Fight the February Blues

February is notoriously known as one of the hardest months to get through. In December, the holidays keep people occupied, and in January, there is the afterglow of the holidays. Then comes February—28 or 29 bleak, gray days which can send some into a hopeless funk that lasts approximately until the first daffodils bloom in mid-March.

Remember, winter can’t last forever. Here are a few tips for curing your winter blues:

Eat Healthy
February can be a heavy month – emotionally and physically. Lighten up your dinner. How and what we eat has a direct impact on our mood. All those heavy comfort foods (mac and cheese, stew, chilli, etc) are delicious, but they might be dragging you down. Head straight for the produce department and grab all the greens, citrus and fruit you can find. Produce will give your body the vitamins and antioxidants that you might have been missing.

Exercise can actually make you feel better. If a trip to the gym isn’t in your future find your own way to exercise. Click over to YouTube and search for an exercise routine that you think might work for you. There are yoga videos, aerobics, break out into a 20 minute dance party – whatever gets your heart pumping.

Get Outside
Sunlight can have a very real effect on many people. The darker winter months can take their toll. During the day, take a break and spend some time outside. Set an alarm on your phone – a “get outside” alarm. Put on your coat, hat and scarf and take a coffee break outside, walk around the block. Aside from the Vitamin D dosage you will get, going outside in the winter can have a positive, calming effect on your body and mind.

Watch Your Favourite Comedy
Laughter is the best medicine, it’s true. You can borrow movies from Edmonton Public Library, and the library has an endless supply of movies, and it doesn’t cost a cent to borrow from them. Take a chance on a new comedy or stick with something you love…spending a couple of hours laughing is good for your soul. Whatever makes you laugh – go for it.

Meet Up
The snow is falling, it’s chilly out. Everyone has an excuse to stay inside. The truth is we need human interaction in our day to day living. Set a date to grab a cup of coffee with your friends. Pick up the phone and call someone for a chat. If your life is online, reach out to someone you care about. Finding ways to connect with other people, even on the darkest and coldest days can increase your relationship bonds with others and help turn your mood around.

Write out your emotions. A journal can be used in any way you wish. Jot down everything you are grateful for. Jot down everything that is frustrating you right now. Jot down your biggest dreams. Jot down your inner most secrets. Put pen to paper and see what flows. Sometimes the act of simply “dumping” everything onto paper can bring you inner relief.

Seek Help
When are the February blues more than a bad case of the “blues”? If you are feeling overwhelmed and are having a hard time even considering doing any of the ideas suggested here, it may be time to seek help. If your friends and family have voiced their concern, if getting out of bed, having a shower and eating properly are simply too difficult for you to face – seek help. Pick up the phone and call your family physician, call your local distress centre or drop into a clinic. The first step is the most difficult and the most important. To get in touch with Brain Care Centre please call 780-477-7575.