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Blues buster

Wanda Smith looks at how to deal with the seasonal blues
On The Front Porch with Wanda Smith

The first couple months of the year in our Saskatchewan climate prove to be challenging with lack of sun, cold temperatures, long winter and other situations unique to our area. I think we have all felt a little unmotivated, sad or discouraged in the early parts of the New Year. I admit I have. As I grow “more mature” I realize there are some pretty basic ways to combat the seasonal blues.

These are some tips I’ve learned that help me out of my slightly sad state and maybe they will help you get a leg up on winter. First of all, throw open the blinds and curtains and let the sun shine in or at least lighten up the room. With the sun on a lower angle in the winter, it will shine in the windows nicely.  Take your daily dose of vitamin D while lying in the sun and have a nap on the couch or on the floor (as my dad used to do).

Secondly, purpose to get yourself out of the house and meet someone for coffee or even “people watch” in the mall or restaurant. I’m a fairly independent individual and don’t like to ask for help but I took a leap and messaged a friend a couple weeks back to meet for tea.  It helped me to get through a slump I was in.

After writing “Unfinished Business” a couple weeks ago, I actually inspired myself to get a list of projects I’d like to finish and started to tackle them. It took my mind off of the desperate cold and long winter and gave me a goal to work towards with a feeling of fulfilment when I could cross each project off my list. There is something to be said about tackling that to-do list! It was satisfying to see the results of completing the Christmas quilt I’d started for my sister, of painting an armoire that has needed some updating for years and tackling my pile of recipes I’ve collected for a couple decades.

If I can get out into the fresh air, this also helps to improve my mood. When Hubby cuts wood, I like to help stack it; there’s something positive about working together in the fresh air and being productive. Take a brisk walk, even if just around the block or down the lane. On warmer days, open windows and get some fresh air blowing through.  I’ve done this several times this winter, which helps to chase away germs and stale air.

Something I haven’t tried but would be interested in testing is a sunrise alarm clock.  Have you heard of such a thing? It mimics a sunrise, gradually adding brighter light as it gets closer to your morning wake time. You can also find ones that have various types of sounds to wake up to such as waves on a beach or sounds in a forest. Personally, I’d like one with the songbirds of the prairies. Although I am a morning person, I struggle to get up when it isn’t light out. I think this would be an optimum way to get up...working with my body’s natural rhythm.

Along with the natural ways we can improve the long, cold days of winter, we can also spend time soaking up the Son...Jesus... If we ask, He will pour out His love, peace, hope and joy in the midst of the hard times.

Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” Stay warm and be blessed!

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