Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

Day 11 of Your Year to Wellness
Wellness takes time but time is on your side
It’s that time of year when you begin to feel like you don’t want to get up, go out or do anything. I’m not talking about the disease of depression which affects 1 out of every 5 people; I’m talking about those after-holiday-I-didn’t-get-what-I-wanted-but-I-spent-all-of-my-money-and-can’t-pay-the-bills-blues.

At the end of the year, our spirits are soaring high from family gatherings, office parties, New Year’s resolutions, hopes and dreams but just 11 days into the New Year we are ready to throw in the towel; a term which comes from boxing meaning that the ring man throws in the towel indicating his or her fighter cannot continue. You should note that the ring man has to throw in the towel. The fighter will be so punch drunk that they won’t want to quit on their own. A good ring man knows when his fighter can go on and will know when they should stop.

As your ring man, I am not throwing in the towel for you just yet. You are still doing great and you can go on.

Even in warm weather, the winter blues can come rolling in. When expectations are high, there is nowhere to go but down. You’ve bought the diet plan (and paid extra for over-night shipping because you were so eager to get it) started the You-gotta-be-crazy exercise program with the shake weights and the tread mill you begged for is in the middle of the room begging you to turn it on just one more time. You’ve told yourself that this year was going to be different, that this time you were going to reach your goals but defeat has already set in and you are thinking that you are a failure, again.

I have good news for you; we are only eleven days into the year and you are still here.

This seasonal let-down is very common and is the result of a combination of things; the mass marketing of unrealistic expectations, coming out of an emotionally high season and  getting back to the day-to-day of life. Here are some tips for getting through the winter blues:

·         Don’t beat yourself up. On The Year to Wellness program, we know that we have an entire year to get well. If I have a tough day and I wake up with a Twizzler stuck to my face, I know two things, I could have done better and I woke up; which means I can still do better. Time really is on my side and while it keeps moving no matter what, I can use it to my advantage.

·         Surround yourself with hopeful thoughts and people. If you are hanging with the naysayers, all you will be able to hear is “NAY.” For these Chicken Littles the sky really is falling and they want everyone to feel the same way they do; fearful. Find people, books and music that reflect who you want to be and learn from them. Remember, I am your ring man and you are mine (It beats the whole “Wind beneath my wing thing doesn’t it?)

·         Slow your roll. Take a step back and reassess your original goals. If you decided that you would lose 20 pounds by today and it hasn’t happened (or it did but you gained the weight right back) come up with a more realistic goal and then gradually work towards it. Wellness is a lot like love, you fall in too quickly and you might fall out the same way. We all know that one couple who met and married the same week and have been together for 40 years, but what we don’t think about is what they have had to do to stay in love. Talk to that couple a little longer and you will hear of how much work goes into that marriage. I do believe that you can know what you want quickly, but I also believe that having and keeping anything requires maintenance.

·         Believe in yourself. We’ve heard and seen this a lot lately in commercials, on hotel towels and even from restaurant waiters. The advertisement whiz kids are just now figuring out what Stephanie Mills was saying in the Wiz over 30 years ago, that “If you believe within your heart you’ll know that no one can change the path that you must go.”  The idea of using inspiration as a means of enticing people to buy is all the rage. That’s because if you can inspire people to see their own ability, they are more likely to believe in you and your products. (And that’s why I’m telling you now that I believe in you. Hold someone’s hand and sing with me.)  Believing in yourself is easier said than done. It requires that you know that you are capable. If you don’t think you're capable start learning new things. The fact that you are reading this indicates that you have the desire to do so. You keep reading and I’ll keep writing. (I’ll keep writing anyway---I do believe that it’s my purpose.)

·         Dance. Get up and move. You will read this over and over again from me. Exercise really can have a positive impact  on your mood, but if you are not fit, too much exercise too soon will bring you down. Dance a little each day building your stamina to where you can move more easily.

We can all be affected by the post-holiday blues but it’s not as bad as it feels. Your life is a holiday. Find the balance and dance right there in the middle.

BE you, Be free, Be BALANCE.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


  1. As always, thanks for your words of inspiration. It's a wonderful way for me to start off my day and it keeps me going and focused!

  2. Thanks Callie, It's always good to know that what you do makes a difference. You've made one fro me this morning. HAPPY DAY

  3. Dhanybhad (means thank you in new progressing language).

  4. Thank YOU Tawanda and congrats on learning a new language.
    Kamsamnida (Thank you in Korean) The language I'm trying hard at.