Beat the February Blues

February is the toughest month for me for a number of reasons:

  1. It's freezing.
  2. It's dark.
  3. Nothing on the horizon to look forward to.
  4. Winter is at least another month, if we are lucky.
  5. It's freezing. Did I mention it's freezing?!

For a lot of people I know, February is the height of the winter blues. We often feel down, have low energy and just feel blah. There are a number of reasons why we feel this way. One of the main reasons is because daylight is short, so we tend to stay inside because of the cold temps, which means we aren't getting enough vitamin D from sunlight. Today, we fall very short on getting enough Vitamin D, compared to many generations ago, when people were working outside more than working inside. 

If you are feeling the winter blues, here are a 5 tips to help you feel better about February:

  • Get enough vitamin D. Most of us need about 800 IU/day (consult with your doctor for what is appropriate for you). Taking a vitamin D supplement is a good option, as well as increasing certain foods high in vitamin D such as: fish oil, fatty fish (salmon, tuna), egg yolks and mushrooms
  • Go social. And no, I'm not talking about social media. Spending time with friends makes us happy and feeling like we are a part of a community. 
  • Exercise. Don't want to battle the cold temps outside to work out? No prob. Engaging in 30 minutes of activity at home is just as good. Deep clean the kitchen, clean out the closet or spend some "quality" time with your loved one ;) Anything to get the blood pumping, burn some calories and release those endorphins.
  • Do more of something you love. What is one thing you love to do that you don't do enough? Reading? Playing an instrument? Drawing? Whatever that one thing is, do more of it. We easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and don't take enough time to do the things we enjoy. Start by setting aside 30 minutes each day to do what you enjoy most. Happiness guaranteed.
  • Practice gratitude. Although some days just suck for no reason, you can avoid this feeling by practicing gratitude each day. Before bed each night, think about 3-5 things that you are happy for. It could be anything, big or small. When you think about those things you are thankful for, everything doesn't seem to be as bad. For me, I'm happy to have a warm bed to sleep in every night.
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
— Edith Sitwell, Poet