December, how great you are rounding out the year, lifting spirits, and pouring cheer into the hearts of family and friends as they gather to celebrate holiday traditions. During the school winter break, children get to play with their new toys while adults get some much needed time off from work. Some spend the days cuddled under blankets and hot cocoa and some take to the outdoors with sleds in hand. However the season is spent, unfortunately, we know it must come to an end. Once December passes and the decorations come down, we tend to think, “What do we have to look forward to now?”
We spend the bulk of the holidays with our schedules jam packed. We may have met new friends and family or reacquainted with old ones at a variety of gatherings. The sudden change in our social calendar can lead to loneliness, boredom, and a feeling of isolation once the festivities are over. Try giving yourself something to look forward to in the months after to brighten your mood. Plan a vacation within the first months of the year. Make a New Year’s resolution with checkpoints to reward yourself along your journey to completing your goals. Whatever your method may be, you should have a something you love on the horizon to set your sights on during this down time.
The holidays can be filled with delicious treats and even some overindulgent activities that can lead to weight gain and/or guilty feelings. Not only that, but because the first couple months of the year can be a bit chilly, we tend to be sluggish and continue overeating while we are cozy in our sweaters and under blankets. These actions can lead to more guilt and make us feel bummed out. Take on a work out plan that you can stick to. Grab yourself a workout buddy to make workouts fun and keep you accountable. Bad weather keeping you at home? A simple workout could be a click away. YouTube is filled with fitness tools and videos for you to log some serious gym time just steps from your bed.
To boost positive thinking during the dreary winter months, try a happiness or gratitude journal. Just keeping a journal, in general, is great for looking back on special moments. But, having a separate notebook for writing down positive things that happen or something you were thankful for each day allows you to reflect on all the good emotions you feel, even if you had some challenges to overcome. While you are in the habit of writing, start making lists of things you want to complete for the year, whether it is movies you want to see, places you want to visit, or any activity that brings you joy. Sometimes the simple act of checking items off a list can be rather uplifting.
These are just a few ways to beat the winter blues. Whatever you decide, make sure your method works for you. What works for one may not work for another.
If your thoughts or emotions become too concerning do not hesitate to reach out for help. The National Suicide Lifeline is available 24/7. Call 1-800-273-8255 if you need someone to talk to or advice on how to talk to someone else you are concerned about. Also, you can find mental health resources at www.thekimfoundation.org under the ‘Finding Help’ tab or reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janae Shillito, Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation
Janae Shillito is the newest edition to The Kim Foundation and serves as Project Coordinator. She holds two science degrees with her alma maters including the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Janae’s love of volunteering and helping those without a voice created a strong desire to become a part of the non-profit world. She enjoys instructing kickboxing classes, reading a good book, and being outside with her husband, Cory, and Rottweiler, Hank.