Do you feel blue? Are you dreaming of a long weekend in the Caribbean?

If so, you may be one in five Americans who experience the “winter blues” every year. Yes, the shortened daylight and lack of sunshine take a toll. In fact, in some time zones, it’s dark when you wake up and dark when you get home from work.

Since Spring isn’t around the corner yet, here are 10 ways to make winter a bit more enjoyable and lift those winter blues:

  1. Find ways to enjoy the cold. Part of the winter blues is feeling trapped and cold. So, think like a northerner and do fun winter things like cross country skiing, play in the snow, or bundle up for a run in the cold. Embrace the cold since you can’t change it. It’s all about attitude! Change your mindset. Engage, don’t resist!
  2. Tackle that indoor project that you have been thinking about but haven’t done. Maybe it’s organizing a room or closet, or going through your closet to give clothes away, unpacking boxes, reorganizing your pantry, etc. Now is the time. The sense of accomplishment will boost your mood.
  3. Take off your sun glasses. If it is bright outside, don’t wear sunglasses for part of the time. The eyes bring in light and help with mood regulation. And lift the window shades in your home or apartment and bring in the light. Bundle up and step into the great outdoors.
  4. Get plenty of vitamin D. The sun is a source of vitamin D. Depending on where you live, the sun may not shine too often in winter. Take vitamin D every day to improve your mood. And if you are looking for food sources, try more swordfish, salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines, eggs, and cereals fortified with vitamin D.
  5. Plan indoor fun. Maybe it’s time to host a dinner or party. I know this has been challenging during the pandemic. So, think small get-together. Or maybe you need a comedy night playing crazy board games or watching indoor movies. Perhaps invite a few people over to play cards. This is how we survived cold Michigan winters. Lots of games and socializing to keep our spirits high.
  6. Find people who are happy and engaged. Happy people are contagious. If you socialize with complainers or moody people during winter, you may start to feel the same.
  7. Do something new. Learn a new game, take up a new hobby, practice a skill or develop a musical talent. The newness will boost your mood. Novelty is good for the brain.
  8. If you have a fireplace, sit by it and read. Brew a cup of tea and make it a winter experience. If you don’t have a fireplace, go to a local coffee shop. Read and relax or meet a friend for good conversation. The idea is to find a cozy place. Make it your winter go-to.
  9. Check community events that will force you out of the house–musicals or plays, a sporting activity, the arts or symphony. If you buy a ticket, you will go.
  10. During these months of increased darkness, stay in the spiritual light–Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid, He is our anchor and hope. Boost your mood by staying spiritually strong. Read your Bible and be encouraged! Isn’t it amazing that God’s creation–light, can improve mood? Remember the Sunday School song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine?”  Don’t hide it under a bushel like the song exhorts. Let it shine!
Fighting the Winter Blues

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