The last two winters were a challenge. The bitter cold with some cabin fever took a toll. I made some lifestyle changes as a result.
1. Talk with family and friends. Meet up for a meal or activity with them. You will be surprised how talking to people can get bad things off of your mind. You will probably have a good laugh along the way. Texting, phone calls, or emails do not beat personal contact.
2. Take a look at N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) and Gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA). Do some research on these two. You can get them at Whole Foods, GNC, or on Amazon.
3. Get active! I know it feels impossible to get out of the house or off the couch. Start with a brisk walk outside (hopefully it’s sunny!). Make it a point to do this every day. Fresh air is good. Then, find a way to hit the weight room and lift weights. I do this every 3rd day now. I get walking laps, stretches, a machine routine, a sauna, and a shower done in 90 minutes. I can go in the morning or after work. I’ve lost 10 pounds since the first of the year.
4. Focus on your diet. Eat good foods with protein. Drink water and teas. Coffee isn’t bad, but watch the amount you drink and what you put in it. Limit your soda and alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a treat here or there (I had a scoop of ice cream last night after dinner), but keep it limited.
5. Make sleep a priority! Find relaxation time before bed. Avoid the phones, tablet, and computer an hour before bed. I do watch TV, but it’s sports or a movie. Read a book. Drink an herbal tea (no caffeine!). Find a reasonable bed time and get good sleep.
6. Meditation. The relaxation before bed helps, but there are other things you can do. One example that I’ve done is I’m going to church. Not everyone likes it, but I go into a space that’s generally quiet for an hour, I turn my phone off, it feels peaceful, and I can schedule stuff before or after the service that I need to do.
7. Off that last point of scheduling stuff, stay busy. Sure, after that church service, I’ll get a bite to eat, go to the grocery store, etc. Same with work. Do a good job and give it all. Find a second job or a volunteer activity. Do stuff around your place. Whatever it is, always find a couple of things to do each day.