This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but I feel like we’re all a little more armed and dangerous to make the last few months of this winter less of a bummer. 

Which is good, because all the ice-slush-snow-freezing-rain we’ve gotten this weekend in Upstate NY is KILLING ME.

Without further ado, here are the last ten tips to kick seasonal depression’s booty…

 

 

21. Brew a hot cup of your favorite tea. Just putting your tea kettle on the stove can improve your mood. The cozy feeling of a warm beverage in your hands is one of the many ways to warm yourself up. Inside and out! Plus you get a bonus boost from feeling virtuous for treating yourself to the antioxidants and other nutritious goodness you get from most teas. I’m looking at you green 😉

22. Spend $10 on something you don’t really need. New makeup, nail polish, hair accessory, scarf, jewelry, etc. Anything that makes you smile. Even if you already own 30 scarves. or more. Not that I would know anything about that. Get a cheap pair of bright colored flats even though it’s still too cold to get much wear out of them.

23. Take a hot bath with your favorite calming essential oils or a fabulous bubble bath. Don’t underestimate the power of pampering yourself on a daily basis. Take the time to breathe deep and really relax. Take the time to put on a luxurious lotion from head to toe after. Put your jammies on the heater to warm up (or in the dryer) and wrap yourself up all nice and cozy before bed!

 

 

24.  Notice (and maybe photograph) the beauty in these darker months. I’m a firm believer that there’s beauty in all seasons. Sometimes it’s easy to see the beauty in winter… like when there has been a fresh snow and the sun suddenly comes out to make it sparkle. But what about the gray-sky-days? There’s beauty in that, too. And sometimes taking a moment to really pause and notice that can help boost your mood. Appreciate the unique beauty of the world around you.

25. Commiserate with someone else who struggles with seasonal depression. Be careful with this one… you certainly don’t want to fall into the “misery loves company” camp. But it sure is nice to know you’re not the only one feeling like this! Find some folks who are open and honest and having real discussions about looking for the silver lining in these dark winter months!

 

 

26. Start a collection of wool socks. And maybe a nice pair of slippers, too. {affiliate link to my favorites} But definitely fuzzy, cozy socks. As many as you need to keep your poor frozen toes happy.

27. Make some rice cozies to warm you up on cold winter nights. Here’s a tutorial I found on Pinterest. You can warm them up in the microwave or oven and keep them on your lap while you’re reading or watching tv. I sometimes use them as heating pads when my back aches. Or cozy them down by your feet when you go to bed. No one likes ice cold toes when they’re trying to fall asleep!

 

 

28. Give yourself some downtime to do something to nurture your inner child. I like to sit under a blanket on the couch and color in a “for Mommy only” coloring book. The smell of crayons and the soothing, childish nature of coloring always brings a smile to my face and helps me relax. It’s a good way to slow down and enjoy a moment just for you.

29. Start conversations with strangers. I was recently reading that studies show that people who talk to strangers report having more pleasant commutes or better experiences while out shopping! I can attest to this, since I have a tendency to talk to anyone with a pulse. I just love to make the long boring waits in the pharmacy queue or the grocery store less tedious by striking up conversation with someone. It helps me feel like the world is a happier place just knowing that two strangers were able to chat and laugh together for a few minutes! Unsuspecting introverts approaching me on the sidewalk tend to hate me, I’m sure. But I like to think I brighten their day, too 😉

 

 

30. Talk to your doctor about meds if you need them. It’s hard for people to admit sometime that they need medication. I know it was for me! But you might need it. Between anxiety issues and depression issues, I’ve had many a winter where I was on medication that really helped me out. My doctor was amazing and very supportive. I wanted to be able to muscle my way into good mental health or “just stop” feeling bad. But the human body is a very complicated thing and sometimes you need modern medicine to get it back on track. Don’t be ashamed to say you can’t do it on your own. And don’t make yourself suffer needlessly. It’s not worth it!

 


*** also for the new Mommas out there. I know you know this, but friendly reminder: seasonal depression and post partum depression are very different. Don’t let the winter disguise what’s actually going on for you after you’ve had a baby.***


 

We all have to deal with varying levels of the winter blues.

There are so many ways to make winter work for you.

If you missed any of the 30 tips, here’s the first post and here’s the second. Please pin them all and save them to come back to whenever you’re feeling down.

 

 

There are a lot of important things to take away from this series, and everyone’s going to get something different out of it.

But the big thing I want to end with is this –

No one’s going to rescue you. That’s your job. 

This is a lesson I’ve learned that applies to a lot of things in life. But today it really applies to seasonal depression. When we’re struggling through the fog of a mental illness (yes, that is what it is, even if it’s “not that bad”) we tend to hope that someone’s going to help us.

 

 

But trust me when I remind you sweet friend, your mental and emotional well-being are primarily your responsibility!

YOU are the only one who knows what’s really going on with YOU. And you may not know exactly what you need, but you’re the only one who can start the process to get the help you need.

It’s not that your friends and loved ones don’t care. It’s that a) they can’t necessarily know what you might be needing and b) it’s not their job to babysit your brain during the winter months.

Be your own mental health advocate and start taking ownership of your emotions, hormones, and moods. The winter months can be hard. Unless you live in one of these places. But most of us don’t. So we have to work hard and fight for happiness.

We can do this you guys!

 

 

Thanks again for reading and commenting through this series.

I wish you all a less SAD winter…

 

 

…and the speedy arrival of ever-loving SPRING!