It’s safe to say that we’re still in the thick of winter. If you live in the northeast, you’re probably also experiencing some record snowfall. A lot of us – myself included – are affected by the weather. Short days and constant snowfall can really have a negative effect on our mood. It might be as severe as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) or it might be as mild as simply being irritated that we’re shoveling yet again. Here are a few simple ways to help combat the winter blahs.
1. Accept that it’s still winter
It sounds silly, but one of the reasons February and March can be so difficult is because we start anticipating spring. This makes every additional blizzard and every dip in the temperature all that much harder to handle. Spring will be here before you know it; however, understanding that winters can be very, very long is the first step towards dealing with the weather forecast in a more positive light.
2. Get out
I know, I know: it’s cold, it’s windy, there’s a chance it’s already snowing… get outside anyway. Go for a walk around the block on your lunch break or snag a few moments outside in the morning. Make plans to do outside activities. Every little bit of natural sunlight is going to help. Even if it’s overcast, just being outside is going to have a positive impact.
3. Have fun in the snow
While some people swear by skiing, you don’t have to do anything fancy with the snow. When was the last time you built a snowman? Or made a snow angel? When was the last time you have a snowball fight? Snow doesn’t have to be the bad guy; sometimes snow can be just what you need to feel like a kid again.
4. Keep your windows open
And by that I don’t mean, “open up your windows and let all that cold air in” (I can already hear my father saying, “I’m not paying to heat up the neighborhood!”) Keeping the shades drawn blocks out any natural light, which can worsen that blah feeling we already get when the days are shorter. Plus, keeping the windows open makes the room feel bigger.
To quote Legally Blonde: exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. (And to those chuckling because you remember the second half of that quote: thank you.) It can be really difficult to get the gumption to work out when the days are short and the weather is frightful, but now is one of the most important times to get up and be active. There are tons of fun indoor and outdoor activities that you can do. Join a gym. Play an intramural sport. Try yoga. Keep the blood pumping and the good vibes coming.
6. Stay social
Spending time around family and friends can really make a huge difference. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend. Talk on the phone with a loved one. Take your significant other out to dinner. Stay connected to those you love. Few things can help combat the blues like a good laugh with the people around you.
Remember: For us living in the colder regions of the world, winter is just a fact of life. Unless you’re planning to move to a more tropical region soon, finding ways to live alongside the season is a must!