Tips for Beating the Winter Blahs

For many people, winter is a time filled with seasonal cheers, friends and family, gift-giving and gift-receiving and…stress. Lots of it.

And of course, there’s no shortage of things that are ready to ruin your day. It could be that client who seems to be taking a personal delight in driving you crazy. Or it might be the fact that the construction workers seem to be tackling that bridge repair at a sizzling one-inch-per-week pace. Or it could be the lack of sunlight, a lack of exercise, or eating one too many (okay, thirty too many) of those chocolate whatevers that seem to pop up on every reception desk around this time of year.

Regardless the reason, the seasons of the winter blahs is upon us – which might ordinarily be yet another reason to despair, but not this year! The folks at have put together some great tips on beating the winter blahs – enjoy!

  • Lack of sunlight is a huge part of the problem. So when you do get a clear day, open up the blinds or curtains and let the sun shine in. Or get one of those light-therapy boxes.

  • Being sealed inside doesn’t help much, either. When the temperature is tolerable, get outside for some fresh air or crack open a window for a little while.

  • Have a local conservatory? Spending some time among lush, green plants is a nice change from cold/dry air, brown grass, and leafless trees.

  • Bring living plants or cut flowers into your home—try something fragrant or something tropical. Or start some plants in your house to transfer outdoors later.

  • Bring color into your home in other ways. Consider painting. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make a big change. Or just add some colorful accessories.

  • Improve your surroundings—clean, de-clutter, and reorganize. Face down that list of things to be fixed or that pile of clothes to be mended. You’ll feel less weighed down.

  • Put bird feeders outside your window. Watching the birds (and the inevitable squirrels) will remind you that there’s life out there.

  • Plan some spring planting, be it a garden, some containers, or some enhancements to your yard. Get lost in some garden catalogs or the indoor section of your local garden center and get ready for warmer, brighter days.

  • Learn something new. It doesn’t have to be quantum physics. It can be a class, a craft, a game … anything that works your brain in new and different ways will help.

  • Teach someone something. Teach your kid/grandkid/niece/nephew how to cook or bake something. If you practice a hobby or craft, teach a friend—maybe your friend can return the favor (see previous bullet).

  • Eat right and eat light… Include protein, fiber, and plenty of water. Focus on fresh, not processed. Include fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Exercise. It increases your energy level, which helps your motivation, which feeds right into achieving several of the bullet items listed above.

  • Just for grins, celebrate off-beat “holidays.” Did you know that February is, among other things, “Bake for Family Fun Month”? That there’s an “International Snow Sculpting Week”? Or that “International Flirting Week” starts right after “Dump Your Significant Jerk Week” starts? That there’s a “National Gumdrop Day,” an “International Pancake Day,” a “Chocolate Mint Day,” a “Love Your Pet Day,” and a “National Chili Day”? If you don’t see anything coming up soon that strikes your fancy, just make up one of your own!

  • Aromatherapy can help reduce stress and improve mood. Look around online to find recipes for bath salts or oils, room scents, etc.

  • Delve into a book, or rent that movie you didn’t get to see in the theater. Try to make it something uplifting.

  • One final idea—embrace winter! Sled, skate, or ski. Or get out and take some black & white photos to help you see the beauty the season can bring.

Source: “Dealing with the Winter Blahs.”

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