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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?