The winter blues are a real thing people go through. I think it happens most in the months of January and February. The holidays are over and a lot of the excitement of the season has gone. Its’ cold. It’s dreary. It gets dark early. It’s back to school and back to routines. It’s cold and flu season. There are any number of reasons you could have a touch of the winter blues. My guide gives you many, MANY simple ways to beat the winter blues. These ideas will definitely help you navigate throughout the season and feel a little better at the same time.
Are the Winter Blues a thing now?
Yes. They’ve always been a thing… they just have a name now.
“Winter blues is a general term, not a medical diagnosis. It’s fairly common and more mild than serious. It usually clears up on its own in a fairly short amount of time.”News In Health
Some people actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it’s a little more in-depth and serious than just the plain old winter blues. If you feel like you have more going on than a simple seasonal change “winter blues” definitely see your doctor and let him or her know how you are feeling. Never be ashamed to ask for help. If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist. A stomach aches and you go to the stomach doctor. See your doctor if you feel like you have any kind of depression going on, immediately. Your doctor can help.
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Ways to Combat The Winter Blues
So how do you help yourself feel better? Spring can’t come fast enough. But what do you do in the meantime? Here’s some ideas to help you out with beating the winter blues.
Bundle up and get out there and get some fresh air. Sure, it’ll be cold but it’ll be worth it. Now, if you live in the tundra of Alaska, let’s not go out and get frostbite and freeze to death. Use your good judgement. But if you can, get outside and get some air. Go for a walk, or hike or whatever you can do. If it’s not ridiculously cold, take the kids outside too! They need to run off their energy!
Get moving. Exercise makes you feel better. It’s a scientific fact. Your body releases endorphins when you work out and those make you feel better.
If it’s too cold, snowy or dreary to for a walk or run outside, not to worry! There are lots of other ways to get your movement in. Obviously, you can join a gym. Which I think is a great option. You could swim, do cardio equipment, join some aerobics classes and be around people while you work out.
But if the gym just isn’t your thing, then you could always go to the mall and get your walking in. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are SO many workout videos online, just do a workout video in the privacy of your own home. Whatever you need to do to get yourself moving.
Let There Be Light
Part of what bums people out in the winter is lack of light. Whenever possible, sit in the sunshine. For example, at my house, the sun (if it’s out!) shines really brightly through the front windows around 4:00 each day. So I like to make it part of my afternoon routine to sit on the couch for 15-20 minutes and let the sun hit me and warm me up.
If you are low on sunshine, lots of people swear by light therapy to help with the Winter Blues. All you need is a light therapy lamp and a few minutes a day to sit in front of it! Try one of these from Amazon:
- Light Therapy Lamp, Miroco LED Bright White Therapy Light – UV Free 10000 Lux Brightness
- Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp | As Seen On Shark Tank
- Miroco Light Therapy Lamp, UV-Free 10000 Lux LED Therapy Light
We should always be aiming for a balanced diet, but it’s really important in the winter months. Make sure you get in your vegetables and fruits for sure.
I always enjoy trying new recipes. Try some new winter vegetables you may not have ever tried, like turnips, parsnips and rutabaga. You might find new recipes and get more veggies in at the same time!
Get in your daily water. Just do it. Need I say it again? Drink your water!
Lots of people get crazy dry skin in the winter. Make sure you keep your body moisturized and feeling good during the winter. You don’t want dry and cracked skin. Treat yourself to a spa day or manicure and pedicure if needed or wanted! A massage could go a long way to make you feel good as well.
Plan for some delicious meals. I love winter meals that are warm and cozy and comforting. They give you something to look forward to during the day. Smelling something cooking in the crockpot for hours is so awesome!
Do yourself a favor and grab a dutch oven and an Instant Pot if you don’t have them. They are absolute winter cooking dreams! (Really, they are year-round cooking dreams — but especially in winter!)
Drink all the cocoa, tea and warm drinks you can find! This is what winter is all about! Drink all the hot things!
Maybe it’s time to indulge in a lengthy winter project! Is there a home project you’ve been wanting to do for a while? Anything you’ve been wanting to make? Something crafty you’ve been waiting to try? Now is your time! Keep yourself entertained this winter with a project to keep you busy and be productive.
I’m currently going through a deep winter cleaning and organizing project. My house needed it badly already, and then after the holidays, it was just a disaster zone. You can read about winter deep cleaning here and get your free printable winter cleaning checklist as well. I want to get it all done now, so that when the weather is great, I can just go outside!
Make Some Plans
Winter is also a good time to make plans with friends, family and your spouse. Spending time with people is always uplifting during dreary times.
Plan some fun date nights for you and your spouse. If the weather is nasty, you don’t have to get out of the house even. Plan a few cozy date nights at home. Watch a movie, have some popcorn and let the fire burn in the fireplace. Or cook a nice meal together and enjoy it together.
Schedule in some fun stuff. On purpose! Meet some friends for lunch. Better yet, make it a standing date. Once a month, every other week, whatever. Have friends over for dinner. Host a game night. Just gather with people and laugh. It’s always time well spent.
Find something crafty or creative. Or maybe find a winter hobby you can do indoors while the weather is cold. (Zulily and QVC shopping TOTALLY count…)
I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden, so my winter project is that research and early work that goes into gardening. I’m researching starting garden seeds so I’ll be ready when the weather turns warmer and the ground thaws. I want to get the seeds going into tiny plants that I can put into a raised garden bed when the weather breaks. But I know nothing about gardening, so this research is keeping me busy!
You’ve got some time while the days are a little dark and dreary. Why not hunker down and really get focused on those New Year’s Resolutions? Really focus on your goals. Have your new habit(s) in place by the time the warm weather rolls around. That way you won’t abandon all your hard work, because by then it’ll be ingrained in your routine.
Plus, if it’s a weight/fitness related goal, you’ll be well on your way to looking great for summer by the time the weather breaks!
Laughing makes everything better. Plan to watch your favorite comedy movies to keep you feeling upbeat during the winter. Watch some comedy specials that will get your stomach hurting from laughing so much. Go and watch some stand up comedy if you want to get out of the house! But work in some laughter. It’s always the best medicine.
Is it possible to take a little mini vacation? Give yourself a break and give yourself something to look forward to at the same time? Could you sneak away with your husband for a couple of nights?
If that’s not possible, maybe go ahead and plan your summer vacation. Just getting the reservations made and dates set will give you something to start planning for and looking forward to!
Wrap Up – Simple Ways to Beat The Winter Blues
The Winter season can be a little blah and depressing sometimes. The most important thing is that you realize if you have the winter blues and then go about trying these different ideas to see which ones, or maybe all, make you feel a little better. And know that it’s just a season and Spring is coming, just around the corner. The days will get longer soon and there will be much more sunshine heading our way! But until that happens, try this guide for all the simple ways to conquer the winter blues. And as always, just keep shuffling!
- Keeping Your Sanity When The Entire Family Gets Sick
- Winter Home Cleaning and Organizing To-Do List
- Practicing Mommy Self Care During The Holiday Season
- Dear Supermom… There’s Just No Time For Self Care