Friday, January 14, 2011

January blues

January has never been my favorite month. The wet, the dark, the gray...they all start to seem endless. I've been feeling kind of overwhelmed this week. I made myself a list of strategies to help in the weeks to come:

1. Get outside and exercise immediately after getting home from taking the kids to school in the morning. I'm inconsistent about this (many days it's noon before I make it outside), but when I do it, I feel great the rest of the day.

2. Wear pretty shoes, a scarf, or some accessory every day. It can be a huge mood lift for me to put a bit of time and attention into how I look and have that to feel good about.

(Scarf pictured above was purchased here and is sold out; a new line will be available soon - add your name to the mailing list!)

3. Talk about how I feel more regularly to Alexi and friends.

4. Prioritize seeing friends regularly. Get out of the house!

5. Remember to listen to music! In general I like it quiet during the day, but when I'm down the quiet can feel oppressive.

I'd love to hear how you fight the blues.

xoxo Lecia


Lizzy said...

Well, I'd love to read some tips too as I am fighting it as well! I stay inside a lot because I have to study for my exams, but this doesn't really help with my mood. I think exercise is a great way, and maybe eat colorful food?

Vanessa said...

I know exactly how you feel about January. All that excitement and preparation for Christmas is over and it just seems dark and wet. I find music and exercise really help me to focus, I watch old comedies on those long winter nights, start those long, epic novels that you never feel like reading in summer, take time to bake something comforting and have tea parties. I've also started a diary to help me get over these low points. I miss my family and friends back in the UK so try to call them once a week. Have a good weekend and take care.

Purple Flowers said...

January is and can be a difficult month. I agree w/you about exercise and I also try to wear my favorite color alot. It makes me feel good. I try to dress nicely even to the grocery store. Sweat pants don't make me feel good.

An Art Museum would be a nice outing with friends. Music in the house can be fun even when you're the only one there. Turn up the volume! Best Wishes.

Purple Flowers said...

January is and can be a difficult month. I agree w/you about exercise and I also try to wear my favorite color alot. It makes me feel good. I try to dress nicely even to the grocery store. Sweat pants don't make me feel good.

An Art Museum would be a nice outing with friends. Music in the house can be fun even when you're the only one there. Turn up the volume! Best Wishes.

may said...

I'm finding this hard, too. With the baby, exercise is tricky (especially in Wisconsin winter)...actually, everything is a little bit tricky with a baby. I've started to listen to the radio at home, and I'm shocked at how much it's improved my mood. I also take the time to do the things that I can for myself: use a beautiful coffee cup, light a sweet-smelling candle just because, read a novel while nursing. I need to work on some of the things you've mentioned, including getting out of the house. Sigh.

KPiep said...

This is exactly why my doctors and I chose to keep me on my anti-depressants at least until the spring. I almost always have a post-holiday slump, and my parents and I recognized a tendancy towards seasonal affective disorder my fresh. year in college. (Explains in part why it's so hard to stay on my allergy diet right now, too.)

For me, one of the biggest helps has been my Ott light. It's a full-spectrum light sold in craft stores, and I sit under it a lot this time of year. I know an awful lot of people who depend on light therapy!

Francesca said...

What a wonderful, wonderful photo!
My least favorite month is March, when days are still short and dark, and the spring is so close, but not there yet. I'll come back to review your winter blues in March :)

Emily said...

must be something going around because i'm totally fighting the blues too! and your strategies are much the same as mine--getting out of the house helps a ton. have something on in the house, be it music or NPR. my house isn't even quiet during the day yet, but it still helps.

Manya said...

Hmmmm....for a woman who pre-menopauses...I know what it feels like. I usually bake, or sing, read other people's blogs, take a walk in order for my brain to excrete the "happy" hormone, or my best treat is to get together with other women, the aura is therapeutic!

likeschocolate said...

I also agree with you that Jan can be such a hard month. In the past I have used it to refocus on what I want to accomplish during the rest of the year. Reorganize the house, hit the gym, visit art galleries, go out to lunch with friends. Love the scarf!

pve design said...

Reminds me of the blues I had after delivering twins. My mother in law was visiting and I asked her to prepare liver and onions. I think there must be a direct correlation with lack of iron, vitamin d and the cold that can cause the blues. Yes to taking a walk and to often just enjoying the quiet. I was impressed with Apartment Therapy - a two week meditaion retreat - just quiet, silence is golden.

Anonymous said...

Look in the mirror. Your hair is so beautiful! it must be an instant lift. I have to blow dry mine in the winter and end up looking like Chaka Khan

Laura said...

I used to get very lonely during the January - April months (spring comes late here!) and even though I ran a home daycare, I craved adult companionship.

My girlfriend is home with a premie baby who isn't allowed to go out in public places due to damaged lungs. I'm visiting her twice a week because I know how difficult these months can be.

Yes to vitamin D, yes to getting outside, yes to setting small goals so you feel productive. I also find that volunteering helps me to have something to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Northeast and January can be brutal with cold, snow and grey day after grey day. I feel like I crave light at this time of year. One thing that has helped enormously is a SAD light. I sit in front of it for about half an hour each morning and the bright light really seems to improve my mood.

Clara Artschwager said...

I think getting out and seeing people is one of the most important! Or even having a friend over for a casual afternoon- embracing the coziness and warmth of your home by letting candles, sipping tea or coffee, and curling up by the fire to catch up!

Kamana said...

i like to be able to talk to a friend everyday. even if i dont get out of the house, if i can have a good chat, i'm happy

Ines said...

Lecia, having your calendar right in front of me is a big help! (I put January in the middle and will continue to add months around it). The pictures are so pretty!

susie said...

I've tried the Happy Light. I've tried glugging mass quantities of cod liver oil. Yoga. These all help, I'm sure. But here's what I like best:

1. I try to stop fighting it. I try to roll with it. We can't be sparkling, efficient, happy humans all the time.

2. Korean spa, at least the pools and rooms, sometimes a scrub or massage, once per month. Non-negotiable. The enveloping warmth and permission to melt into a puddle is extremely therapeutic.

3. Modified hibernation. (See above). I slow it down. Some days, it's more important to drink a hot beverage and snuggle with the dogs than it is to complete my daily agenda.

4. Allowing some hedonism in winter is a balm against the weather and the grind.(See above.)

But then, I'm a slacker.

Sammi said...

I detest January, I have been in a funk all month. I have even taken to scheduling my blog rather than sitting down and typing because I don't really enjoy sending out negative posts.

Sam said...

I brown an onion. The smell means home for me, probably because my mother used to start many recipes that way when I lived at home. I only realized this last winter when coming home from work in the dark left me feeling like having cereal in front of the TV for dinner. I didn't even know what I wanted to cook, so I just chopped an onion and started browning it and it gave me a second wind. I think the larger lesson is to do the first, small step to a larger task and once that's accomplished it becomes much easier to complete the task and go on with your day with a fresh perspective.

Lyndsay said...

Oddly enough I love January because there are lots of birthdays in a row this month (my hubby, brother, me, then my son). So it's a month of celebration. AND I look forward to the chilly weather (coming from a warmer climate). But THIS year it's 85 degrees and sunny. So while that would make most people happy, it's making me gloomy, because it's my one shot at a good winter's chill before sweltering summer sets in. Here's what I've been doing to lift my mood:
• Indulge in new nail colors.
• I recently bought a few DVDs of the more recent Jane Austen BBC productions.
• Burn a yummy candle.
• Wear beautiful pajamas after a bubble bath.
(So basically some self-pampering/reflection time...)

sandra said...

The winter blues typically find me around mid-February. Music definitely helps...and good movies or books with good uplifting story lines also help. Sitting in the sunshine a little everyday is nice. Exercise does help, but when you're feeling down it's the hardest thing to do. I think I'll use your advice about using an accessory everyday and paying more attention to how I look. Little details like that really do help. Oh..and talking about how I'm feeling, it's another thing so hard to do, but so very helpful.

Emma said...

I'm sure I get seasonal depression, particularly when it's raining so I understand how you feel.

Getting out and about is always a good idea, wearing pretty perfume, cooking a lovely meal or baking. And exercise is so important (but difficult to do admittedly when the weather's bad). I sometimes put on music from my uni days (something I can dance to) and this lifts me up.

Hope you feel better soon!

{r} said...

adore these ideas; so far, it's been hot cocoa in the afternoons and candlelit dinners in the evening

happy new year, lecia xo