How to combat the winter blues

Winter is in full force here in central PA. By full force I mean North Dakota cold. I enjoy watching the movie, now TV series, “Fargo”. I always think… man I could never handle the cold like those people. Well, here I am handling it and it is about as much fun as I thought it would be. We have had several days in a row of single digit temperatures followed by several days of only hitting the teens. To say I’m feeling the winter blues already would be an understatement!

I always get the winter blues but I feel like I’m getting them a lot earlier this year. Usually the Christmas high lasts through January and into February. Mid February through the beginning of April are usually the worst for me.

Let me be clear….

Cold is not my friend.

Shorter daylight hours make me sad.

Being stuck inside makes me feel stir crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the snow on trees and how everything shimmers – just give me at least 55 degrees while I’m enjoying it!

So how do you combat the winter blues other than a countdown to spring or a mid winter beach getaway? 

Follow these tips and maybe you will start to like winter (or maybe you will just survive until we hit 55 again!)

Get in a routine  – Sometimes the best thing to do is do the same thing. Having a plan and sticking to it can make the days seem less long and depressing.

Set goals – Setting a goal to work towards will help you keep moving forward and not be stuck on the winter blues. Even better, when you hit your goal it will make you feel great! Nothing beats the winter blues like an achievement. 

Exercise – So single digit temperatures don’t scream lets go for a run… but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Try setting up an area in your home that you can stretch and do some simple floor exercises in. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just enough to get your blood pumping!

Eat healthy – Every morning I make myself a smoothie. Nothing is better than that first sip. Close your eyes and taste the freshness! Making healthy choices from the beginning of the day will help you stay on track the rest of the day.

Take on responsibilities – Along with goal setting, having a responsibility can add purpose to your day and keep you from feeling blue. Even something as small as watering some plants can help keep you on track! Bonus – indoor plants can help to brighten your mood as well!

Challenge negative thoughts – Instead of sitting around bumming about winter challenge those thoughts with something positive. Winter is a great time to get organized, try new recipes, and make plans for better weather. When you start focusing on the blues redirect your brain to something positive.

Do something new – Ever wanted to learn to knit? How about a home update? If you are focused on doing something new your brain won’t have time to be bummed over the winter weather. You might gain a new skill or hobby in the meantime!

Try to have fun – I know being inside can get old really fast but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. There are plenty of indoor recreation parks popping up all over the place. Go drive a go-kart or jump at a trampoline park. Get out of the house and do something fun!

Do you have any tricks to combat the winter blues?

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