5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Just two weeks ago, the legendary groundhog sent news of an extended winter. The shadow was cast, and many of us sank deeper into our covers. With dark evenings and cold winds accompanying our every day, the winter can be a daunting beast. February, in particular, is a tough month to get through with little warmth in sight.

Despite this, there are ways to shake aside our blues and find some light in the fog. As a post-grad freshly lectured on the importance of taking control of one’s life, I have accrued a few tips on keeping the winter blues at bay.

1. Find a new adventure.

Just because it’s not beautiful outside doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Research local events, grab a Groupon, and venture outside of your town on the weekends. Finding a new place to explore or an exciting opportunity to try can bring excitement to your weekend and give you something to look forward to.

Budget for an edible experience such as a brewery tour or a night at a fondue restaurant. Reserve a spot for a paint night and tap into your artistic side. Visit your favorite lunch spot at night for karaoke or trivia! My recent Friday paint night with my boyfriend left me feeling relaxed and accomplished. It was only made better by the promise of the following week’s trip to The Melting Pot. Putting these activities on my calendar keeps me going and energizes me during the week.

2. Load up on your vitamins and minerals.

Our bodies may become deficient in vitamins when we lack sunlight and exercise during the winter months. Some important supplements for the winter include vitamin D3, typically absorbed through sunlight, vitamin C, an antioxidant found in citrus fruits and berries, zinc, a mineral to maintain a healthy immune system, and vitamin E, which protects your skin from the cooler temperatures. Being conscious of these particular intakes can mean the difference between a lethargic, sick winter and a healthy one. I swear by Zicam whenever I am feeling a cold coming on. Something as simple as taking an extra dose of a vitamin can save me from another sick day and getting behind.

3. Indulge in sweater weather.

The only thing worse than being cold is being cold and uncomfortable. Invest in warmer clothes that are comfortable and fit well. Avoid itchy materials and restrictive clothing. It is important to feel happy in the clothes you wear, particularly in the cold weather. I love laying out a favorite sweater for the next day, knowing that work will go a little more smoothly when I am feeling cozy.

4. Read!

Inspired by the recent book club unit I am teaching in my sixth grade classroom, I ordered two copies of a book recommended on NPR for my boyfriend and me to read. The winter is a great time to pick up a book in lieu of another Netflix binge.

Reading engages different areas of the brain and has been said to increase your vocabulary, decrease stress, and teach readers better empathy. Reading a book alongside a friend gives you a new opportunity to discuss interpretations and ideas brought on by the experience. Keeping up with a reading schedule can keep you committed to the book and increase your chances of adding reading into your normal routine.

5. Podcast Pasttimes

Whether it be in the car, in bed, at the dinner table, or working out, podcasts can provide great entertainment and education. A friend of mine told me about his fascination with true crime and how his car rides are now occupied with a true crime podcast. Similarly, my boyfriend often listens to interviews with successful actors and actresses to prep him for auditions. Podcasts can also help keep you company when the house is empty, and bring some entertainment to boring chores. Consider finding a companion in fun podcasts!

Don’t forget to find your own remedies to the winter doldrums and pass them on to those who may need them!


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