Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Like the title of the blog states, sometimes you have to take what you're doing, and give it more. This can be in any aspect of your life. When you feel like you can't give any more....give it just a little bit more, then a little bit more after that.

A personal struggle that I suffer with is seasonal depression. I have dealt with this since I was a child and it seems to get more challenging as the years go on. It used to literally cripple me, keep me in the house all winter, sleeping over 15 hours a day. I would wake up, it'd be dark, and I'd figure, "Well no point in getting up now" and I'd just go back to sleep. There was no drive, there was no energy, there was no purpose as far as I could see. I was never suicidal with this...just COMPLETELY unmotivated to live any sort of fulfilling life. I know a lot of people can relate. It wasn't until I started opening up about this that I realized I am not alone in this boat of seasonal misery.

Every day is like an exhausting battle with myself. But that's a good thing! The battle means that I am giving it more, that I am not giving up, and that I am not giving in to this seasonal  pain in the ass. It means that I have refused to settle or accept what I am going through. It means that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired in the winter. It means that inside, I still want more. It means that I'm fighting.

Many people might say, "Maybe you should get on some medication." or "Maybe you should talk to someone about this." I disagree. If I am fighting, I'm fine (in my opinion). I have been on anti-depressants and I HATED the way that they made me feel. I also know that if I make myself (after much internal battle) get off my butt and do something that I feel better.

This is in no way a medical blog, just a blog of my personal experiences. Perhaps you feel the same way that I do as the winter months start to head in. Maybe you also do not want to go on meds because you feel that this is a manageable problem; if so, here are some of the things that I have been doing that seem to be helping elevate my mood on even the gloomiest of days:

1. Exercise. As Elle Woods proclaimed in Legally Blonde, "Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't just kill their husbands!"  It's true. Some days it will take more exercise than others to elevate the mood. I had a day like this yesterday, but I would rather exert some energy doing something that is benefiting my body than wallowing in self pity under the covers and giving up.

2. Eat Clean. Again, this is not a medical blog, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist, but the amount of articles that I have read lately about the crap that is in our foods is scary. Hormones are found within our foods that can alter our own chemical make up. Not to mention, there are some additives within foods that actually bring our  moods down. If you have ever watch the documentary Supersize Me, you will remember how Morgan Spurlock's mood was greatly affected as he ate McDonalds day in and day out. Yes, his situation was a bit on the drastic side, but as someone who does eat clean about 85% of the time, I can tell you that if I am in a situation that calls for repetitive fast food bouts, my mood changes.  When I eat clean, I feel clean. I feel light, I feel like my mood is better, I just feel more nutrient rich. When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Not saying that this is the same for everyone, but for me this is how it works. So try putting more whole foods in your diets and see if that helps to lift your mood.

3. Go tanning. I'm not saying go every day and fake bake to the extreme. I do not tan to be "tan" (if you saw me you would know I'm definitely not tan), but I will go and lay in the bed for 10 minutes. It makes me feel warm, and cheers me up.  As a side note, I will not go more than 10 minutes. I do fully believe the tanning bed/skin cancer links and am one of those people when outside that wears SPF30+ (just didn't want people saying, "YOU ARE PROMOTING CANCER!" because, I'm definitely not!!)

4. Get outside. Whether or not it's cold, if it is sunny get outside and just enjoy the sun. Sunshine stimulates the production of Vitamin D. The sunshine and the outdoors can also help to raise your endorphin levels, cheer you up, raise your energy levels, and boost your mood.

5. Find a hobby that you enjoy. As lame as it sounds, I scrapbook all winter long. Looking at the photos from the summer and holidays passed helps me to remember that there is a ton to look forward to and that warmer/sunnier days are ahead!

6. Embrace the climate that you are in. This is the hardest for me, but I do try. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I'm more of a palm tree and sunshine kind of girl; however, I do try and embrace the climate that I live in. I go snowboarding, and while I'm not very good at it, it is something that makes me smile. I also love ice skating outside, and there is just something special about running through huge snowflakes; it's like you are in a snowglobe.

Those are just some tips from me to you. Again, I'm not saying any of it is "scientifically proven" or anything like that, but it's working for me and I know I'm not alone out there.

If you have any additional tips that you would like to share about how you battle the "winter blues", please feel free to leave a comment below!

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