There’s something about March that always feels a little extra energetic. The sun lasts longer in the sky, the wind is a little warmer, and the snow is starting to say goodbye. But just because things are picking up doesn’t mean you don’t have to manage the last vestiges of the winter blues. For some, that final winter storm that blows in during the last half of March is worse than the whole month of January.
If this describes you, read on, friend, because I have helpful tips for managing the end of the winter blues!
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, mother nature has the greatest healing power. There are multiple ways to take advantage of her methods, and one of them is getting outside. Fresh air and sun are effective anti-depressants for the little bouts of winter blues that bother us in March. We have some tips for how you could get outside and survive those cold weather aches that can limit your fun.
More than that, though, we recommend just a twenty or thirty-minute walk. Even if the sun is hidden behind clouds and flurries are falling faster than a dog with a bone, walking outside can help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. In addition, people living with serious mental health illnesses can benefit from increasing cardio and exposure to nature and fresh air. Sometimes your greatest tool for getting through long winter days could be right outside your door.
Eat Fresh Healthy Food
When things get dark for me, one of the first things that I fail to do is cook appropriate meals. Whether I start relying on quick and easy meals with few healthy ingredients or eating take-out most evenings, I know it contributes to a negative mindset. In addition, many studies correlate a diet high in refined sugar and negative mental health outcomes, like impaired brain function or mood disorders.
When we have junk food for every meal in a week, we are literally harming our mental health. But there is more to eating junk food that causes issues, and that’s the social stigma. Usually, this is an internalized shame that causes us to feel bad or assign a moral value to our food. So while I won’t encourage anyone to eat junk regularly, the occasional drive-thru isn’t going to cause major issues. Moderation and self-love are key to all success.
It can be a challenge to eat healthy for every meal, especially in certain areas or budgets. However, there are a few ways you can compensate for this, including:
Buy frozen vegetables
While some may turn their nose up at the idea of a meal cooked with frozen veggies, we don’t. Frozen vegetables have the same nutritional value as the fresh stuff and are far more affordable. In addition, there isn’t a significant difference in texture when frozen veggies are cooked properly.
Incorporate easy fruits
An apple a day keeps the doctor away — especially if you just grab a fifty-cent one at the gas station. However, they are usually cheaper to buy in larger quantities, and you can keep the whole family in fruit for a week for just a couple of dollars.
If you’re looking for more tips on healthy eating, keep an eye out for another blog this month on eating healthy with CBD!
Supplement Your Nutrition
The winter blues can exacerbate existing mental health illnesses, but there are ways to help your body compensate for what it’s missing from the winter weather. You can supplement your nutrition affordably with different products to help you feel more like summer-you.
The human body is incredible — it takes the energy from the sun and generates vitamin D. But if you’re living your life in the shadow of snow, you may end up deficient in this vital vitamin. Being consistently deficient in vitamin D can undermine your immune system or affect bone growth and development. Vitamin D drops in a glass of water or milk are a fantastic way to add this to your daily routine.
Your endocannabinoid system is partially responsible for internal homeostasis — balance. So when you’re missing parts of your routine, being stuck inside, unable to get your preferred healthy foods, or just trapped away from the sun, your can start to feel out of balance. Restore this equilibrium with a healing gift from mother nature herself — CBD. For consistency, we recommend incorporating a CBD softgel into your morning routine.
Stay Warm and Surround Yourself with Loved Ones
All of my evidence for this one is anecdotal, but I can tell you that when I am curled up on the couch with the kids and my dog, I’ve never been warmer or happier. So take this time inside to surround yourself with people you love, especially as current events allow us to spend more time with friends.
Avoiding the cold and embracing your friends can help banish the winter blues. A get-together is also a perfect opportunity to incorporate healthy snacks into your routine by making up a fantastic veggie dip and leaving a couple of vegetable trays out for all to snack on.
This last one is controversial, but it needs to be said. When you’re feeling down, alcohol can feel like a temporary salve. But before you start your day with a red-eye, keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant, which can inhibit your ability to cope with the winter blues or more serious issues.
Alcohol is a false cure for a bad day — it may improve your feelings at the moment, but eventually, it’ll boomerang back a lot worse. So while I am by no means a teetotaller, I do believe in moderation in all things.
Regardless of whether you take some or all of these tips into consideration, the best thing about the winter blues at this time of the year is that they’re almost over. So giving yourself a little time and patience to survive a difficult winter may be all you need to feel good at this time of the year.