Friday, February 28, 2014

Keep Your Head Up.

I am no expert in anything.  As you all know, that doesn't prevent me from having an opinion on everything.  It's one of the curses of being a firstborn. 

I've noticed, mostly on facebook, but also in talking to people in real life, winter has been hard on all of us.   I am certainly no exception.  I took a personality/vocational assessment in high school, and the results suggested that I would be prone to depression.  Looking back over certain periods in my life, I think I have struggled, but that struggle has always intensified in the winter. 

I have discovered a few things that have helped me get through the dark days of winter.  If winter has been especially hard for you, I hope some of these suggestions are able to help. 

1.  My light box. I honestly don't know how I was able to get through winter before.  It has saved my emotional stability.  I am not being overly dramatic. 

2.  Eating healthy.  For whatever reason, studies have shown that people who struggle with seasonal depression crave starches.  This is especially problematic for me, because I happen to love starches.  I've found that the less starches I eat, the better I feel.  I still love crunchy things, so I munch on nuts.  Staples of my daily food include: grapefruits, roasted almonds, fage yogurt (whole milk only), and dark coffee with a splash of light cream.  I then usually eat salads or leftovers for lunch and a full dinner.  In perusing pinterest, some of the desserts that are being pinned just make me a little nauseous.  I actually saw a "fruity pebbles" cupcake.  I don't know about you, but I just can't eat like that anymore.

I cannot get enough grapefruit!

 3.  Sunlight.  While our winter has been brutal in terms of temperature and precipitation, it seems to have been rather sunny.  If the sun is shining, I bundle up and head outside to walk for at least 30 minutes.  It helps.  Trust me. 

our street - the sunrises have been magnificent

4.  Vitamin D supplements.  I take 5,000 mg per day.  Yes, I'm a self-diagnoser, why do you ask?  You can go to your doctor and have your levels tested.  I don't need to be tested, I know I'm deficient!

5.  An orderly house.  I should preface this by saying that I feel best when I'm surrounded by order.  My mind will not function properly if I am surrounded by chaos and clutter.  You might not even notice your surroundings, and that's great!  In late January, I de-cluttered and re-organized everything (except Rob's garage and the attic).  I pared down and tidied up.  It helps me focus and keeps my mood bright. 

6.  Something to look forward to.  Rob and I try to get away every year for a week by ourselves.  He realizes that this is something that is a priority for our relationship and also for my mental health.  We don't spend a lot of money or go anywhere lavish, but we try to get away to warmth and sunshine.  This year we were able to spend a week away - three of those days we were able to spend together and in warmth and sunshine.  Heaven. 

in Boca Grande, Florida

It will be spring eventually.  Keep your head up!


  1. Great tips Kirsten! I love winter. Snow makes me's beautiful and I love sledding then hot chocolate by the fireplace. Much of my exercise comes from shoveling which can be a great workout, especially 2 feet of snow! I've gotten to spend a lot of time with my kiddos which I feel I don't get to do enough. Every season has it's ups and downs and I am embracing every second (or inch) of this winter. Kori

  2. I'd love to do a bit of organising and decluttering, but it's been so warm and humid here, it will have to wait until the humidity drops. Sorry to rub that in, but my fingers are crossed for you that spring will be there very soon.

  3. Excellent advice for those us heading into winter. Autumn officially started here yesterday so Spring cant be far away for you guys.

  4. some great advice .. living in California isn't quite as wintery even though January and February are still tough, gloomy months.