The holiday season is coming up, and winter is upon us, for better or for worse. For many, it’s for worse; the winter doldrums can make this time of year dreary and difficult. Take heart: Though the days are short now, they are getting a little bit longer every day. In the meantime, here are some ways to battle the winter blues.
- Let there be light. The long nights and short days of winter are hard for so many people. Add to that stretches of time when the skies are gray, and it’s no wonder you’re feeling blah. You may need more light. Not just any light or lamp, but specially designed light therapy boxes that give you a sense of bright outdoor light.
- Move. Not to another city, state or country, but move your body. The doldrums can make you feel tired. But getting up and moving, whether it’s going outside for a brisk walk or skiing, or inside to a swimming pool or even mall walking, will re-energize you. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, which are hormones that can help you feel better.
- Change things up. Maybe you have hobbies you usually enjoy, but they’re just not doing it for you right now. It might be time to find some new hobbies, or find ways to change up the current ones. If you love to bake, try a different type of cooking, or take a cooking class that’s not about baking. Instead of crossword puzzles, try jigsaw puzzles. And whatever you choose, invite friends and family to join you. Which leads us to:
- Be social. It’s all too easy to hunker down and stay inside. But getting out and seeing close friends and family can do a tremendous amount of good. It’s tempting to cancel that coffee or lunch invite, but don’t. Put on the boots and the coat and enjoy the change of scenery.
- Have a winter party. Yell “Fie upon thee, winter!” by inviting friends over for an anti-winter gathering. Or, if you have young children, have a winter camp-out in your family room. Build a tent out of blankets, make hot cocoa and heat up some Chuckwagons in your make-believe campfire (otherwise known as a microwave). If you can’t beat winter, celebrate it.
Note: If your winter blues are making it hard for you to function in your daily life, it would be a good idea to visit your family doctor to check for any physical issues or deeper depression.