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Holistic Living Articles & Resources

How to Beat the Winter Blahs

As a gal from Wyoming and Norwegian by descent I’ve never minded all the snow and ice in fact I find it comforting.   In keeping in tune with the seasons I quite appreciate the times where I can hide in my warm apartment and watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy back to back with my kitties.  Winter is a time when everything in nature hibernates and is a wonderful time for silence and reflection.  That being said there are still those days where my van won’t start because it was -20 during the night, I can’t find a matching hat and scarf set to save my life and start feeling a little blah.  After living in Wyoming and Colorado for almost 15 years on and off here are some of the things I do to cheer up, may they serve you well.

1.  GET YOUR VITIMAN D ON! 
Go tanning or buy a light therapy lamp or bulbs for your house with a full UV spectrum.  My pale Norwegian skin does not tan and I don’t want to look like Snookie but seriously the tanning thing works wonders- after about three sessions you’ll wonder why you never did this.  It cheers you up and energizes you and there are now special beds with only the healthy UV rays so it won’t damage your skin.  To the side of this article is a link to a wonderful UV light lamp that also spreads ions in the air to combat depression, so if you don’t want to go to a tanning salon buy one of those to enjoy from the comfort of your own house.  

2.   BUY SOME ALIVE TROPICAL THINGS
Go to the store and buy some fresh flowers, a pineapple, CD of Hawaiian music and a papaya facial mask!  Anything from the Alba Hawaiian group of products is a whiff of super tropical yumminess and Alba is a well known excellent natural skin care company.  Sometimes reminders that the sun hasn’t completely neglected you and is coming back feel simply joyful!  Scent and sound are powerful mood triggers and your mind won’t know the difference between a tropical vacation and polar land when you surround yourself by a few Caribbean comforts.  Coconut oil is fabulous for the skin during dry winters and for cooking, plus it smells like you’ve been laying on a beach somewhere reading your favorite book, so pick some of that up too!  

3.   TWO WORDS- ELECTRIC BLANKET
There is nothing cozier than spreading an electric blanket across your couch or in your bed so the sheets aren’t cold when you get in.  I will never understand how in summer I can’t stand my home temperature being anything above 65 degrees but in winter I crank my heat to 75 and love every gluttonous minute of my warm hobbit hole.  Don’t deprive yourself, trust me, it’s worth the extra cost to your electric bill to fell the crankiness of being cold 24/7.
 
4.    BOOST YOUR BRAIN’s HAPPY DRUGS WITH EXERCISE AND TRYTOPHAN
As we get older with more stress in our lives, we naturally produce less and less of the happy chemicals in our brain.  There is the Vitamin D factor in suggestions #1 that contributes to rebuilding good feelings but exercise will always be the prime champion solution to fighting blahs any old season because of the amazing endorphins it releases.  Massage also releases these endorphins; they are your body’s natural pain killers and blah killers.   Do you know how many great workout videos that you don’t even need to buy equipment for are available at thrift stores and The Movie Buff on 2 St. in Casper, WY for less than $5?  I hate leaving the house to work out in the winter but inside it’s a dance party with Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance Video.   Tryptophan is also an amino acid that is a precursor to building serotonin in the brain and you can buy it for $10 at any natural food/supplement shop.  Not only does it regulate sleep which can be thrown off by changes in light during the winter but it gives your body an extra boost of serotonin safely and naturally.  I never go a day without taking some.  

5.    EMBRACE THIS TIME
Remember that recipe you’ve been meaning to try or that novel trapped inside your head?  I know it’s hard to find motivation sometimes.  However, dedicating your time to the things that seem ridiculous to do indoors on a beautiful summer’s day, will keep you learning and growing and will help you remember why winter can be a wonderful and peaceful time to accomplish all those things on your indoor bucket list.   I hope these suggestions brighten your winter days.  Us Wyomingites are approaching those last five months of winter that can be the most frustrating to get through so put some money and time into your winter self-care and empower yourself to cheer up!  

“Little darling I feel the ice is slowly melting, little darling it feels like years since it’s been here, here comes the sun, do do do do, here comes the sun, and I say it’s alright”- THE BEATLES

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