winter scene, fun ways to beat the winter blues

8 Fun Ways to Beat The Winter Blues

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It’s a long winter in New England, especially if you get the winter blues as I do.   Do you feel down, discouraged, crabby and miserable?  Life really doesn’t have to be that way.  So, wouldn’t it be a great idea to give you some fun ways to beat the winter blues?  Yup, I thought so!

 

 

The weather here usually starts getting cold in October, as it typically does in the fall.  However, fall weather is 20 to 30 degrees and requires a winter coat.  Then it lasts until March or April when the snow starts to melt.  I’m just not very happy when it’s cold outside, although I don’t know why.  I’m indoors most of the time.

 

Why do we need some fun ways to beat the winter blues?

 

I am a victim of the winter blues, like many who live around me in the northeast.  There’s an official name for it.  It’s called S.A.D. which stands for seasonal affective disorder, which is a sadness that occurs in the winter when less natural sunlight is available.  Winter days are shorter, so the sun is out less.

 

snow covered mountain, 8 solutions to surviving the winter blues, one exceptional life

 

My favorite season is spring, when all the snow has melted.  It’s a time when we can open our windows to air the house out.  I start waiting for spring when the first leaves start falling in September.

 

 

I literally do a happy dance every year when I see the tiny buds of green come up through the ground, indicating that my tulips and daffodils are ready to arrive.  It’s really no wonder why those are my two favorite flowers.  As soon as the snow starts melting, the winter blues go away too.  Regardless of the delay for spring, I’m always thinking of fun ways to beat the winter blues.Many people are affected by seasonal affective disorder. Let me share with you 8 fun ways to beat the winter blues. #winterblues #ILoveSpring Click To Tweet

 

 

The winter blues, for me, isn’t terribly serious. I mean, I don’t require any kind of medication.  Mostly I just get crabby.  My family gets frustrated with me because I really just don’t like the cold.  It makes me angry!  It’s an unusual response, I know, but that’s how I personally respond.

 

 

Then, the Christmas season arrives.  I love the holidays, but I miss my kids who are all currently living out of state.  I’m thankful for video chats and texting which we do practically every day.

girl in pink jacket standing in snowstorm

 

Another reason I love warmer weather is that I love sitting on our deck with my Bible and my face towards the sun in prayer.  Then there are those times my husband and I stroll the yard to check out all the flowers and just hang out outside. 

 

 

So let’s get started.  Here are my 8 fun ways to beat the winter blues.  Let me know which ones you like best or if you have additional ideas.  

Pray about your winter blues

 

This is obviously my first fun way to beat the winter blues, because I believe having a close personal relationship with the Lord is so important.  Talk to God about your burdens and cares.  Let him guide you through things.

 

woman in red sweater kneeling in snow in prayer

 

My favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6 and it says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths”.  I recall that verse in every situation where I’m scared, worried or uncertain.  Trusting the Lord in all that you do is a great rule for living.  

Get outside and exercise

 

 

Get outside and look for the beauty of the white snowy landscape around us. The sunlight will do you good.  Yes, it’s crisp outside, but if you’re doing something physical like taking a walk or skating or snowmobiling, you’ll warm up pretty quickly.

 

winter scene, fun ways to beat the winter blues

 

Get those endorphins going.  Endorphins are sometimes referred to as your brains “feel good” chemicals and can reduce pain and lift your mood at the same time.  That’s why exercise is so good for you.  So take advantage of those feel-good endorphins to get you out of your crabbiness and out of the house.

Socialize away your winter blues

 

 

Get together with friends and family.  If there are family members missing, appreciate the ones you truly are with.  For me, I’m so very thankful for technology.  My phone enables me to text a quick “hello, I miss you” anytime I get the urge.  Plus, it’s definitely a fun way to beat the winter blues.

 

2 girlfriends wrapped in blankets, wearing hats and laughing, standing outside in winter

 

I’m sure that you always have someone nearby who you can get together with.  Someone you can have coffee or lunch with or to go window shopping with.  The point is to break the cycle of staying home and avoiding other humans.

Keep warm to cover up your winter blues

 

 

In our house, we keep the thermostat at 66 to keep from having propane delivered every week, haha.  We’re on a budget, so scaling the temperature back helps a bit.  Nevertheless, it’s cool in the house, so it’s necessary to wear a sweatshirt.

 

man and wife wrapped in blanket sitting on ground outside with wifey and hubby coffee mugs

 

Drink warm beverages like coffee, tea or hot chocolate.  Wrap up in a blanket and curl up with your spouse or your dog and watch a movie.  This is the perfect time for winter Hallmark movies.  Those characters are always happy in the winter.  Let that be an example to you.

 

 

Get a hobby to occupy your time

 

 

A hobby or a project or whatever it takes to keep you busy will take your mind off of the cold and the lack of sunlight.  My blogging hobby has become a business and requires quite a bit of my time.

 

 

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be blogging.  For me, it’s more than writing blog posts weekly.  I’m constantly learning and growing.  Of course, if I want people to read the blog, it’s necessary to promote it on all the social media channels.

 

 

One of my favorite blessings that have come from blogging is all the wonderful friends I’ve made in the process.  Plus, it’s awesome to meet people locally who I haven’t known before that have become friends of the blog.  If you’re interested in starting a blog, check out this post about The Truth About my Exciting New Blogging Career.  I will create a post on how to start your own blog soon.  But in the meantime, Fluxing Well has a great tutorial for How to Start a Blog.  Check it out!

 

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Pamper yourself

 

 

If it’s affordable, use this time as an opportunity to go somewhere warm.  If it’s not in the budget, there are lots of ways to save for such an adventure.  I recently started an official budget and I made sure to include a line item for vacation.

 

baby with sunglasses, floating in green inner tube in blue water

 

If traveling is totally out of the picture, what about a massage?  Pamper yourself a bit.  Try a manicure, a massage, get your hair done.  Do something to make you feel good.

 

 

If you really want to have some fun ways to beat the winter blues, dig into some self care and pamper yourself with 24 Self Care Gift Basket Ideas for Surviving Challenges. I’ve got a great list of ideas in that post! 

 

Get more light to brighten up your winter blues

 

 

Light therapy is a great way to help with the winter blues.  I have two types of lights.  The first is called a happy light and it provides an alternative to the sun.  The exposure to the light may enhance your mood and give you more energy.

 

 

The other solution that I have used is called a Himalayan pink salt lamp.  This lamp is a large piece of salt with a bulb inside which glows when it’s lit.
The lamps can calm your mood and increase focus. They also release small amounts of negative ions that can boost your mood by increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain.

 

 

This results in your being more alert, reducing drowsiness, and creating more mental energy.  I’ve used one in the past. Another benefit is that it provides a decorative aspect as well.

 

 

Get some help to get over your winter blues

 

 

If you find that after trying all of these ideas, that you still are sad and unhappy, you might want to contact a professional.  I’ve been through many ups and downs in my life.  I have been to see therapists in the past.  There’s no harm in it.  If you get to this stage, check with your doctor who can refer you to someone they trust.

 

 

I hope you can use these 8 fun ways to help you beat the winter blues this year, as well as, every winter to come. For more strategies in coping with overcoming challenges in your life, you will love 9 Powerful Strategies for Facing Challenges in Life and How to Persevere in Spite of Challenges.

 

 

 

There are only a couple more months left of winter and then those little green buds will have me doing the happy dance all around my deck and back yard.  In the meantime, I might just go buy a bouquet of daffodils and tulips to brighten things up inside my home.  Better yet, I’ll drop some spring-like hints to my dear hubby of how beautiful they are now that they’re on display in the store.

 

 

Do you get the winter blues?  What solutions do you swear by?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please share in the comments below.

 

One more idea before I go!  If you would like a beautiful inspirational start to your day, subscribe below to receive my free ebook called Inspiration Overload.  It’s very popular and the feedback has been awesome.  Check out this latest testimonial:

 

 

“I recently signed up for One Exceptional Life’s Inspiration Overload ebook. I just want to say that, by day 3, I was sold. Wendy offers not only a great amount of encouragement in each daily devotion, but also the feeling that you’ve got a real friend and have a reason to put a smile on and face the day (and any challenges) ahead of you! I highly recommend signing up for her ebook and experiencing it for yourself!”

-Sarah Brumley from Lemon Blessings

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42 Comments

  1. I mostly keep my mind off my depression by doing creative projects. I am on the computer a lot. The bummer about the cold is not wanting to take the dog for a walk as much this time of year. We sometimes exercise indoors though.

  2. Winter blues are the worst! I also suffer from S.A.D. I live in Illinois, and we recently had a day that was -50 degrees with the windchill. Everything closed down – it was miserable! I like your suggestions! Exercising is one of my favorite ways to beat the blues – as well as socializing! There’s nothing like meeting a good friend for a cup of coffee and forgetting all about the freezing weather outside!

    1. I’m sorry that you suffer from SAD, Hannah! The midwest got hit really hard this winter. The good news is spring is on the horizon! I’m so excited! Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi Wendy – Thanks for the great blog post. I was raised in Pennsylvania where we certainly battled the cold, snow, ice and wind in the winters. I was blessed to be able to relocate to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California many years ago. Our weather is pretty mild (if you don’t mind the HOT summers) and winters usually consist of a little rain and moderate temperatures. This year, we are having an amazingly wet winter. Our Sierra Nevada is DEEP in snow, well above the norm. Here on the valley floor we have had an amazing amount of rain and wind. My winter blues have returned this year. Your tips are a good reminder to me of some of the things I can do to alleviate this “down in the dumps” feeling that is consuming me. Thank you so much!

  4. I can so empathize with the “winter blues” thing. This time of year I beyond ready for spring. I just started blogging but it does provide a nice outlet and it’s nice to be part of a community as well!

    1. Hi Angie,
      Welcome to blogging. It’s definitely an outlet during these long winter days but there is nothing like the sunshine and warmth of spring to end the long drearyness.

  5. I really relate to this, and this list is very helpful. I get teased by my family because I live in Texas but still get cold in the winter. I don’t like any cold, so any below 30 degree days here are way too cold for me. I already wrap myself in blankets, but I like the idea of the sun lamp for the dark and dreary days. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Ann,
      I’m so glad you found value in my post. My son just got back from a school in northern Texas. It’s not as warm as I thought. So keeping warm is important. There’s nothing like a soft blanket on a cold winter day!

  6. Yes, ditto to the New England winters being long! I have found that one thing that helps me is to have some sort of spring project that I have to prepare in advance for and that I have to get done over the winter months. It helps make winter pass by faster. I haven’t tried any light therapy but I know as the days get longer it sure makes a difference in how I feel.

    1. That’s a great idea, Liz, focusing on a spring project. For me, it’s looking forward to my flowers and gardening. I can’t wait!

  7. This is a great post, it seems so many people struggle with seasonal depression or the blues! I definitely agree with you about staying busy, and getting some light! With MS, my vitamin d level is always low even in the middle of summer in Arizona, so I definitely recommend supplementing it…it helps me a lot!

    1. Thanks, Holly. The goal is to get over the blues, whether it be vitamin D supplementation, sunlight, exercise, and prayer.

  8. We are in the middle of a deep freeze right now and it’s hard to get outside. But the trick for me is to not let the weather keep in inside. We invest in clothing that allows us to spend time outside the house.

    1. Warm clothes are important so you can get outside for your Vit D. It’s starting to warm up and that’s encouraging!

  9. I LIKE THIS POST! MY FAVORITE IS GOING OUTSIDE AND PLAYING IN THE COLD WEATHER! AS LONG AS I HAVE MY WARM CLOTHES ON I AM READY TO PLAY!

  10. Let me just say me too!but my winters are shorter, I cannot imagine living somewhere like Alaska. I also use a salt lamp and am active outside as much as possible. Thanks for your post and topic!

    1. Hi Stacy, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like salt lamps & getting outdoors are the clear winners. Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is me! I live in MN, and am a “summer girl”. As soon as Sept hits, the cooler temps creep in and I get crabby! I try to appreciate the change of the seasons, but I hate being cold! I take my vit D, and walk outside as long as it remains snow and ice free, but after that, it’s the treadmill for me. Luckily I have discovered Netflix to help those miles go by a little easier. Blogging has definitely been a game changer- I can spend hours on the computer researching, learning, worshipping, praying….

    All your tips were great! Stay warm and dream of warm sunshine to come

    1. Hi AnnMarie,
      I appreciate your comment. Winter is certainly that dreaded time of year for me. I’m so glad you have alternatives to keep you busy. Blogging definitely keeps the time flying for me as well. Thanks for reading.

  12. Love these ways to address the winter blues. I get vitamin D whenever possible even if I can only stay outside for a few minutes. I’ll definitely be using these until the spring weather finds me.

    1. Thank you, Brittany. I’m so glad you can use these tips. Get that sunlight when you can. We all need to. Thanks for reading!

  13. I love all these ideas… especially praying. In addition I have found that having at least one good fish meal(salmon, cod , halibut – Wild caught) and taking large amounts of D3 has made great impact for me. I lived in Alaska for 30 years and now live in Northern Minnesota. Lots of cold… but snow is way better than the rain in Washington.. snow reflects light.

    1. Hey Anita,
      Thank you for the fish suggestion. That’s a great idea. Vitamin D is so important, so is sunlight. Great comment. Thank you so much!

  14. I struggle with mild seasonal depression this time of year – especially when the skies are gray and dark for days on end! Thank you for your tips – especially like the idea of praying about it!

    1. Hi Jim,
      I’m so sorry that winter brings you down. I’m so glad that my tips were helpful to you. I find that prayer works for every situation in our lives.

  15. LIGHT. Light therapy is the one thing that definitely worked for me when I was living in a far-north latitude, going to school, and realized that every single winter term my grades would suffer…

    1. Thank you, Flossie. I’m so glad that light was able to help. Winter blues can be caused by lack of sunlight and vitamin D deficiencies. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  16. I suffer from SAD every year and I find that exercising helps the most 💙 I do need to work on getting more natural light and sticking with my hobbies! Wonderful article!

  17. Exercise and fresh air are huge for me. I have issues with being cold, but knowing how important it is to keep my sanity during the darker winter months, I spent money this year on great winter gear so I can walk, even in the worst weather conditions! It’s made a huge difference this winter!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Walking is a great idea. There’s no doubt that you will feel re-energized and refreshed after a walk in the crisp cold air.

  18. I needed this today. Where I live in southeastern NC it will flip between sunny and 70s and 30s and grey in the winter. I feel like my mood is just so up and down in the winter! I can’t wait to check out those lamps!

    1. Hi Jessie,
      I wouldn’t think it would get so gloomy in NC. Winter can definitely be a gloomy time. I think you’ll really like the lamps.

  19. I have to admit I do love winter. I was living in and applying for jobs in California a lifetime ago and it was then I realized I always want to experience all 4 seasons if possible. That being said, I really like snow and am pretty sick of the dark rain that seems more common these days and I appreciated all your winter blues cures. I think I do all the same – I have a Thomas Merton prayer that starts my day right then, with lots of coffee, I go about my day. I also love off season travel. Going away, even to cold climates (I just got back from a chilly trip to the Netherlands) makes it affordable, I get to see a part of the world I’ll never experience otherwise and coming home is that much sweeter. Thanks for blogging – I always enjoy it!

    1. Hi Celeste,
      I’m so glad you got to go on that trip. It sounds amazing. Yes, the chilly, frequent icy rain we’ve had can put a damper on anyone’s day. I’m so thankful and glad you enjoy the post and the blog. Thank you for reading!

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