As I look out my window right now and see the overcast, gray sky I’m reminded of the seasons changing and that winter is just around the corner. While it’s a wonderful practice to be in the present moment, at times it’s good to look toward the future so we can use this moment for planning.
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” When it comes to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or just being negatively affected by less light or shorter days, this is a great opportunity to get your ducks in a row to stave off a depressive slide.
Here are key tips to stave off any upcoming fall/winter blues:
Mindfulness training – If you haven’t jumped in yet now may be the time. Mindfulness is a wonderful practice for breaking out of the ruminative cycle that can get triggered as the days get shorter. We start to open the mind to become more appreciative of what’s here instead of focused on what isn’t here. This is the seed of resiliency.
Exercise – Many people wait until New Years to make the resolution, this isn’t preventative care. There’s no other time than now. If the gym is too big of a commitment, what about getting a 20 minute exercise or yoga DVD to practice to or making a 5-minute commitment to do a few sit-ups and push-ups each day. The fact is, if you’re not going to take care of yourself who will?
Gratitude list – When this is brought up it can really get the automatic judgments jumping. However, did you know this is a well-researched approach to creating a greater sense of well-being? Yes, creating a daily short gratitude list of specific things in the day that you are grateful for can help incline the mind toward the good in life.
Connect – While social media sites can be a resource for connection, see if you can start nurturing some regular connections with people who are supportive with you, not just acquaintances. Start making some regular plans to go to coffee, go on a hike, and join a special interest group that meets live. If you have a family and everyone has been on their own schedule lately, create a regular family time for connection.
This is about nurturing your life, it’s about creating resiliency and most of all about getting in touch with what really matters. Be aware of the seasons changing and your moods. In Step offers both Individual and group therapy to help support you if you find that these tips are not helping your winter blues. Call us we are here for you.