So lately I’ve felt like I was in a life rut. Everything feels a bit blah & dull & that is how I know depression is beginning to creep in. If you’ve ever suffered from depression, the beginning is the worst for me. You can feel it coming but, unlike what most people think, you can’t just “be happy” & skip past it. I think mine currently has a lot to do with the winter. I get more depressed in the winter even with spring right around the corner.
Something about the lack of sunlight really does some damage & with the snow…I can never think of anything to do. We don’t have kids so most of the activities around Omaha, Nebraska (where my husband & I are stationed because he is in the Air Force) are placed around family events. I feel like we fall into ruts with what we do here & that’s rough. We basically go grocery shopping, eat out, & go regular shopping. That’s a big change for me. In California, there is so much to do even if you’re just hanging by the beach or outside in the sunshine. Keep reading to see a few ways I’ve found to make myself feel a bit better & you can add your tips as well!
I thought I’d make a short list of things that tend to make me happier when I’m feeling down, even in the winter snow. I’d love to know what gets your spirits up! I’m sure you have some great ideas.
1. Get out of the house. Even for a few hours, just leave. Being stuck inside can make me feel worse, more suffocated & lonely.
2. Go to the zoo or volunteer with animals. Being with animals (even though I have my own) can lift my spirits a bit. They make me happy, they’re fun to look at, & I always learn something new.
3. Find your local art scene. Not so much here because Ryan doesn’t like to go, but visit local art stores, museums, or art districts. If you’re artistic like me, this makes you happy because you love inspiration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a piece of jewelry I wanted to learn how to make or a painting technique I would’ve never thought of.
4. People watch! I absolutely love people watching but I have some serious issues with feeling overcrowded. Unfortunately here there aren’t many outdoor malls. Imagine that! Maybe it is the snow? But if you live in a warmer area, this is always a go to for me. My favorite place to people watch is Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California if you’re ever in the area.
5. Watch a movie…somewhere other than your house. Like I said earlier, getting out can be the change you need. Even if you have loads of movies the act of getting ready & going out can make all of the difference. Look for a cheap movie theater, sometimes they have really fun random movies!
6. Go bowling, play lazer tag, or paint balling. Do something active that doesn’t feel like working out & that you can’t do at home. It is so much fun & if you have a spouse its something they’ll likely enjoy too. It is competitive without being too physically strenuous. Sometimes when I’m depressed I feel really lethargic so that’s something important to me. I wish running worked for me…but it just hasn’t.
7. If you don’t want to leave the house (or can’t) for lengthy periods of time…start something new. Start scrapbooking, learn to bake, work on training your dog, learn yoga. Do…something new. It can be frustrating at first so it might not work for everyone but the focus can really help me & I always feel good about completing something new on my own successfully.
8. Get organized. Start organizing an area that has been bugging you. I have OCD so that can really help me to focus without getting overwhelmed. Often times it is something that doesn’t NEED to be done in any length of time so I can take however long I need to make things exactly how I want them.
I’ll try to add more things as I come up with them but I’d LOVE your input. Feel free to leave your tips & blog links below & I’ll add them to the list! I feel like it is really important to remember you’re not alone if you feel like I do & that there are ways to helps!
Obviously I’m not a doctor & you should consult one if you have any feelings to do harm to yourself, others, or if you are concerned with your well being. The photo above was taken at the beach in Laguna Beach, California while shopping along the coast. It is my photo.