It’s already been a rough year; with too many folks unjustly terrorized by our should-be protectors and movements for equality reminiscent of those in 1963. Dealing with winter blues is by no means harder or easier for us but it is absolutely different. Here are some culturally relevant ways to turn that gloom into cheer ASAP:
Cold weather prompts the comfort food itch and holidays flood us with dessert galore. But processed carbs spike blood pressure then deplete our energy. That’s why winter is debatably the most important time of the year for a reset. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go 22 days vegan or starve on vegetable juices for a week to give your body a deep clean. Try eliminating packaged and processed foods for a week or two, only eating and drinking pure forms of what once grew or walked. Then slowly add back in a moderate amount of eliminated items. This gives your body the opportunity to wean itself from unhealthy addictions, reset rebellious cravings and keep energy constant. Make your soundtrack: “veggies, veggies, veggies, veggies, rockin’ everywhere!”
Whenever possible, chase the sun. With #travelnoire spewing fabulousness all over our Instagram feeds, the inspo to jet-set is already present. Choose somewhere sunny to soak up valuable Vitamin D and earn an invaluable mood boost. If you can’t get away, consider using a full spectrum light box for 30 minutes per day. Make sure to choose one above 10,000 lux and for seasonal mood enhancement.
For most of the year, we can inadvertently avoid deeper emotion in favor of partying and kickin’ it outside. As we’re now forced to spend more time indoors, it’s easy to get way too into our feelings. Cue the importance of structured, active reflection time. Spend a couple minutes each day journaling, whether on paper, via private video log or voice message. Focus not only on personal issues but also use this as time to vent about insensitive colleagues, lack of diversity in your spaces, etc. Take the sandwich approach: start with the positive, vent, then end with something you’re grateful for or appreciate about yourself. Sticking to this each day allows for metered release of emotions and helps prevent mood dips and swings.
DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME
Purging possessions helps us release repressed emotions. First, start with the closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in six months. Choose a system to either fold, box or hang items according to type or color. Take this same approach in the kitchen. Instead of keeping an abundance of papers, scan keepers to digital storage. Make sure to spend time reading and making peace with old notes and photos before you toss them. Once you’ve cleaned and organized your belongings, polish it off by re-arranging furniture to create more open space.
You got enemies? Got a lot of enemies? A lot of people tryna drain you of this energy? Well, in that case, re-evaluate that haphazard sleep schedule to earn more fuel. Set the clock early enough to spend five minutes in prayer or meditation, 15-30 minutes in a home workout or creative sesh and 25 minutes planning the day over a nutritious breakfast. This should equal an extra 45-60 minutes. Most importantly, waking up and falling asleep at the same time each day regulates circadian rhythm and provides you with more productive sleep. Fall back lethargy…fall…back.