So today is  "Blue Monday" - the most depressing day of the year. 

With credit card bills coming from from Christmas, the frigged weather,  low motivation and frustration from the fail of unrealistic New Years Resolutions, many people are feeling BLAH! 

If you've been following my Instagram Stories, you'll know that lately I've been feeling the blues myself! 

Last week I talked about how during the first week of January I had a major case of the "Stepmom Blues" [you can read that blog posts HERE

To be honest, it was more than just the stepmom blues. I was feeling unmotivated, irritable, and just, like I said, BLAH - which was REALLY frustrating because I (like everyone else) planned on hitting the ground running in 2018

After having friends with the winter blues in previous years, and then experiencing it first hand myself, I can vouch that it's the real deal. 

However, I also know that there are things you can go do buck up and plow through! 

[DISCLAIMER: To be clear, I am in no way comparing seasonal depression/mental health issues with the case of the winter blues.] 

Today, on the most depressing day of the year, I'm sharing 11 Strategies to help get some pep in your step and tackle those Winter Blues ... or Blahs as I like to refer to them!

Especially in here in Canada - winter is long, cold and not going anywhere!! If you tend to find yourself in a valley during those winter months, it's important to have some strategies to get you out!
 

1. IDENTIFY THERE IS AN ISSUE

Last week, I stopped pretending and finally admitted to myself that I was struggling, and in a 'not so great" spot. You can't make a change unless you identify that a change needs to be made.
 

2. TELL SOMEONE THAT YOU HAVE THE CASE OF THE BLUES

Then I finally fold my husband where I was at (as if he didn't already notice, I had been a major GROUCH)

I believe I said something along the lines of "I don't know what's wrong with me, I just can't shake this"

HIs response was sympathetic, but pretty blunt. "Look, you have a great life, you have lots of great things happening right now, you have a family who absolutely adores you... there is no reason for you to be feeling this way"

ME: "I know, I'm just telling you that I'm struggling for some reason" 

It wasn't the most supportive conversation we've ever had, but the bluntness actually helped! 

3. DECIDE TO BEAT THE BLUES

Admitting that I was in a not so great place was the first step to getting out of it. After talking to Darren about how I was feeling (the conversation did get a little more supportive by the way) - I made the decision to stop wallowing, buck up and get back to regular programming. 

[RELATED BLOG POST: You have a choice, wallow or rise: Read it HERE]

4. TAKE A TIME OUT TO REGROUP 

I'm a huge fan of taking time-outs. Sometimes I get so flustered and overwhelmed with everything thats going on in life, that I need to just press pause, grab a piece of paper and regroup. For me, it's all about making a plan. Sometimes writing out goals and an action plan is just what I need to prioritize and refocus. 

I know this isn't a possibility for everyone, but this past weekend my husband and I took off for a few days to just spend time together - it was JUST what the doctor ordered. We sleep in, had dinners together, fell asleep by the fire, watched movies, and I spent a lot of time planning and re-grouping.

Sometimes taking a time out - whether it's an hour alone in your bedroom or taking off for a getaway, is just what you need to kick-start positive change. 

5. STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE

My morning routine is my saving grace, all year long. It helps set my day up for success, it helps me be more productive and it allows me to carve out "me time" - ultimately making me a better wife, stepmom and a mom. 

[You can read about my Morning Routine HERE]

While in my rut, I was staying up late binging on Netflix and then sleeping in - This ultimately resulted in my days not starting off on the right foot.

The first step in beating the blues was to get my butt out of bed in the morning, even though all I wanted to do was lay underneath the covers until the snow melts. 

6. PLAN SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Whether it be a girls night, a date night, a vacation or a weekend "time-out" like I talked about above - get something on the agenda that you're excited about! 

7. WORK-OUT

When you're in a slump it's easy to blow off the work-out. But, it just makes things worse. You've gotta move your body and get those endorphins flowing! 

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, that trigger a positive feeling in your body! When you have a case of the blues, you need all the positive feels you can get! 

8. PAMPER YOURSELF

I'm a huge believer in "look good, feel good" - so go out and treat yourself. Book an appointment to get your nails done, get your hair done, get a pedi with a girlfriend or try the eye-lash extensions you've been thinking about for months (which I highly recommend by the way) - do something that makes you feel good about yourself!! 

9. FIGURE OUT WHAT SPARKED THE BLUES

I don't always think there is a specific event that sparks the blue, however in many cases there is a trigger! 

When I looked back on the past few months, I realized that my "mood" started right after an interaction with someone who has always been quite toxic in my life.

Identifying this was huge for me, and really motivated me to push through and not give the toxicity permission to knock me down.  

Remember, you can't control how other people act, but you can control your actions (and the role you allow them to play in your life)

10. PRIOIRTIZE

Sometimes the blues come from being straight up overwhelmed and too hard on ourselves. I know for me, this year I set some major resolutions and have some big goals I want to achieve. Goals are super motivating for me, however sometimes when I have too much on my plate I get overwhelmed and start spinning my tires.

Take a look at your goals and resolutions for 2018, grab a piece of paper and put them into different categories.

Instead of lumping everything into your 2018 goals - identify your one day goals, your one week goals, 3 months goals, your 6 months goals and your 9 month goals - so that you're not trying to tackle everything all at once! You're only one person. 

Many of the most successful people in the world swear by NEVER multi-tasking - they focus on one thing at a time, and then move on to the next. 

11. PUT ON SOME MUSIC

I've never been a really big music person. In fact, I really enjoy absolute silence.

However over the past year I've realized that there is something to be said about putting on a great song when you're down in the dumps. If you're feeling blah, put on something up-beat or calming whatever it is that you're in the mood for.

If you've been following my Insta-stories, you'll know that after Darren and the kids leave in the morning, Reese and I usually have a little Ed Sheeran dance party as we brush our teeth! It helps to start our day off on a happy note! 

If you have any strategies that help you bust out of a funk, head on over to my Facebook Page and leave them in the comments! While you're there don't forget to like my PAGE ... I love hearing from you!

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