For many of us, the dark wintery days aren’t exactly sparkly and joyous. Being stuck indoors without sunshine, without good company, and no end of the cold and flu season in sight can add up to feelings of doom and gloom. If you’re smelling exactly what I’m stepping in, this survival guide is for you.
I’m well experienced in the area of depression and anxiety, and so I’ve done a lot of work figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. So, I’m sharing my absolute FAVORITE ways to boost my mood. I hope these help you make the most of your sad days.
- Warming drinks
I love having a hot drink in hand while watching the snow fall. My go-tos:
- Herbal tea. My favorites are raspberry leaf, lemon ginger, and vanilla mint. If you’re ever in Montana, check out Evening in Missoula by Montana Tea & Spice Trading sold by most health food stores. It’s. The. Ultimate. They don’t sell online, unfortunately.
- True tea. I recommend chai, peppermint green, and gen mai cha. Never heard of that last one? It tastes like rice krispie treats and it has an intriguing history. Check it out.
- Golden milk. My favorite blend is found locally from Hierophant Meadery and Apothecary. It’s not always in stock, but when it is I snag the heck out of it. A spoonful whisked into warm coconut milk is very soothing especially for an upset tummy. There are also recipes online that you can make for yourself at home.
- Ginger tea. Chop up about a teaspoon of fresh ginger per cup of water and simmer it for five minutes or so, then strain into a mug with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of honey. It comes in handy during the cold and flu season too. The spiciness of this one really warms me up and lures my attention to the moment.
- Coffee. I’m a guiltless fan. It’s the courteous thing to drink when I would otherwise be a super exhausted, super grouchy mom. The only coffee we drink in my house is from Nightflyer Roastworks. It’s made by Paul Waggoner, the lead guitarist in one of our favorite bands, by the way!
When you isolate yourself from the world, you get pretty stinking depressed. And when you get depressed, you often isolate yourself from the world. It’s a downward spiral that can be hard to break. How do you break that cycle?
- Find your tribe! There’s a whole community out there that’s so ready to take you under its wing. Be it a club, a class, or a volunteer opportunity – get out of your comfort zone and let your guard down when you meet someone cool.
- Coffee shop. Sometimes it’s nice just to be in a public place with people around. Personally this is really calming knowing that I’m not obligated to interact, but the opportunity is there. A little interaction can really brighten everyone’s day, too. Try holding the door open for someone, sharing a knowing smile, or tossing out a compliment.
- Phone/Message a friend. Go through any of your contact lists and catch up with someone you haven’t talked to in a while. So wholesome.
- A little something. Surely there’s someone already in your everyday life who means the world to you. Go out of your way to do something a little extra to show them you care today. It will bring good cheer to you both!
If you need more community support surrounding depression, I absolutely love what To Write Love on Her Arms and Shield the Shade are doing. I adore the concept of wearing something to symbolize a hug to get you through a rough day. Please check them out and join their communities.
3. Warm up
Being a bath and body business owner, how could I leave this one out? Bubble bombs, bubble frosting, sugar scrub, face masks – all sorts of bathtime goods are in the Grunge Goddess test kitchen right now. I’ve been working hard making and testing these out to pass the chillax vibes to you. Of course, soap and hair goods are already Grunge Goddess staples so you can find them in the shop now.
I’m the sort of person who just can’t seem to keep warm, so a bath is the perfect thing to get the chills out of my bones on a winter’s day. Keep an eye on the shop for a new release soon!
4. Change focus
This one can be another tough cycle to break. When you’re depressed, it’s all you can seem to focus on. It consumes your awareness. When you continue to focus on being sad, you manifest more sadness.
The goal here is to shift your focus on something else. When you focus on what you want to manifest, the sadness fades away. It loses its power over you.
Concentrate on what makes your soul sing. If you can’t remember, think back to what you really loved to do or what you loved to daydream about when you were small.
It can be menial and meaningless. It can be nail polish or the satisfaction of mopping your kitchen floor squeaky clean or a walk by yourself in the woods or that you drove through green lights all the way home today.
Or, it can be the bigger things. Your favorite hobby. Your favorite people. Or, offering your favorite pastime as a service to people. Benefiting others makes the giver’s heart just as full.
Focus on what you want and what you love. Forget all the rest.
If you love encouraging visuals, grab some goods from Letter Shoppe. She’s got uplifting, badass, colorful art for days. I just want to live in it. I’m a member of her monthly sticker pack Patreon.
Still needing a kick in the pants? Mark Manson. Done.
5. Take care of yourself
Can’t stress it enough. Take care of your body. Eat nourishing food. Keep garbage out of your system and you won’t feel like a dump. Get up and move your body. Whatever form of movement you love, do it. If you hate cardio, pick up the free weights. If you hate the gym, get out and reconnect with nature. Just do what makes you feel good. Don’t overdo it, don’t stress about it. Just do it regularly.
You may or may not notice that the little nuance that weaves all these ideas together is ritual.
Ritual is what manifests your thoughts into reality. These little rituals I’ve given you are little stepping stones to create meaning and purpose in your life. Make these rituals a habit.
You may find your belief systems and outlook completely switching around. You may find your old, worn out rituals that no longer serve you falling to the wayside. Let it all happen and let go of who you think you are.
Just by placing a simple intention while completing your daily ritual greatly shades the way you view and live your life and your world.
7. It’s okay
Most of all, I want you to recognize that it’s okay to be unhappy sometimes. We’re trained to believe that if we’re not happy and optimistic all the time, then something must be wrong with us. But our “good” qualities and “good” times are only one facet of our lives and our selves. Allow those other parts to coexist with you. It’s all okay.
Let me know if you try any of these ideas and how they go for you! As always, I’m a message away if you need a listening ear. I’m here for you and bright days are ahead.