With the turn of the weather and season, many are dreading the dreary, short days and long, dark nights. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where autumn and winter are gray and wet, you really start to miss the sun!
You may start wondering how to stay happy when you’re feeling sad and unmotivated during the cold seasons. A lot of people suffer from S.A.D., which is a seasonal depression caused from the lack of sunlight and the bodies internal clock getting a little messed up. I am not an expert and anyone with diagnosed depression should seek professional help, however, some of us just need some fun ways to brighten the dark days. There are some simple things you can do to keep a little hop in your step, even during the dead of winter!
How To Stay Happy When You’re Feeling Sad
Stay Active – As a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom, I have to get a little creative when it comes to being active. I can’t get out to a gym or even outdoors to go on a walk. A great way for moms to stay active it to simply play with their kids! Dance with them, chase them around, roll around on the floor, and even try some at-home work-out routines that your kids can do with you! Physical activity can help relieve stress and balance your mood. Plus, it’s just plain good for you!
Play Music – Keep some upbeat and joyful music playing in the background! Children’s worship music and classic hymns are some of my favorite. Classical music without lyrics can also stimulate a happy attitude. If something makes you feel sad, then don’t listen to it! Stick with music that brightens your mood and makes you want to sing and dance around with your kids. It will put a smile on their face, too!
Get Light – As much as you can, sneak a few minutes outside whenever the sun does shine, especially in the morning. If you can manage to get up early enough to greet the sun on a clear, crisp morning then you will feel much better for the rest of the day! Oh how I wish I could enjoy a steaming cup of coffee on my front porch as the sun comes up, but that never happens. However, just keeping your house lit up can help keep you cheerful. So, buy yourself a new accent lamp for your favorite reading chair and keep those lights on!
Eat Heathly – Eating a diet of whole foods and a lot of fresh fruits and veggies can be an overall health benefit. Try to increase foods rich in vitamin D. Cod liver oil, salmon, and tuna are a few good sources of vitamin D. Also, consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Diffuse Oils – Diffusing essential oils can purify the air and tip the scale towards a healthier home. Grapefruit and Lavender are both uplifting oils, but I love the combination of cassia, clove, and peppermint for a warm, cozy feeling. Essential oils can also help keep the sickies at bay, which definitely makes for a happier family!
Chat With Friends – Whether it is your husband, your mom, sister, or other best friend, sometimes just talking about your sad feelings can help. Plan a weekly date night with your husband and coffee date with your girl friends so that you can get out of the house. It is especially helpful if the person you confide in points you towards the joy we can find in Jesus, shares scripture with you, and even says a prayer with you!
Enjoy The Season – Take advantage of the seasonal activities. Visit the pumpkin patch and corn maze, go on a hay ride, and participate in the fall parties (or host one!). Drink fresh apple cider, go apple picking, and can apples. Plan fun activites to do at home with your kids. Even simple season-themed school work can make an ordinary day fun. Decorate your home for fall and winter. Bake your favorite seasonal foods. There is so much joy to be found in autumn and winter, if you just look for it!
Spend Time With The Lord – This should really come first and most often! Whenever the sad feeling starts to take over, take some time to simply pray, read your Bible, sing a hymn, or journal your thoughts away (I view this as another form of prayer). Write down (or print out) your favorite encouraging Bible verses and tack them up around the house. There were times in my life when I had papers with scripture on them up on my kitchen cabinets and on the walls all throughout my home! Sometimes, how to stay happy when you’re feeling sad is to surround yourself with uplifting thoughts and words of truth.
I hope that these ideas will offer you a new perspective when facing the coming months. I pray that you can find joy and blessings in autumn and winter!