The Cold Weather Depression

Did you know that as it gets colder outside that people’s mood shifts?  This is super true and super real.  People start to go down and depression is at an all time high. It could be the weather, it could be the changes in the leaves and things slowly doing their dying/vegetation stage or the fact that as it gets colder the closer we get to the holidays.

I am generally a holiday person but I notice too that I have to be mindful of my moods more often during the colder months.  My kids are what balances me.  They don’t allow for me to have too much of a down time and that’s super great.  Although I know my husband and I are great parents and we push through, let’s get it real I get in the dumps often.  So what do I do during the months leading up to the holidays? I get aware like never before of my triggers.

My personal triggers:

  1. My mother in law being gone has been one.  The year is slowly approaching like in a few days, and that alone has me shifting as I watch my husband and kids shift.  I can see pain and I am dealing with my own.  For that reason, we have made sure to be careful of any extra drama into our home.  This means in conversations, deeds, petty arguments etc.  We are aware.
  2. Holiday commercials.  I think they are great. But the onset of them being super early even for me who is a planner gets to me.  I was in the store and I am still grabbing things for Halloween and I saw Christmas stuff and I am like are you serious?  The reason is it sets my anxiety and now I am trying to focus on meal planning for Thanksgiving and these stores and shoving Christmas at me and I can’t take it.
  3. Drama-Any onset of drama gets me.  To elevate that, I don’t allow it. This is major.  Had this been a few years especially before my kids were born, I would have popped popcorn, and starred in it.
  4. Cold gloomy days-rain is a mood downer on its own, but… cold rainy days or snowy days that don’t produce enough snow to get me or the kids a day off is a downer.  I do not like snow.  I do not like cold.  So I really make sure that I am upbeat, play different music, whatever it takes to get through.  Perception is always key to get through.
  5. Black or dark grey-it works great in the Winter to layer but I will intentionally add color even if it’s in scarf to avoid my mood shifting.
  6. Complaining-I could be a professional one however even I get sick of it.  So now instead of complaining or being around complainers, I just figure out what the core issue is and handle that.
  7. Lack of physical activity-take that how you like. I try to keep my workout strong because with all of the comfort foods you kind of have to.  I tell myself that working out allows me my wine moments.  When activities get low as snow piles up I get my wine in.  This is why babies are born conceived the most during the Winter months.  So be careful.
  8. Social events-I love the idea of dressing and getting ready to go somewhere until its time to go.  Days before my stomach starts to hurt.  The day of I start to get sick or my head starts to hurt. To push past that is simple as going, but pushing past my thoughts are harder to do than slipping on a pair of heels.

Whatever your personal triggers are, be aware.  Have a plan in site.  Speak to someone you trust.  The list of mine may seem trivial but if I let myself go, the outcome of that can be devastating to myself and my family. I know for a fact I am not the only one.  This is why you need to be connected to the right people who can recognize that you are spiraling or you are withdrawing too.

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Make sure that you find what makes you happy.  Get healthy.  The second I get sick, it doesn’t help my mood.  Not only am I focused on getting better but it takes me 3 times harder to get out if I am having a depression trigger right before I get sick.  Sometimes I can get sick, if I allow myself to get too boggled down.

Even after you notice your triggers and work really hard not to allow them to get to you, it still may.  Knowing what you like that can get you out before you get in is key. Not everyone is the same.  Sometimes music does it.  Sometimes being outside helps.  You may need to get counseling during the Winter months.  Whatever it is, get it and make sure you are clear on what that looks like and get it.

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Things you can do to get ahead of it:

  1. Write and keep a gratitude journal
  2. Buy flowers for yourself
  3. Meet up with a special friend once a month
  4. Purchase a special drink
  5. Have a certain go to song
  6. Do something for others
  7. Wear a color that reminds you to stay focused
  8. Bright Nail colors or color art
  9. Keep healthy
  10. Eat right
  11. Do not-self medicate
  12. Talk to someone
  13. Reach out to one person
  14. Check in on others

IF you experience at any time not just when the Winter months come a slight or even worse case of suicidal thoughts please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

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What are you Grateful for?

The only time we talk about gratefulness is around Thanksgiving.  You hear everyone repeat what they are grateful for.  If you come from a big family as I do, by the time Aunt Sally speaks her gratefulness you’re almost tapped out.  Do you know the power of speaking what you are grateful for out loud?  It refocuses what you have and less on what you don’t.  It will renew your mind to go after what you don’t have without negativity.  It will allow others around you to get good vibes as well.  When you see grateful people they seem to smile more. There lives may be in shambles but they know that trouble don’t last always.  They seem perkier.  They seem almost too unreal.  The reason they seem unreal is because the world is full of life suckers and negative vibes.  Choose to be the light in a dark world. Sometimes a simple smile can do it for someone. I watched my kids energy in a simple Snapchat video and it reminded me to slow down and relax.  Or when I see my daughter accomplish a goal she thought she couldn’t its gratefulness that makes me stop and reflect.  I look and see the Vegas devastation and some of the stories of heroism or the stories of how a man lost his wife but he was grateful for her smile everyday.  Can you say the same?  Will someone look back at the time you were here and say, they were genuine and loved life?  If not you can change it.  Life sucks no doubt, but if you change the lens you will be able to conquer anything thrown.

So I’ll start it out for you, what are you grateful for?

I am grateful:

  1. My life
  2. My health
  3. My husband
  4. My kids
  5. My job
  6. Good credit
  7. No debt
  8. Ability to love
  9. Ability to receive love
  10. This day
  11. My friends
  12. For my grandparents still being alive
  13. For my nieces
  14. My siblings and siblings in love
  15. My parents
  16. For working my marriage
  17. For good food in my home
  18. For the ability to have gas in my car
  19. For healing
  20. For a sound mind
  21. Loving love
  22. Being quirky
  23. For loving to celebrate daily days
  24. Being an organized person
  25. For being creative

The list can go on for pages and pages, what are you grateful for?  Speak it and sit back and enjoy the blessings that God gave you as you speak it and list it.  It changes you when you learn to live from a grateful heart.  Be grateful!

Summer break don’t let it break you!

Welp the sun is out and the heat is high that can only mean one thing, summer break.  The phrase that all parents dread to hear at the end of the school year.  Most parents will scramble to find summer camps only to find that either the good ones are taken or they can’t afford it.

What does a parent do?  Well one thing to do is check with your child’s school.  They are a good source of information for summer camps if you still intend on placing your child in one. Another suggestion is to check with your local recreation commission office.  They have discounts on all things summer from discounted tickets to places to go.

Movie theaters usually does a summer series where they have movies from almost free to discounted prices during the day.  Also you’re already on Facebook, Instagram and twitter use these resources to follow the places you want to take your kids they usually announce special online deals throughout the summer.

Get out and head to your local library. They have valuable series and events all year-long and especially in the summer to encourage children to keep reading while school is out.  Speaking of books, head to your local Barnes and Nobles for story time.  They are usually in the day time as well as they have events already printed a month in advance to get involved in.

Your local churches may also in addition to vacation bible schools, have information on discounted programs being offered in your neighborhood.  Be creative and be vigilant.  There’s no reason why being on a budget can’t still spell fun for your kids.  Get signed up for Groupon and other saving apps.  They have many things such as discounted tickets to bounce houses, various shows, etc.

Lastly while at home, get organized.  Provide plenty of structure for your little ones.  Make each week a different theme.  Yes take a trip to the Dollar Store, Five Below and your local craft store to get things like paint, chalk, coloring books etc.  Plan each week ahead of time so you will have your materials together.  Have indoor and outdoor material ready as well. Be creative.  Don’t let the little ones sit and watch television daily.

Make each day enjoyable and remember to add some work out days.  You already working on that summer time fine, so get the kids involved.  Drink water and have water check ins to increase water intake.  Kids lead by example so get active together.  Most cable providers have workout material that is free and at your disposal.

Get together with other parents and have play dates.  Do water days where a good hose, bathing suits can provide hours of fun as well as relief from the sun.  Remember to see life from their perspective and include all sensory fun while you enjoy your summer days.

One of my most helpful tips for parents is to provide Popsicles or make some of your own.  Yes this inexpensive treat is one of the best ways to step into summer.

Dos and Don’ts

Do NOT leave kids in hot cars unattended

-This shouldn’t have to be said but the cause of heat related injuries and deaths of children is due to the carelessness of parents who leave young kids left in hot cars. A few minutes can spell disaster.  Don’t want to take the little ones into the store, simple don’t go or order online.

Do NOT allow your children to go out in places without adult supervision.

Unfortunately as kids are out trying to enjoy their fun there are many irresponsible and disgusting adults that want to take advantage.

-Do NOT allow your children to drink too many sugary drinks and sodas.  This should be a treat and not a staple.  Encourage more water intake as heat exhaustion is real even for little people.

Be wise overall in the summer time, increase sun block every time your children are exposed to the sun.  Taper off some daytime outside play when the sun is really high.

Do ENJOY your time with your children.  Remember it’s all about creating memories.

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