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As much as I love having four seasons, I sometimes get the winter blues. Playing in the snow is an exciting blessing for my boys and me. But, this year, we have blustering cold, winds, dead everything, and barely an occasional flake of snow. Definitely nothing to play in. Bummer.
So, what do you do to cheer yourself up and not completely destroy your attempts at any healthy New Year’s Resolutions? I have some great ideas for you that you can have fun with and not feel guilty about. We all need something to look forward to; our attitudes demand it. Enjoy these five healthy ways to defeat the winter blues.
- Who doesn’t enjoy the warm, cocoa comfort of a mug of hot chocolate? But, then, the realization that you have just downed a ton of sugar in the mix and marshmallows as well as heaps of chemicals, preservatives, and additives hits. The bloaty guilt overshadows the joy of drinking it for many of us. Avoid the regret and feel good about a healthy recipe that can be adjusted to suit anyone’s needs, tastes, and mood. How is it healthy? Avoid the ingredients you know your body won’t like and revel in the knowledge that there are good for you points in each of the choices you can make.
Here are a few examples: Raw cacao is the king of antioxidants and is high in iron, magnesium, and calcium, and serves as a mood lifter (serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine). Maple syrup contains beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Pure vanilla extract is an antioxidant, cholesterol stabilizer, and exhibits antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as boosting mental health (vanilla and cacao-who knew?!). All types of milk have nutritional value, so pick one according to taste, sensitivities, or caloric desires.
- Take some time to read. Pick a book, magazine, blog, or column you can enjoy or learn from and allow yourself peace and quiet while you do it. Have you been meaning to catch up on your poetry or short stories or been curious about something new? Do it! Research and read but pass on the worthless celebrity or political drama that will leave you frustrated. This is your time for a mood boost or thought-provoking moment; don’t waste it. Sip some healthy hot chocolate while you read.
- Play-do something fun. My best friend sent me a puzzle for Christmas. It was absolutely beautiful: made from wooden pieces with animal shapes incorporated. It was so calming and relaxing to sit with my fuzzy blanket at the sun room table and work that puzzle. I sipped some tea and worked while the house was quiet-everyone else was asleep. It was like a meditation and time to focus and not worry about anything else. Try this with a puzzle, coloring book, word game, or anything you find fun or interesting.
- One really healthy way to defeat the winter blues is to experiment with some essential oil diffuser recipes. Take some time to learn about essential oils and their health benefits and start a habit of setting up your diffuser at home, work, or in your car. Here are a few winter recipes to get you started:
- Spend some time acting like a kid again, whether you have any or not. Nothing beats building a blanket fort, shooting people with Nerf guns, and making play dough jewelry. Lately, some of the things I treasured as a child are making a comeback. I’ve gotten to play with Lite Bright, Perfection, and old school Atari games! My kids think I’m wicked awesome because I totally get it. They even think saying, “Wicked awesome” is wicked awesome. Mom win!
Don’t let the cold, dark days of winter get you down and sap your energy, Friends. Try these five healthy ways to defeat the winter blues. Wearing fuzzy pajamas and slippers and leaving your phone off while doing them makes them even more successful—and fun!