat a long winter attitude

Instead of focusing on the weather, focus on these wellness practices.

My coping mechanism for what is hopefully the last few weeks of this brutal Michigan winter has been to day-dream of sitting on the deck feeling sun on my face, or smelling  soil as I plant some flowers.  I’m homesick for leaves and ready to hear birds singing.  As you know, it’s been a brutal winter, and if you feel like I do, you may need some ideas on how to manage the last few weeks of winter:

  • Spend time with people who make you laugh. If you are feeling down, get yourself around other people.
  • Leave your house for an overnighter. I spent one night out of town visiting my sister and it felt like a vacation.
  • Practice an attitude of gratitude. Who and what am I grateful for in my life? Writing it down is a reminder that you may not   normally need, but it may help.
  • Music is a great mood lifter. If you are from my generation, slide Bob Segar into the CD player, turn up the volume and sing!  
  • What am I stuck on that I have no control over? Besides the weather forecast. Am I hanging on to a thought or feeling that is causing me harm, worry, or sadness? Try and shake those thoughts and feelings. 
  • What food would you eat tonight if it were summer? How about vegetables on the grill? Select your favorite summer dish, uncover the grill and enjoy the smells and tastes of summer.  If you can’t find your grill under the snow, use your oven.
  • Dance instead of, or in addition to, your regular exercise routine. It’s hard  to feel down when moving and grooving! 
  • Create! Dig out that sewing machine from the back of the closet and make something useful or just for fun.

Did I jump off the couch and immediately work on all these pick-me-uppers? No, I whined a little, procrastinated, started and stopped a few times but eventually finished a few on the list. Did I feel better? Yes! A word of caution; if you are finding it difficult to get up every day, are spending more and more time alone or are sleeping more than usual, Michigan State University Extension encourages you to visit your doctor and explain what you are experiencing. You may need more than just this short article to make you feel better and your doctor’s office is a start.

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