Happy Winter Solstice and Surviving Winter Blues

Good morning everyone! Happy Winter Solstice! For those of you who don’t know, here is my unscientific explanation of the winter solstice: It’s the shortest day of the year! Why am I excited about that? Because from today until the summer solstice, the days keep getting longer.Those of you with a case of the winter blues, take heart, sunshine is coming our way.

My mom and I celebrate this day every year because neither of us like winter. The sad part is, the winter solstice is also the start of winter, and usually January and February are much colder than November and December.

This year, my acupuncturist is advising me to embrace winter. Usually I cry, piss, and moan about it, so this is a big change. She also “prescribed” me 4000 IU of liquid vitamin D a day. I know vitamin supplements are controversial. I believe it’s helping my mood and vitamins are not going to kill me, so I’m sticking with it.

Other winter loving tips:

  1. Where appropriate clothing. I hate the cold, but sometimes I don’t dress for the weather. This year I bought a pair of knockoff Uggs from Kmart, and an ankle length down coat on sale at Burlington Coat Factory. For now, I just wear them to the gym and the park in the mornings. If we get another blizzard, I’m wearing that down coat every where! I’m also stocking up on warm and colorful scarves, shawls, hats, and gloves. I have to work on my whole winter wardrobe, but that takes time.
  2. Recognize your wish to hibernate for what it is. I fear I’m experiencing a depressive episode at the start of winter. I want to sleep more and stay home. This year I’m embracing those desires and going to bed earlier when I can. I’m also trying to find activities I enjoy, such as going to the movies, rather than a bar where I have to wear cute clothes and talk to people. 🙂
  3. Take up a hobby and get some good books. I’m cooking for health and entertainment. Currently, I’m reading a few books Jane Eyre, Think and Grow Rich, and all my new cookbooks. May I also recommend yarn crafting?
  4. Let the sunshine in! Open your blinds or curtains at home and the office whenever sunlight is available. Walk around outside when the weather is tolerable (and even when it isn’t).
  5. Exercise! which Erin discussed yesterday.
  6. Embrace winter! I’m trying to look for the little every day things to make me smile. Such as babies in stroller sleeping bags (so cute & funny looking), the way dogs run around and get excited in the cold, really fat squirrels, the beauty of a first snow and my awesome Christmas tree!

The decorations were handmade by my Grandma! It's a small tree and it's sitting on my bookshelf.

What do you think about vitamin supplements, especially vitamin D in the winter? Do you struggle with winter blues? WHat are your tips for embracing winter?

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4 comments

  1. I don’t think there’s a lot of controversy about Vitamin D. It’s probably not quite the cure-all people make it out to be, but there’s significant evidence it helps with mood, and since we get it from the sun it helps make up for the lack of sun in winter.

    I’m not a huuuge winter fan but I don’t really get seasonal depression, just sick of the snow and slush by late February. Matthew does, though, so it will be interesting to see how this winter goes with his new job — plus he has a business trip in February and we have a vacation in late March.

    All in all, great tips. 🙂

  2. Don’t fret – winter can be fun too! You are too right about the right clothes – if you are not freezing your butt off, you will be happier! Helps if you have favourite winter activities – skiing is popular in our house. We go cross country skiing 4-5 times a week. At the start of the season, we usually include an outing to the pub for dinner afterwards – loads of fun!
    Vitamin D – I usually take a minimum of 1000 IU, but it varies over the winter with the dose going up to 2-3,000. Not taking it as the be-all, cure-all, just replacing some of what I don’t get in winter!
    Love your attitude that from here on out, the days are getting longer. More time to do the fun stuff!!! Happy holidays.

  3. I’ve been meaning to try vitamin D, I just keep forgetting to pick it up.

    My winter has been a little more bluesy than usual…with Kyle gone, the wedding planning, and the relatively mild winter (you know how I love the snow!), it’s just been sort of blah over here.

    Anita, great tips! I’d love to learn how to ski, but I feel like I’m just a disaster waiting to happen out on the slopes 🙂

    1. Erin, start with cross-country, even klutzy me managed to only fall once or twice 🙂

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