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Don't Let Winter Days Get You Down

"When life hands you lemons you make lemonade." Well then, what do you do when life hands you snow – and lots of it? Make snowmen and snow forts! And when it's rainy, you can jump in mud puddles.

That's fine for the first month of winter. Then what?

If rainy days and snowy days are getting you down, you might be experiencing the "winter blahs." That's a not-so-scientific way of saying you feel moody and down-in-the-dumps.

Before losing your patience or your mind, here are a few tips for dealing with winter:

  • Laugh out loud. Humor makes you feel better and might keep you healthier too. You might find that you and your family enjoy "joke night" or "tell a funny story night" so much you'll make it part of your winter tradition. If you're not an overly humorous bunch, then enjoy an evening of laughs with a funny family movie.
  • Get silly. Your children will enjoy having the whole family dress in crazy costumes before visiting a neighbor or two. Consider making it an annual event.
  • Escape to a sunny place, if only in your dreams. You might not have enough money to fly to Tahiti, but you could rent a movie about a tropical place or serve a picnic meal on your living room floor.
  • Find a cause, such as animal welfare or collecting food for your area's food bank. Then throw your energies in conducting a local campaign.
  • Surround yourself with things you associate with warmth and spring. Arrange oranges, lemons, and limes in bowls for beauty and fragrance and add potted flowers to windowsills.
  • Let the sun in. Sit in a sunny window and enjoy the warmth. If possible, get out and walk in the early-morning sun. Much of the wintertime blahs can be blamed on reduced exposure to sunlight. When people experience this more severely, it's probably Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • Host a winter snow party, complete with competitions such as sled pulls and fastest snowman building relays. Be sure to dress warmly and in layers. Have plenty of warm cocoa on hand for when the contests are over.
  • Eat like it's summer. You're probably downing lots of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can help you feel better – in moderation. But in larger amounts, they just contribute to weight gain. Cut back on breads, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Remember them?
  • Organize and update. Sometimes a simple change – like organizing your sock drawer – can help you feel better. You could also repaint a room calming blue or electrifying yellow, depending on what you think you need.
  • Take up a new hobby that will allow you to get out and enjoy the snow. Cross country skiing and snow shoeing give you exercise and are fun.
  • Stretch your mind by reading a good book or enrolling in a college or college extension class. You're never too far away from a classroom, since colleges offer online classes via the Internet.
  • Celebrate an offbeat day, such as Hoodie-Hoo day (February 20). You and your closest friends can help chase winter way. Just fling your door wide open at high noon and yell "Hoodie-Hoo!" If that seems a bit much for you, you can always celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday (March 2), national frozen foods day (March 6), or national organize your home office day (March 23)!
  • Soak in a hot tub. You can smile at the snow when you're soaking in a tub of warm water.
  • Exercise regularly. You don't have to go outside. Many people make use of a treadmill during the weary, dreary, and wet winter months. Others enjoy exercising out of doors year round.
  • Anticipate future fun times, such as a weekend trip or a summer vacation. Spend the gray days of winter planning where and when you'll go, and what you can do while you're there.
  • Take a deep breath and know that this too shall pass – eventually. It won't be snowy in late July, for example, when you might just be looking for a bit of ice.

Sources:

1. Internet Challenge Library. Thinkquest Inc.
2. Lloyd-Martin H. Beat those wintertime blahs. Home Office Magazine.
3. Look beyond the holidays to avoid January blahs, expert says. News Information, University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Written by:: Paula Wart
Reviewed:: 12/16/2013

This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis of specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt professional medical attention if you have a particular concern about your health or specific symptoms. Wellsource, Inc. is not liable for any health consequences resulting from your use of this site.