Seasonal depression has become a “real thing” because of what we think and do, not because of the weather.
If the weather does have complete power over my thoughts, emotions, and actions, I am doomed for failure in life.
Here are 5 Keys to Overcoming Seasons Depression this year, and every year. They are guaranteed to work, so please pass them on.
1. Stop using a huge, emotionally charged word like “depression” to describe the effects of the outside temperature.
Could it be possible that the word you’ve been using to describe the emotional state you go into each winter is actually a negative enhancer to your feelings over winter?
Let’s start by calling it what it really is.
This is really about “choices that make me feel a little down.”
“Feeling a little down” versus “depressed” produce radically different emotions, don’t they?
2. Prime Your Heart and Mind Everyday, First Thing
8 years ago I began a practice of writing down 3 gratitudes everyday, followed by reading the Bible (and other mind enriching material), and then prayer. It takes me 30 minutes or less.
I just recently took this practice to another level with something we call “Extreme Gratitudes”.
Rather than just thinking about something I am thankful for and writing it down, I now spend roughly 45 seconds feeling that beautiful memory.
One example from this morning:
When Jack was 1 year old I took him to the park and put him in the swing. As he was swinging, I jumped up, grabbed the poll, and hung on it briefly. He started cracking up with a laugh that brought the biggest smile on my face. I proceeded to jump up and grab the poll a dozen more times, each time eliciting a HUGE ball of laughter from my son. We both laughed for quite some time. It was a memory I will never forget.
Every morning, especially over winter, close your eyes and spend time going back to a memory that:
- Brought you so much joy
- Made you feel so loved
- Made you feel so proud of yourself and accomplished
- Brought you huge feelings of happiness, peace, etc.
In addition to this, feed your mind with positive material. 10 minutes of reading, listening to an audiobook, etc. Your mind lives on what it is fed, feed it well! This is a key to overcoming seasonal mood swings.
3. Ignite Your Physiology.
a) Take deep, full breaths regularly throughout the day. Oxygen to your blood cells increases energy.
b) Move Your Body for 30 Minutes a Day. No movement, no energy. No energy, no joy. No joy, you are done for!
c) 50/10 rule. Do not sit for more than 50 minutes at a time without getting up for a 10 minute stretch, walk, etc. At worst, 80/10.
4. Eat like energized people eat, not like depressed people.
No one really talks about this when it comes to “seasonal depression”.
During the winter, most people eat the very foods and drink the very drinks that are proven to increase anxiety, stress your internal systems, and decrease your energy levels.
No wonder we feel worse over winter!
The fix would be:
- Less sugar
- Less caffeine
- Less alcohol
- More wholesome foods
- Normal portions
- Drink significantly more water
Eat like joyful, energized people eat and watch how you feel!
5. Give more than you’ve ever given this winter season. The secret to living is giving.
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24.
Poverty is not just lacking money, it is also lacking joy, vibrancy in relationships, energy, and positivity!
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
Would you like to be refreshed this winter? Re-energized? More alive than you were over summer? Do you recognize that you are in complete control of your mood during winter, summer, spring, and fall?
You can choose to ignite energy, motivation, and joy this winter, or do what you do every winter. Same mind, same actions, same results.
Take action on one or more of those 5 things above and you will experience a very, very different upcoming season!
Dedicated to your joy and success,
Andrew and the PFP Team
P.S. I just finished helping a high school student build a few of these habits above and he has been feeling more motivated and productive than he did in the fall. His homework is getting done on time and he is practicing basketball skills on his own more (without being asked to).
One way to guarantee you and your children remain energized and positive this winter is to get surrounded by happy, energized people! Proximity is power. We all need coaches and peers to challenge us, give us new tools, hold us accountable, and make us feel accomplished and excited.
This is the 6th bonus key to overcoming seasonal swings.
Visit www.pfpfit.com to learn more!