31 Days of Sunshine

Compiled By Rachel Fabbi, LMF,  CADC

The winter months can cause increased depression, restlessness, and hopelessness. As we enter the middle of the snowy season, Acacia would like to offer you 31 days of sunshine to brighten your winter and bolster your mood!

  1. Put up Pretty Decorations. It is amazing what a string of twinkly lights or paper lanterns will do to brighten a room, and your mood!
  2. Go for a Drive Away from the Inversion and Pollution. A trip to bogus or McCall where you can see the sun and sky will brighten your day and give you some time for personal reflection.
  3. Make a List of Things you like about Winter. You can even write the list to the tune of “My Favorite things” from the Sound of Music.
  4. Sit by the Fire.Cozying up to a crackling fireplace, you can’t help but feel content.
  5. Listen to Songs with Positive Lyrics. Sing and Dance Like Nobody's Watching. It might sound ridiculous, but music has been proven to affect your mood, listening to uplifting and positive music can bolster your emotions.
  6. Count your Blessings. Literally, sit down and see how many good things you can list in your life.
  7. Get Involved in Volunteer work. Whether it is at a homeless shelter, a food bank, thrift store, or at the humane society, serving others will make you feel good about yourself and help to put your own struggles in perspective. Visit Justserve.org to find local places looking for volunteers.
  8. Visit a Friend. Connecting with someone you enjoy spending time with can make any day that much better.
  9. Meditate and/or try Visualization. Youtube is a great resource for beginning to advanced guided meditations and visualizations.
  10. Go to a Tanning Bed. In addition to making you feel nice and warm in the cold weather, being in a tanning bed can trick your body into thinking your in the sunshine which has proven positive benefits on mood.
  11. Make a Conscious effort to eat Healthy. Laying out a healthy meal plan and creating positive goals can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  12. Write letters to friends and family, Journal, or Create a Work of Fiction. Writing is a cathartic and artistic exercise, it engages both the brain and the hands and makes for a good afternoon inside and out of the cold.
  13. Practice Mindfulness. Being Mindful, simply means to be aware and engaged with one’s surroundings. Try going for a walk and focusing on the moment, where you are, and what you are doing.
  14. Celebrate Spirituality. This will look different from person to person, it could mean reading the Bible, the Tanakh, or the Qur’an. Praying, or meditating are also great ways to connect with your spirituality.
  15. Treat Yourself Kindly. Go to the store and buy yourself a new bubble bath, lotion, or mud mask and luxuriate in the smell and the comfort of taking care of your body. Some great places to shop for bath products are Lush, and Target, but for the budget-conscientious Wal-Mart and the Dollar store also have good-smelling treats for your senses.
  16. Wear your favorite outfit and go out. Even if you are only going to a coffee shop or to run errands, feeling good in what you are wearing can make you more confident and even boost your mood.
  17. Do a Craft, Learn a New Skill, or Start a Hobby. Keeping your mind and hands busy will help keep you in a good mood during the cold months. Check out Pinterest for fun DIY projects or go to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or the dollar store for fun crafts and hobbies.
  18. Let Yourself Have a Lazy Day. Its okay to fall asleep on the couch, or snuggle under the covers all day. Give yourself permission to be lazy and soak up the cozy contentment that comes with it.
  19. Watch a Feel-Good or Funny Movie. Laughter really is the best medicine, and watching a movie starring your favorite comedian is a great way to get your daily dose!
  20. Stretch or try yoga. Moving your body can really help make you feel more motivated and happy. Try doing some simple stretches at the beginning of the day or try doing a yoga class online or  at the local recreation center.
  21. Go Outside! The bitter chill of winter can be beneficial, spending some time outside and then going indoors to warm up has the effect of making you feel content and drowsy. Plus, sledding and tubing are fun ways to enjoy the snow.
  22. Read a Good Book. Books are a great way to escape for an afternoon, find a good fiction page-turner or poetry collection and let yourself be transported!
  23. Eat your Favorite Food. Treat your taste buds once and awhile and enjoy your favorite foods guilt-free.
  24. Spend time with your family and the people you love. Surrounding yourself with people who care about you is a sure way to make you feel better when you are having a particularly difficult day.
  25. Eat Citrus. Make yourself a tropical fruit salad or fresh squeezed orange juice, the flavors and smell of citrus have a brightening effect on the brain.
  26. Get Beach-y! Listen to some Hawaiian music and hang up a couple tropical pictures, you can print them off from the internet or find them in magazines. Keep yourself in the beach state of mind and put your swimming suit on to sit in the bath!
  27. Drink something warm everyday. Whether it is tea, hot cocoa, or coffee, a warm drink has a cozying effect.
  28. Do something kind. This can be as simple as wishing someone a good day or as involved as helping someone move or clean, regardless of the act, selflessness will make you feel good in every inch of your body.
  29. Play a Game, any game! Board games, video games, computer games, cell phone apps and card games all fit into this category!
  30. Take Photos. Taking pictures can help pass the time and document it! If you don’t know what to take pictures of, look up photo challenges on pinterest.
  31. Spa Day! Give yourself a manicure and pedicure with bright colored nail polish. Do your hair and makeup. Make yourself feel as beautiful as you are!