friends

Winter sure can be depressing. I don’t like the short, grey days or the chilly nights. If like me you feel your mood and energy are down this time of year, here are some things to help make your Autumn and Winter more enjoyable. 

  1. Visit Botanical Gardens. Even in the dead of Winter their greenhouses are filled with beautiful plants and trees. They are warm and smell lovely. The added oxygen can help lift your spirits, while the warm air will remind you of warmer days. If you don’t have botanical gardens around you visit any park, feeling closer to nature often make us feel better too.
  2. Meet a friend for tea or coffee – not pints. I am not saying drinking is out of the question for the colder months. However, if you are already feeling down, adding alcohol to the mix isn’t a good idea. Alcohol is a depressant, that followed by pouring your heart out to a friend can often lead to the fear in a big way. Instead, meet someone you trust for tea and talk. It will give you a chance to vent and hopefully not judge yourself too harshly.
  3. Let yourself hibernate. It’s colder, the days are shorter and your energy levels are low. Instead of spending the days complaining about that, give in. Let yourself move slower, eat a bit more and do less. Putting yourself down for your lack of energy won’t change anything, it will most likely do the opposite. The seasons will change, like they always do and you will once again feel more motivated. Untill that time, relax.
  4. Grab some vitamin D supplements. Usually us humans get all the vitamin D we need from the sun. The UV rays trigger its synthesis into our body. However, in these Winter months we often do not get enough. Those D vitamins are responsible for making our bones strong and keeping our immune system healthy. Pop into your local health food shop and give yourself a boost.15107440_10153934208221603_4422841898846942937_n
  5. Eat foods that are hearty and rich with good fats. This time of year it can feel like the tank is always empty. Make sure you are eating things that give you a boost. Nuts, lentils, chicken and turkey will all fill your belly and help balance your mind. Having a slow cooker in the house is handy because you can fill it with what you need on your way to work. When you return home dinner is ready to go, slip into some comfy clothes and eat up.
  6. Go outside on your lunch break. Depending on the hours you work you may never see sunlight. That can make it seem like you are living one long, dark, day. You need a break. Even if it’s chilly bundle up and walk around the block. Breathe in the air and admire those grey clouds. They’ll part soon and the sun will return… Right?
  7. Watch, read or listen to something uplifting. Sometimes we need to feel like the world isn’t that bad. I did a post before with some reading suggestions which you can check out. Otherwise ask friends and family what they watch when they want to feel optimistic. Sometimes we need the outside world to help counteract the inside feelings.

The key to all of this is noticing how you feel and deciding what you need. Trying to convince yourself you feel different than you do, doesn’t work. Embrace the cold and the grey. Curl up, get warm and be lazy. It will be Spring before you know it and you’ll be surprised how fast it’s come around. If you feel like you are feeling more down then usual contact someone like myself and talk. It’s totally normal to feel out of sorts at times and usually all that is needed is a little extra support.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

 

Draining Energies

Have you ever spent time with a friend or acquaintance and felt exhausted after a visit? Some people in our lives can make us feel energised, while others can make us feel drained. It’s the people that drain us that we need to be weary of.

I have heard the term ‘energy vampire’ in the past. Although a good description of what it feels like to be in the presence of someone like this, it’s not entirely fair. Mainly because a vampires goal is to suck the life from you, for the most part the individuals that drain us are not doing this on purpose. In many cases they are completely unaware. Which is why you need to watch yourself around them.

It’s often this lack of awareness that causes the drain. If you aren’t aware of your own process (journey/struggle/ability to make sense of why you’re here) then you may get stuck in a ‘poor me’ cycle. Where instead of learning the lessons the universe keeps throwing at you, you complain that the same things continue to happen. Often insisting that everything needs to change but not starting with yourself.

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For those of us that are caregivers this type of person can very easily pull us in. They are looking for an outside source to rescue them, while the carer, in turn is looking for someone to rescue.

Are you being drained? Here are some things to note.

  • They are taking more than they are giving: if you feel drained that means the energy is going only one way. Healthy friendships and relationships are a two way street.
  • Some people love to be the victim: there are times in our lives when we are going to be miserable. Grieving, feeling sad/angry/fed-up are all normal parts of life. However, anything can become a pattern, that includes wallowing and feeling victimised. Some people begin to feel they only get attention when being the victim, you don’t have to be a part of that cycle.
  • You choose to give your power away: you have to decide what treatment is okay, that includes how much of yourself you give to others. Boundaries are important in all relationships.

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If you have a friend who’s feeling like a drain these days and just needs extra support than make sure you’ve protected yourself. Follow the steps above and imagine there’s a strong force field that surrounds you before you spend time with them. Imagine it keeps you grounded and protected.

If until this point you had never noticed how you felt around others then start checking in. When you’re with your best friend, partner or work colleagues, take a few slow deep breaths and notice how you feel in your body. You are more than a well of energy for others to take advantage of. The more tuned in you are with yourself the better you will know where there are imbalances in your life.

“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” – Joel Osteen