8 Ways to Beat the Mean Reds | A Rose in Bloom
"You know those days when you've got the mean reds.... the blues are because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long. You're sad, that's all. But the mean reds are horrible. You're afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don't know what you're afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don't know what it is."
-Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Finding your happy place can be especially difficult this time of year. To wake up in the darkness, gazing into puddles of muddy water while your teeth chatter and your bones feel brittle is soul sucking. Honestly, there are days when one feels like they traipsing through purgatory, forever in limbo. It's not a case of the blues, as Holly points out - it's the unending gloom of wonderment. It's ignorance of the future tinted with negativity. It's fear. Fear that perhaps you will lose your job, fear that you won't have enough on this paycheck to buy food and make your car payment, fear that you will slide on the ice and not have the funds to purchase another vehicle. Fear can drive us into insanity.

While I know the "mean reds" can happen at anytime of year, I find them especially dominant when everything is dreary. Summer lends long, carefree days and our bodies are full of vitamin D, which stifles depression. There is no ice to slip on, less illnesses to rack up medical debt, less need for utilities. Winter time lends more worries, more what ifs, but only if you allow it to happen.

Here are a few ways I try to beat out the winter time "mean reds" before they dominate my life, which they haven't done for over a year now, thankfully!

Find joys in dreary weather: pop in your favorite movie (might I recommend Breakfast at Tiffany's?) and eat a favorite cold weather soup. Watch the ice being created outside and see how all the lights glimmer off of it in a kaleidoscope of wonder.

Do take in as much sunshine as you can: There might not be a lot of it, but what you can get will make you feel better. Vitamin D can really boost a mood.

Say "thank you" for every little positive thing that happens: Did that steam look pretty slithering out of your tea cup? Give thanks. Did the sun peak out of the clouds in a single ray, making it look like Heaven was opening? Say thanks. Did the ice from in beautiful droplets at the tips of pine needles? Say thanks. You get my point. It will make you feel 1000 times better, I promise.

Walk outside: Obviously, please do not do this in a blizzard, but if it's safe to do so, do breath that crisp winter air. Enjoy how clear your head feels, even if it's just for a few minutes. Let snowflakes kiss your face before going inside for your favorite hot beverage.

Invest in something small that makes you happy: I have some favorite wool socks that I wear just about constantly when it's cold indoors. It keeps me so much warmer to have something on my feet and to look down at my favorite socks makes me smile. Incense, tea, and even a mug help too. Anything that makes you smile each day.

Read: Instead of worrying and feeling sorry, get lost in someone else's story. It feels cathartic and clears your mind. It will also give you a good way to spend an especially cold day without feeling like you did nothing.

Play with your closet/makeup: Get creative! Create new outfits with things you already have. Play with new makeup looks for yourself. Maybe you want to practice smokey eyes, or play with a softer, balletic appearance. Do it! Heck, paint on canvas if painting your face isn't your thing. Just be creative and appreciate whatever comes from your mind.

Play music and dance: Clear that living room and play whatever you want. Absorb each note and instrument and move however you feel appropriate. Exercise usually leads to a happier, pleasant evening, so boost those endorphins!
Of course, these are just a few ways I beat the "mean reds". There are many little things you can do to boost a mood! What do you do to keep smiles high in winter?

Stay beautiful,



This post was updated 12/27/15.
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