Here you are, possibly already dealing with the stress of life responsibilities and then the colder months come in and add to the effect of your mood. Many will experience the effect known as the “winter blues,” when the temperatures drop and you’ve lost all motivation and you’re feeling sad. Some will experience more serious symptoms like depression also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
Here are 3 activities that you can do when you’ve got the winter blues.
Having the winter blues makes it difficult to want to get out of bed, but all of your days can’t be filled with laying around in your workout leggings and t-shirt. You’ve got to get up and implement regular body movements and exercise into your day. This will improve your mood, reduce stress, and eliminate depression symptoms.
First, grab an empty jar then print out the activity slips. You will notice there are a few blank cards you can use those to add in your own additional activities as well. Fill the jar with the activity slips. If you feel like you need a mood booster, pick a slip out of the jar. There are a variety of activities that could be done like attending a fitness class or going for a walk. If you find yourself stuck at home, because your job or class is now remote, there are activities that accommodate that too. For example, putting on your favorite tv show and doing 10 squats during each commercial break can be done in the comfort of your home.
Take note of what activities you notice cause a positive impact on your mood. You can easily track this with the use of a mood tracker.
This tool allows you to recognize what activities or situations boost your energy and what triggers a negative mood.
First, print out the mood tracker. You are going to choose a color to represent your mood throughout each day. You will then color in the box associated with the day of the month with the color that describes your mood. Start your day by seeing where your mood stands. If you are feeling anxious and depressed, and your color for that is purple, then you would color that in the corresponding box. Do the same for when you are winding down for the day to see if your mood changed after incorporating mindfulness and movement into it.
Boosting your mood also comes from affirming positivity into your life.
Positive affirmations cancel negative thoughts and allow you to absorb positivity. Each affirmation you state brings in confidence and the chance to believe that anything is possible. Repeat your affirmations aloud and let your mind peacefully wander as you color.
Having the winter blues can take a toll on you—physically and mentally. Download the activities here to ensure that you know what to do when you’ve got the seasonal blues.
by Sara Kaminski
Lots of people live with a merciless critic in their head who blames them for every single mistake, makes them remember every mishap and relive every embarrassment when they go to sleep, and constantly tells them they are not good enough. Some are always the punchline of every joke they make, even though, deep inside, they know there is nothing funny about diminishing oneself.
But that voice in our head that’s telling us we are not sufficient or acceptable is not something we are born with. It can be the result of adverse childhood experiences or even trauma, as well as other things that happened to us while growing up and becoming who we are now. This is not how it’s supposed to be.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ways in which we are too hard on ourselves, the origin of our inner critic, and the strategies to overcome it.
To be successful and fulfilled, we need to be realistic about our mistakes and flaws. However, we also need to know when our neutral self-criticism becomes excessively negative self-judgment.
This happens when you beat yourself up over slip-ups that have minimal consequences. For example, when you buy an expired yogurt or when you accidentally break a glass and make a huge deal about it.
A common symptom of being overly harsh on yourself is criticizing yourself even when you have corrected that mistake. The guilt eats you up for simple things like saying someone’s name wrong and apologizing endlessly because you can’t allow yourself to move on.
One of the most dangerous aspects of this problem is interpreting someone’s poor treatment of you as your fault. This can lead to you second-guessing every decision and diminishing your personality. Worse yet, it makes you susceptible to manipulation and emotional abuse.
If you don’t appreciate yourself enough, it’s quite common to see other people’s mistakes as plausible but yours as catastrophic.
Finally, even if you have everything going for you and your life is all sorted out, with this sort of attitude, you can still focus on tiny things that are not perfect and always feel like a failure.
The first place to look when asking yourself about the root of your inner critic is your childhood. If the early caregiver was unreasonably critical of themselves, some of those traits could be projected onto you. Also, if a parent, teacher, or older sibling was controlling, hard to please, disapproving, constantly comparing you to others, this could form your beliefs about yourself and leave scars on your self-esteem. Emotional, physical, verbal, or any kind of abuse in any life stage can contribute to low self-esteem.
Self-criticism is also a part of some cultures. Some people are raised in cultures where this is an effective motivator. This can be particularly true for women in certain patriarchal cultures. Often, this passes from generation to generation, and the parenting style keeps the self-doubt alive.
Modern culture is often blamed for unrealistic beauty standards, so this can play its role, especially in the teenage years.
Since this is an issue that usually begins in childhood, we have to emphasize how important it is that parents raise their children in a compassionate environment. It starts with the little things, such as learning to deal with school stress, and spreads out to more complex topics like learning to love oneself.
Things are more complicated for adults, of course. You already have your scars that need healing first so that you can start regaining your confidence.
Finally, we can’t overlook how complex and tricky the human brain is. Negative criticism is linked to mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression. If you feel like you can’t overcome this alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Therapists know how to create a non-judgmental and safe environment where you can confide and heal.
“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
This is one of those quotes that’s ABSOLUTELY worth spending a little time alone with. I’ve been trying to decide, lately, why exactly so many people seem so negative these days. I’ve actually been thinking about it for a week or so and I keep coming back to two words…. social media.
The sarcastic, negative, and often downright mean posts usually get the most engagement – the number one thing most on social media are after. It doesn’t even really matter to them if the those who engage are agreeing or disagreeing, they simply want (and VERY often benefit monetarily) a large number of people to talk TO them and ABOUT them.
They crave it like I crave coffee… which is truly saying something, trust me.
Problem is, far too often people see the negativity on social media and, even when they register that it’s unattractive and nasty, they often take it offline with them. Suddenly their server at Applebee’s needs to be talked about behind his back because his hair was blue, they can’t give the woman passing them in a car a laughing emoji, so they ridicule the way she looks with their words… and on and on and on.
Can you imagine if the opposite were true?! What if things we spent time with affected us in positive ways? What if time we spent online, reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching tv, or watching videos more or less “conditioned” us to be more positive and happy offline?!
That’s why it is of the utmost importance to not just choose your friends wisely, but also important to choose your pastimes wisely. You could make a case that how you spend your time (which so strongly influences who you ARE) is even more important than choosing friends.
I’m not at all saying you have to give up social media. Personally, I love interacting on Twitter and Instagram. But the trick is, I’ve gotten really, really good at weeding out the ones who fill my mind and heart with negativity, sadness, and even madness. Those who seem to be hellbent on making others as angry, sad, or miserable as they are get the block from me.
Think about it, if someone showed up on your doorstep yelling and cursing about everything and everyone who they disagreed with, would you let them in to spread their toxicity and mood on you and your family? Heck no! They’d get the door slammed in their face… IF it had even been opened in the first place.
What I’m suggesting is this:
Reading good (really good), positive authors is an excellent way to fill your mind and heart with positivity. Positive podcasts, old movies, and other things that lift you up as opposed to weigh you down… that’s the good stuff!
Make each moment count double! ~ Joi (“Joy”)
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (Amazon link)
Follow the link for more Norman Vincent Peale Quotes.
Thomas Edison Quote About Nutrition
While “You are what you eat” is one of the best known quotes about healthy eating, I personally love this one from Thomas Edison a lot more.
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~ Thomas Edison
I would love to see more doctors discussing food with their patients – not necessarily more than medications that could be helpful but at leas as much as. Whether it’s to prevent problems, help problems, or even alleviate them… the truth is the foods we eat can be incredibly helpful.
Problem is, not all doctors dive into nutrition (to be fair, lately, when would they find time do do any extra research?!) as a preventive measure let alone a cure. It’s often up to us to do our due diligence and research (from highly reputable sources, of course)…. then bring them up to our doctor and see what he/she says.
I asked one of my doctors, years ago, about an herb I’d read about being helpful for asthma. She actually wrote the name of the herb down and said she was going to look it up and research it. She apparently believed strongly in herbs and natural healing and simply hadn’t read enough about this particular one yet. She said she’d let me know what she’d found on my next visit and she did.
If you don’t have a doctor as cool as this particular doctor… find one!
Make each moment count double! ~ Joi (“Joy”)