Spring is just around the corner, but many of us are still dealing with the doldrums of winter. While there are lots of things to love about winter, it also means shorter days, less sunlight, colder weather, and more time stuck inside. This is a time of year when many people feel less energetic and possibly a little “blah.” Feeling like you might be in a bit of a winter slump? Here are ten ideas to help you conquer your winter woes.
1. Brighten your world! Winter’s lack of sunlight can cause many people to feel gloomy and sluggish. Get as much natural light as you can. Open the curtains, sit by the window, and enjoy a mood-lifting vitamin D boost from the sun. Decorating your home in light, cheery colors may also help to counteract the dreariness of winter.
2. Make quality zzz’s a priority. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule and getting the right amount of sleep can help you stay energized.
3. Get outside when you can. Being cooped up inside for too long can make anyone feel pretty blah. Bundle up and take an energizing walk in the cold!
4. Exercise! Exercising releases endorphins and helps to decrease stress and anxiety. It can also improve sleep and boost energy. Try a new sport or exercise class. If you’re snowed in, practice yoga, try some workout DVDs, or even have your own private dance party at home.
5. Pump up the jams! Speaking of dance parties, music can be an excellent way to lift spirits. There are tons of potential mental and physical benefits of both playing and listening to music.
6. Eat well. During cold winter months, it can sometimes be tempting to eat the same comfort foods over and over. However, eating a healthy, varied diet full of vitamins and nutrients can improve energy, mood, and overall health.
7. Plan a mini “vacation” and give yourself something to look forward to. This could mean going on an actual trip, but it can also be as simple as planning a special weekend activity close by.
8. Volunteer for a cause that’s important to you. Use your personal interests and skills to make the world a better place. In the process, you can connect to others, build self-esteem, and gain a sense of purpose.
9. Socialize, and not just on social media. Surround yourself with positive people. When you and your friends stick together, the winter blahs don’t stand a chance!
10. Treat yourself! Don’t forget to do something extra nice for yourself once in a while. You deserve it!
Janis Atty, MA, CCLS, ATR-BC, LCAT is a child life specialist and creative arts therapist at NYU Langone’s Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center, and is part of the Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Program. She helps pediatric patients and their families understand and cope with medical illnesses and experiences. By providing education, preparation, emotional support, and guidance, she promotes positive development and well-being in patients facing a wide range of challenging life events.