10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Tis the season for seasonal depression to begin setting in. We are nearing the end of the longest month of winter. Temperatures have been cold, shelter in place is still the recommendation and morale is low. Here is a list of 10 ways I try to beat the winter blues without turning to Netflix to fill the void.

1. Tend to an indoor garden.

The greenery from an indoor garden does so much to boost my mood. I love to garden so when I am missing my flowers outside I start to nurture things inside like this windowsill hydrangea or the collection in my library, shown in the next section.

2. Cozy up with a good book.

In 2021 I am challenging myself to read as many books from my home library as possible. I’m really good at acquiring books from thrift stores and book sales, but not as good at actually reading them! Read about someplace warm and bask in the imagined sunshine!

3. Make some homemade hot chocolate.

My mom’s hot chocolate recipe is sure to turn any cold heart warm!

4. Learn a new game.

We watched The Queen’s Gambit and then became obsessed with learning chess.

5. Do a puzzle.

My desk is covered right now in a puzzle I got myself for Christmas. Sometimes it is nice to just focus on something where you can truly see your progress.

6. Bake something decadent.

My sister is the queen of this – just look at these donuts she made last weekend! My mouth waters just looking at this picture.

Photo Credit: Melissa Hucal

7. Take a nap.

I like to pay attention to the rhythms of the season and in the winter I naturally want to take more naps as it is gloomier outside. I feel like it is my body’s way of telling me it would like some extra rest and I am happy to comply.

8. Call or video chat with a friend.

In the age of text messaging, it is easy to forget what it is like to actually converse with somebody. Especially as we are all a bit isolated from each other. This time is hard on everybody so give that friend a call!

9. Take up a new hobby or work on a long forgotten one.

Cross-stitch is a hobby that I have had since I was 7 years old but I haven’t always been as diligent about my projects as I am now. And I definitely do a lot more cross-stitch in the winter when there isn’t as much to do outside. It helps me to look forward to the changing season when I think about how many projects I can accomplish!

10. Embrace the snow!

If you can’t beat it…join it! Like Comet here.

I hope that these suggestions help you during this time that can be so difficult. What ways do you beat the winter blues?

Note: Seasonal depression affects everybody differently. In no way am I minimizing the impact that this disorder can have on people’s daily lives. The suggestions above are for those with a mild case to find ways to distract themselves. If you have a more serious case of seasonal depression that impacts your ability to function or thoughts of suicide, please seek professional help. Mental Health Matters!

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