Spring is here and its time to sweep away the wintertime blues.
Have you been hibernating this winter? Well you’re not the only one. After the mad rush of Christmas and New Year are over, many people (myself included) feel winter forcing us in our house only to leave when necessary. You begin to feel down, gloomy, and lose energy, to name but a few. It's too cold to do anything and if you work all day you don't even see the daylight. It's dark when you leave for work and it is dark when you go home at the end of the day, so all you want to do is stay in your house were its warm. You avoid having to leave the house unless it’s really necessary.
The fact that so many of us feel like this, it has been given a name, S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a depression that afflicts people primarily during the winter months. You may have difficulty concentrating and feeling alert, withdraw socially and have carbohydrate cravings. SAD sufferers also experience sleep problems.
Don't be disheartened because spring is here. The daffodils are out and the clocks have gone forward one hour, so you have an extra hour of daylight in the evening.
Now is the time to shake off the wintertime blues. But I know that it's not easy, after nearly three months of hibernating in your house in front of the fire, the thought of emerging out of your cave can be scary as the lethargy and boredom have become a habit. If you rush out the cave too quickly you'll become disorientated and run right back in.
So it is important to do it a little bit at a time, to build up your energy, which has disappeared over the past three months. Doing too much at once can overload you and stress you out. So below are some tips that you might find helpful in getting you started, because I know from experience that it’s not easy. But spring is here and now is the time to get organised for the summer.
1. Get Your Energy Back
The first step to get yourself started is to get your energy back, and to do that you need to get active. There are a lot of things we put off doing in the winter, and to build up your energy and your confidence you have to start with the little things. Start by making a list of things that you have put off doing for yourself, don't include anything, which involves someone else. This is about building up your energy and in order to do that you have to start taking care of yourself first. This is not meant to sound selfish, but you can only help others when you are strong and to become strong and charge up your energy you must take care of yourself. Your list can include little things like getting yourself a hair cut, buying something new for yourself, anything you feel like doing for yourself, the choice is yours. Do all the things on your list, by doing them your will feel good about yourself and it will have got you a bit more active and ready to take another step forward.
2. Start Organising The Space Around You
It is time to widen the area now to the space around you. It's time to make another list I’m afraid. Look around your home and make a list of the little thing you were meaning to do but have put off. Don't include big things like redecorating, replacing the garden fence etc. It should be little things like replacing a light bulb or having a washday, tidying up your wardrobe etc. Organising the space around you helps build your energy and you will feel much better when you are living in less clutter.
Spring cleaning is something women (and men) have been doing for centuries, tidying and organising your home is a way to get rid of the winter blues, it's like getting rid of the old (winter) and getting ready to welcome the new (spring).
3. Go Out and Meet People
If during the past three months you have avoided going out to meet people, its time to shake off the cobwebs and emerge outside. I tend to avoid people in the winter, even my own family, the thought of going out in the cold, dark night and driving in your car trying to focus on the road when the bright lights of on coming cars blind you is not very appealing. But with an extra hour of daylight its time to get out and about. Go visit your family or friends, make plans to go out on shopping trips or go to the cinema. Do anything but start getting out and meeting people in the evening or weekends, avoid sitting in front of the TV on your own.
4. Starting New Projects
By now hopefully you have a little spring in your step and feeling good about yourself, because its time to go on to bigger things. So get out your pen and paper because we're making another list. In this list write down all the projects you would like to do, but have put off. Maybe it's, decorating, looking for a new job, and starting the gym. Start prioritising the list, you could start with the little things. Take one project at a time, don't try to do too many things at once or you'll get overloaded. By concentrating on one project at a time each project you complete will boost your confidence and energy.
5. Remember To Have Fun
This spring-cleaning isn't meant to be a chore, make it fun, do the things you want to do first so that way you won't mind doing the ones that you hate. Spring is the start of something new, when flowers, trees and plants begin to bloom and grow, so this is the time to tend your garden, get rid of the weeds and plant some seeds. But you need to constantly water your seeds, by taking care of yourself, and topping up your energy. Pamper yourself, do fun things, go to the cinema, meet your friends or what ever you find enjoyable. But mainly remember to have fun.