I absolutely love the holiday season! I rejoice in decking the halls, trimming the tree, and oh what fun it is to eat, drink and be merry for a couple months!
And then there’s January.
And let’s be honest, March and possible some of April can be no picnic either.
Every single year, I get a whopping case of S.A.D. as soon as the holiday season is over. It’s so expected that my husband recently suggested moving someplace where the sun shines most of the year like Florida, but I had to remind him that’s completely impossible because I don’t have “Florida hair.”
So instead of moving somewhere I’d sport a frizzy ‘fro every day of the year, I focus on some things to make my winter blues a little easier to deal with right here at home. I’m also always on the hunt for new ways to deal with my regularly scheduled case of the winter blahs.
This year, to help ease my case of the seasonal sulkies and help other people fight them off too, I’ve
put together a list of items that have helped me feel cheerier during the winter months, and included a few that are on my wishlist that I know would surely help brighten my dreary days. Check them out and let me know if you’d give these a try:
1. Rejuvenator Portable Sauna – I don’t own this yet, but I totally want to order one. My husband, the same man who portrayed himself as sympathetic to my mental state by suggesting we move, swears he’ll revoke my Amazon Prime membership if I order this portable sauna. Personally, I think it would really help melt the winter blues away. I must not be the only one who can’t plow through the snow to get to the spa whenever I feel like it because this bad boy is a actually a best seller. I can envision myself cranking it up to 150 degrees and pretending it’s summer! Plus it’s portable, so any late winter activities like soccer where I’m normally freezing my mom jeans off, I could now sit in my own hot box and enjoy the game from the sidelines! I’m sure my kids would be fine with that since there’s two little arm holes for clapping and cheering. Go sports!
2. Heated Unicorn Slippers – I’m not sure these require an explanation as to why they’d help with the winter blues, but I will say that having slippers is a must for me in the winter months. Technically, my feet are cold 365 days a year, but in winter they’re uncomfortably so. Having slippers that use a 57″ USB cord to provide heat – and also that are fashioned to look like adorable beasts – makes wearing them magical! I dare you to feel sad when sporting a pair of these!
3. Indoor Plants – If you’ve followed me a while you know that I love to garden, which is part of the reason I’m always itching for Spring…well, or maybe that’s my allergies. Anyway, surrounding myself with any sort of lush, green, or thriving vegetation, like this adorable arrangement from Farm Girl Flowers, gives me life especially after gazing out the window into the vast, brown, dormant fields of winter.
4. Seasonally Appropriate Attire – If you haven’t already guessed, I’m not a super fan of cold weather. I do love a good snow storm, but only when I don’t have to go out and do anything in it. If I do need to venture outside, you can bet I’m dressed for the season. Here I am enjoying a Mid-Atlantic dusting:
And by seasonally appropriate attire of course I mean a total body suit- including one that covers the face – and specifically one comprised of a thick, warm fabric so I cannot see or feel the winter. This year I’d love to find a pattern (and the ability to knit) like @RogerHazards sweater suit (pictured bottom left) and if not, perhaps I could do some improvising like the photo on the right.
5. Light Therapy Box – Since I attribute my mild to moderate seasonal mood issues to a lack of sunlight – and again, my hair and I are NOT willing to move to Florida – I decided about five years back to try one of these light therapy boxes. The model I have has “an array of 72 eye-optimized LED lights to deliver 10,000 lux of wide-spectrum white light; simulating natural sunlight whilst eliminating the dangerous UV rays.” Fancy, huh? You simply set it a foot or so away for 20-30 minutes in the morning, and it’s supposed to help boost energy levels. My totally unscientific results are that on the days I use it, I generally feel better. I’m not running any marathons, but certainly feel a bit more recharged. I don’t use the light box daily, but often enough that when I miss a day, particularly if it’s a day without much sun, I do think I feel more sluggish. So is it all in my head or does it really work? Hard to say, but it was well worth the money even if I think I’m feeling better on those gray, gloomy days. I mean, look how happy this lady appears to be while eating a pear despite being forced to smell her husband’s feet. If she can be that happy while she tries to only breathe through her mouth and enjoy a healthy breakfast, so can I!
6. Natrol 5-HTP – Because my winter blues always stop with the change of seasons, I’ve been hesitant to ever seek any kind of drug therapy to help me get through until Spring. This year I did try a new supplement, but only because it’s 100% drug-free and non-habit forming. The nice people over at Natrol, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of vitamins and supplements, offered to send me some of their Natrol 5-HTP. They describe it on their website as a “naturally occurring plant-derived amino acid that participates in the body’s synthesis of serotonin, the chemical messenger that plays a key role in enhancing mood.” This sounds very scientific, but as you all know I’m not a medical expert or scientist (unless you count that old cheese I found growing fuzz in the back of the fridge). What I can speak to is my own experience with 5-HTP which was me seeing a noticeable difference in my mood, generally toting a more positive attitude, after taking it consistently for a couple weeks. Some people also report it helping them reduce their appetite. I started this only a short time before I received my first box of Girl Scout cookies, so after I eat through those, I’ll let you know if I notice a difference there as well. These are also wheat free, a must for me since I have Celiac’s disease, and Natrol 5-HTP is vegetarian, also fast dissolving and has a pleasant strawberry flavor (which is great because I hate when vitamins leave a nasty after-taste in your mouth). Anyway, since I’ve seen such a boost in my mood, and I know these are drug-free and non-habit forming, I’m going to continue to take them until the Spring. After that I’ll put them in the cabinet, but start again BEFORE the end of the holidays next year to try to and get ahead of my seasonal slump. I’ve seen such a noticeable difference that my only regret is not being introduced to them sooner. You can find out more, including where to buy them, on the Natrol website, their Facebook and Twitter too.
(And since Natrol sent me these vitamins, in exchange for my opinion which was solely expressed here, I’d also like to stress that you should consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you have or suspect a medical condition, are taking prescription drugs, or are pregnant or lactating. I say this because I’m not a doctor or an expert. The above was my personal experience, which being positive, I’m happy to share in case others are looking for a similar result. However, as the old disclaimer goes, individual results may vary. Also, these statements (nor any other I might make for that matter) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. WHEW.)
7. Realtor.com – Because if I hit the lottery, I’m going to need to find that tropical island to build my sunny, beach mansion, maybe in Aruba. I hear it’s less humid and my hair might like it better there.
How do you beat the winter blues this time of year? Leave me a comment and let me know; I love hearing from you!