5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects an estimated 10 million people, with an additional 10 to 20 percent who experience mild SAD? Yeah, me either until I looked up those statistics on Psychology Today. I definitely believe it, though! I think I fall in with the percentage of people that experience mild symptoms. It’s about this time of year that I start to go a little stir crazy. I’m also slightly more irritable than usual, and I just have an overwhelming feeling of BLAH. That’s January in the Midwest, for ya. Since I usually now can recognize the signs of mild SAD, I work as hard as I can to combat those dull feelings. Are you the same way? If so, I’m letting you in on my 5 ways to beat the winter blues.

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

One of my happier winter moments

Don’t wait for spring – start cleaning and purging now!

Most of us already are on a mission to start fresh and get organized for the year ahead, so you might as well get the house decluttered and cleaned, too. Create those sell, donate and trash piles, and get to work! We like to go room by room, and once it’s emptied out of what we plan to get rid of, I deep clean the room from top to bottom. Plus, once the spring weather arrives, you won’t have to be stuck in the house cleaning!

Stick to your exercise routine.

This can be tricky on those bad weather days, but it’s usually best to push yourself to get in the car and drive to the gym. An hour of fitness activity will do you a world of good, and I find that it usually helps with my mindset and productivity the rest of the day, too. If you’re lucky enough to have equipment at home OR you just really don’t feel like going anywhere, pull up a YouTube video! It’s also a good time of year to start a new exercise regime if you don’t already have one – join a new gym or start a new class.

Plan a vacation.

Vacation always is something to look forward to, right? Even if you can’t go away when the weather is still icky, it’s nice to have something to look forward to later in the year. It doesn’t hurt to do your taxes early either to help fund said vacation. 🙂 Ryan and I are headed out of town at the end of next month. We can’t wait!

Take up a new hobby or pursue an interest.

Our daily routines can definitely get monotonous during the winter months, so shake it up a bit by exploring a new hobby or interest. Take a creative class at your local college or a shop in town. Not only will this get you out of the house and interacting with people, you’ll also learn a new skill! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Embrace the weather!

You’re probably like, “what?” with this last tip. But, I promise it’s a sure-fire way to get past these winter blues. Let’s face it – there’s no other time of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to throw your to-do list out the window some days. Either you’re stuck inside from snow or ice, it’s too cold, or you simply don’t feel like doing anything. THAT’S OKAY! Embrace it. Curl up with your favorite blanket and a book. Embark on a Netflix bender. Break out the board games. You’d be surprised at how relaxing and refreshing it is to just accept the fact that it’s winter. Now is the time to do indoor things that you normally don’t have the time to do.

Are you experiencing the winter blues? Any tips of your own on how to get through until spring/summer?

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  • Biana Perez

    It’s totally a real thing and I think some people don’t realize that they are affected by it! Loving your tips and definitely doing some cleaning and vacation planning to help combat the blues! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Our HR department where I work sent out something about ‘blue Monday’. It’s the 3rd Monday of January and apparently it’s the worst for people with depression/anxiety?! SAD is definitely a real thing! We’ve been cleaning and purging our house and it feels so good! I need to get back on the workout schedule… I have definitely fallen off the wagon on that one!

  • Jenn

    I just need it to actually snow here so that I can enjoy the weather. It’s been rainy and chilly and just gloomy. I need some sunshine even if it’s accompanied by snow. I think the best advice on here is to continue to exercise! Release the endorphins!!!

  • Debra Stachelski

    Although it’s nice living in a 4 season climate, this is the toughest season of all to get through! Wonderful and wise tips here, though – I really need to get back to exercise so I can get in shape for a vacation, haha!

  • I’ve been getting the spring cleaning itch. I might just have to start today! Also, a vacation is definitely in the works 😉

  • We’ve had such a mild winter that I’m actually feeling the opposite! Our ski industry is seriously struggling this year 🙁 These tips sound great though for making it through the winter blues!

    • I’m so jealous! I wish we had that problem, but everybody always wishes for the opposite of what they have – right? 🙂

  • Planning a vacation is always a good idea, but especially when you’re feeling the winter blues! Dreaming about a beach or some other warm place is always a good idea! Sticking to a work out really is hard, but it really does help you to feel so much better! I hope that it warms up quickly for y’all!

    • I so agree. I literally have had to drag myself to the gym lately, but I always feel so much better afterward. It definitely helps!

  • Such great tips! I honestly want one good snow day here in NC – but our weather has been pretty mild (but super rainy…)

    Zelle
    Southern Style

  • Always down with planning a vacation to lift the spirits!

  • Awesome tips! When we still lived up north, we always planned a tropical trip for January or February when the excitement of the holidays is over and it’s just blah and cold. It helped SO much, and yes to all the cleaning! Purging always feels amazing, I love how clean and refreshed the house is after <3

    Green Fashionista

  • Good tips! Cleaning out and exercise do always help me for sure.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • Girl, yes! We have already started the spring cleaning – that way hopefully we can be done with it by the time the spring weather shows up and can just get outside and enjoy it!

  • Great tips, especially the vacation tip 😉 I always have a hard time getting out and sticking out to my exercise routine when it’s cold. All I want to do is bundle up and stay under the covers. We definitely need to get in the mood to spring clean.

    • I hear you! Exercise this time of year is so difficult. I find that writing in my workouts in my planner helps a lot.

  • Yes! I live in Philadelphia and by the time mid-January comes around, I am always feeling a little down in the dumps. We haven’t had much snow here this season, but I don’t think we’ve seen the sun or blue sky in ten days. Everything is gray and damp! Your tips are great thought and I’m going to try some of them! This year I’ve been challenging myself to try a few new recipes each week, and I’ve also been reading a lot! And counting down the days until spring! 🙂

    • That’s great! This is such a good time of year to try all those new recipes. And, I know what you mean about the sun – we haven’t seen it much either!

  • ugh i never believed it but it’s getting worse each year for me. this year sucks because we aren’t in our own house so i can’t even clean/purge like i normally love to. i can’t wait for spring!

    • Oh gosh, I can’t even imagine! Mine is definitely getting worse each year, too. At least we have Florida to look forward to soon!