The darker, snowy days of winter can put a damper on anyone’s spirits, but when you head to work before the sun rises and head home after the sun has set it is especially challenging. Even if you are not prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), you can still feel blue during the winter months. If you need a pick-me-up to help you put a more positive spin on the season, try one of the tips below. They are inexpensive and sure to help you relax – no matter what your profession.
10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
1. Get new light bulbs.
Within the last few years, lightbulbs designed to give lighting that is close to natural sunlight have become more common. These natural light lightbulbs can be a great mood enhancer and help to eliminate the winter doldrums. In the classroom, use them in a table lamp at the small group table or in the reading nook.
2. Read a book.
Pick up a book and read a new story or an old favorite. Snowed in? Don’t worry! You can download books on your e-book reader or smart phone for free or for a small fee. The Overdrive app lets you connect with your local library and download library books right from your device.
3. Take a long bath.
Relaxing in a tub of warm water with some quiet music playing is the perfect way to unwind and de-stress. Add some epsom salts and a drop of your favorite essential oil to make the bath even more restorative.
4. Go for a walk.
Head out for a walk in the snow or chilly weather. Bundle up, put on your snow boots, and head out for a short walk. The cold air will invigorate you and lift your spirits. If you are heading out in the dark, be sure to wear reflective gear and travel with a friend.
5. Play in the snow.
If walking in the snow is not your thing, go play in it. Yes, go play. Make snow angels, have a snowball fight with your kids, make a snowman, go sledding, and reward yourself with some hot chocolate afterwards. The physical activity and snow-fun induced laughter is sure to lift your spirits.
6. Movie night.
Put a favorite movie in the DVD player, pop some fresh popcorn, and snuggle up on the couch in your favorite fluffy pants and warm sweatshirt. Give yourself permission to relax and unwind while getting lost in a favorite movie.
For some people, writing is very therapeutic. Write a poem, a journal entry, or start writing that story that has been mulling in your brain for years. Need some journal prompts to help get you started? Try some of these.
Studies have shown that exercise helps to boost your mood, so hop on that treadmill, put on some tunes, and get running. You will be amazed at how good you feel after even 20 minutes of walking or running. If walking or running aren’t your thing, consider an exercise DVD or even a fun dance session using Just Dance.
9. Go Out.
Your partying days may be long over, but there is nothing like going out with a couple of friends for a cup of tea or coffee, dessert, and laughter. You could even combine your outing with a painting or dance class for extra distraction and fun.
Dance around the living room with your children, husband, or by yourself. Put on your favorite music and move it! If you don’t care for free form dancing, check out a dance exercise video or head to a dance class that’s on your way home from work.
By breaking up the habits of the day, you can alter your mood. Take some time to get yourself re-energized. As always, if you are experiencing feelings of deep depression, despair, or have thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek immediate help. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need support, so don’t delay in getting it. Your mental health, just like your physical health, should be a top priority.
How do you beat the winter blues?
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