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Navigating the Winter blues



I've witnessed firsthand the highs and lows that come with the holiday season. The excitement, joy, and connection during December are unparalleled. Yet, as the festive lights dim and the calendar flips to January, an unexpected wave of emotions can take hold. Then throw in the record-breaking cold and snow that we've encountered and it's like the perfect storm of emotional bankruptcy. If you're journeying towards upleveling your overall wellbeing, this time may bring unique challenges. You are not alone, and I'm here to offer a guide filled with warmth, support, and compassion.


Navigating the Emotional Landscape: The Winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) are like a shadow that descends once the holiday fervor fades away. It's not just about physical solitude; it's a complex interplay of factors. The dwindling sunlight impacts our vitamin D levels, and the shorter days can send us into a cocoon of sleep, affecting our very essence. Sleep, social connections, meaningful activities – they're all threads intricately woven into the fabric of our wellbeing.


Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly abbreviated as S.A.D., is more than just a feeling of winter blues; it's a recognized form of depression that occurs seasonally, typically during the darker, colder months. Research suggests that millions of people are impacted by S.A.D. each year, making it crucial to address and navigate with care.


Our Primal Instincts: Winter brings with it a natural instinct to hibernate, a primal response to the colder temperatures and shorter days. As the world outside slows down and takes on a quieter demeanor, our bodies and minds often yearn for warmth and rest. This instinct, however, can clash with the ambitious goals we set during New Year's resolutions and the constant urge to go-go-go. It's easy to feel disheartened when the energy we had in January begins to wane, and the hibernation impulse takes over.


Yet, it's crucial to give ourselves grace during this season of introspection. Instead of viewing it as a setback, consider it a time to reconnect with your goals when you have the energy to do so. By honoring this cyclical nature and embracing a gentler approach, we allow ourselves the space to thrive when the spring of renewed energy arrives.


Recognizing the Signs: Picture this: sleeping too much, feeling disinterested in activities that once brought immense joy, a lingering sense of hopelessness, fatigue that seems to seep into your bones, intentional social isolation – these are not just words. They are experiences, emotions etched into the very core of your being. If these feelings persist beyond the glow of the holiday lights, it's time to acknowledge them.


My Personal Battle: I've been there – the restless nights, the heaviness in my chest, and the isolation that seemed comforting yet suffocating. It took me a while to realize that these were more than just post-holiday blues; they were whispers of a deeper struggle. If you find yourself in a similar place, my heart goes out to you. You're not alone.


First and foremost, grant yourself the grace and compassion to acknowledge the depth of those mopey and isolated feelings. You are not alone in this struggle, and it's completely okay to feel the weight of winter. It's part of our shared human experience. Now, let's delve into six ideas to infuse warmth and light into your mental wellbeing during this winter journey:


Tips For Weathering the Storm:



  • Nurture Your Body and Soul: Instead of pushing against the winter tide, embrace this season as a time for deep nurturing. Immerse yourself in warm baths, cocoon yourself in cozy blankets, take some insightful time for meditation and savor nourishing foods that comfort your soul. Explore gentle exercises like yoga or indoor workouts that honor your body's need for movement without imposing undue pressure.



  • Create a Winter Sanctuary: Transform your living space into a refuge. Soft, inviting lighting, comforting scents, and personal touches can make your home a sanctuary where you can find solace when venturing outside feels daunting.


  • Connect with Loved Ones: Counteract the isolation by reaching out to friends and family. Share your winter experiences and feelings openly. Virtual coffee dates, heartwarming chats, or shared movie nights can bridge the physical gap, fostering connection and support.


  • Connect with Yourself through Journaling: Take a moment to connect with yourself through the art of journaling. Pour your thoughts onto paper, exploring your emotions, dreams, and aspirations. To assist you on this journey of self-discovery, I have a free tool for you. It provides prompts to help you dig into the wellspring of self-love within. For this free tool, visit www.joyfulbalancewellbeing.com/self-love to download today.


  • Embrace Unique Ways to Move: When the bone-chilling weather keeps you indoors, explore creative ways to move your body. Try dance workouts, engaging online fitness classes, or even indulge in simple stretching routines at home. Finding joy in movement can significantly impact your mood and overall wellbeing.


  • Celebrate Small Victories: Recognize and celebrate every small triumph, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Completing tasks, trying new activities, or just getting out of bed on challenging days are victories worth acknowledging and celebrating.

As I reflect on my own journey through the Winter blues, I want you to know that it's okay not to be okay. Acknowledge the storm within, reach out for support, and implement these tips. Through the tears, the laughter, and the small victories, you'll emerge stronger, resilient, and ready to embrace the beauty that lies beyond the holiday season. This is not just a guide; it's a testament to the power of vulnerability and the transformative journey toward a brighter, more compassionate self.


If you want a partner to talk through this season, or any other season of your life and health, I am here as a shoulder to lean on, a partner to talk through your challenges, a supporter of your goals, a mechanic with tools to help you uplevel your wellbeing and that accountability partner you need to keep you moving forward. If you'd like to chat more, the first session is free. Visit www.joyfulbalancewellbeing.com to schedule your Breakthrough Session and learn more about how coaching can help propel your life forward, not backward. Beginning in February, evening and weekend morning options are available to fit your scheduling needs.



Also, if you didn't know, we have a Facebook group of like-minded women. Our mission is to uplift and support each other through each of life's seasons. We are 800 members strong and always looking to grow our community, along with our minds and hearts. Click below to join Joyful Balance Circle. You'll be glad you did!








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