Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Surviving The Winter Blues

Many of us notice a decrease in mood in the winter, even if we don't experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. While it can be difficult to motivate yourself or feel happy in a day, there are things that we can do to help get us through the winter blues.

  • Participate In A Hobby: A hobby can be beneficial to decrease overall stress, can increase enjoyment, and give us something to look forward to. It can help increase our motivation and allow us to feel a sense of accomplishment. Each of these things is important for helping us feel better when we have the "winter blues". 
  • Plan Fun Activities: Having an event to look forward to helps to perk us up a bit and can get us excited and motivated! This provides laughter, enjoyment, fun, and social support. Sometimes when we feel down, having something fun to look forward to at the end of the week can help motivate and "get you through" that week. 
  • Exercise: I know, I know. I think many of us get sick of being told to move. However, there's a reason that people talk about it so much. It's healthy, impacts multiple areas of wellness, and really does help! Even getting outside and going on a walk with friends can be helpful!
  • Volunteer: Getting outside of ourselves can be helpful in increasing our mood. If you have the time, find a place you can volunteer. Some places you can go for 1-2 hours one time, or you could find a place to volunteer a few hours a week! 
  • Get out of the house: Walk around the mall, read at a coffee shop, hang out with friends, go to a club or religious service. The temptation when mood goes down is to isolate. Isolation is the fuel for depression, so resist the urge to lock yourself in your room for days on end. 
  • Laugh! Whether it's with friends, watching a funny TV show, or looking at funny pictures online, laughter is healthy. Do it often:) 
  • Light Therapy:I've talked about this before, but using a light can help increase mood. Talk to your doctor before using one, however, as it could make mania worse in those who struggle with bipolar disorder. (you can find out more about this treatment here)
These are just a few of the things that have been helpful for me over the years in getting through the gray and gloomy months of winter. For more information on the "winter blues" or seasonal affective disorder, check out the other posts from this series:

Now it's your turn!
How do you survive the winter blues? What's your favorite hobby? 


  1. It seems so funny to me - at times it is so hard for me to drag myself out of my house... yet when I do, I usually feel much better....

    Great post! Always glad to find you at #commenthour!

  2. I always have a crappy mood, all winter! I Should try to follow your tips!