10 Ways To Fight the Winter Blues

Winter blues is a real thing. There's less light, short days, long dark nights, and if you live in a cold place like me, negative temperatures and snow storm filled weeks. Plus, there is a surge of depression (post holiday blues) after the holiday season. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is exactly what it stands for. Mayo Clinic states that it's "a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year." 

When I was into Christmas, I didn't mind the winter specifically during the month of December. I mean, who doesn't love a snowy Christmas? It puts you in the perfect mood for sipping hot cocoa, decorating the tree, listening to carols, and gazing at the beautiful Christmas decorations touched by snow on houses in the neighborhood. From my experience, temperature wise, the cold is still bearable. But for some reason once January comes, at least here in Chicago, the temperature plummets into the single digits. The Christmas decorations are put up and there's no more "Winter Wonderland". It's the equivalent of hell being frozen over! However, the same way I learned to love and embrace the autumn season, I'm doing the same with winter. Here are a few tips I came up with to enjoy the winter:

1. Get Cookin' In the Kitchen 

For me, baking is one of my favorite activities for the fall and winter seasons. Since you may be inside more in the winter months, cooking is a great way to add some good vibes. Who wouldn't enjoy a hearty, homemade bowl of soup after a long day? The winter season is all about comfort food; pot pies, chili, stews, mac and cheese, freshly baked breads, and cheesy mashed potatoes. Find new recipes for yourself or for your family to enjoy.

2. Travel

If you're in desperate need of some sun, plan a vacation to a tropical getaway for a weekend or even longer depending on your schedule. A flight to Trinidad or a Bahamas cruise are sure to get your sunshine, summer time spirit up and running.

3. Participate In Winter Activities 

Ice skating, skiing, sledding, making snow angels, and snowmen are some ways to be festive and find beauty and enjoyment in the winter. Be encouraged to step outside of your summer loving comfort zone and give winter a try. Research indoor and outdoor events in your city or town to see what's winter activities are happening.

4. Have Fun At Home

Invite some friends over, order take-out, crank out the Uno cards and Monopoly board and let the games begin! Game nights are always exciting and bring a load of laughs because of the competition aspect. Movie nights with friends or family are enjoyable as well.

5. Are You Not Entertained? Be Entertained!

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you have to be a hermit until spring. While growing up, my mother and I would attend theater plays, mainly in the winter seasons. Going to concerts, stand-up comedy shows, musicals, and other live performances are sure to bring some life into your life for the season. Even going clubbing, (it's probably way less drama since it's cold out) to the movies, museums, art galleries and shows can brighten your days.

6. Warm Up Your Environment

Wake up earlier to enjoy as much natural light as you can. Once the sun goes down or if it doesn't come out at all, use a light box or a large lamp to brighten your room or house. Light therapy is a way to treat depression, especially for SAD. The winter is also all about embracing coziness. Purchase a mini portable fireplace for your home and cozy on up in front of it while enjoying a hot cup of tea. It's also encouraged that people who suffer from SAD should have bright colors in their home to counter the dark days. Adding artwork on your walls is another great idea.

7. Find A New Hobby

Set out a free day to learn a new hobby. When facing the winter blues, creativity is an important trait to have in order to find the spring light in the snowy tunnel. Activities like painting, knitting, sewing, and scrap booking are fun DIY ways to enjoy some "me time". YouTube is a great resource to find tutorials on how to create.

8. Get Active & Eat Healthy 

With the winter comes a lot of lethargy. Overeating, especially eating junk foods. also comes with the territory. Make it apart of your schedule to workout at the gym a few times a week. If you can't afford a gym membership, working out at home may be a good option for you (check out YouTube for exercise videos). Although we're into sipping hot cocoa and cooking delicious desserts and comfort food dishes for winter, let's not forget to keep it healthy. Your diet also has a direct affect on your mood and mental health. Continue drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, and don't forget your daily multi-vitamins (and supplements if you're 'bout that life).

9. Be Fashionable

Who says you can't be fierce in the snow? If you're a self-proclaimed fashionista and/or make-up enthusiast like me, *flips hair* you can still stay fabulous in the winter. Layering clothes, chunky knits, courdoroys, plaids, and more are forever trendy for the winter. I'll be blogging about that soon!

10. Pamper Yourself

Take a load off, let your hair down, and relax. A warm bubble bath in the tub surrounded by aromatherapy candles while playing neo-soul music in the background is so soothing on a winter evening. Creating a mini-home spa with a foot soak, using essential oils, or giving yourself a mani or pedi can be excellent ways to have "me time" and warm away those winter blues.

You have to make the most of life regardless of the weather. I'm not an expert on SAD or winter depression, but having suffered from both before, I hope these are tips helpful.

What will you be doing to combat the winter blues? Share below!

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  1. An excellent post! There are some really helpful tips here that I'll be sure to try in Boston :)

    - M.King
    It's a King Thing | www.itisakingthing.com

  2. I'm super late replying because I just fixed my comment section for this new layout, but that's M. King! Hope your winter is going well!

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