7 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” For some of us, though, winter is more a season of discontent than one of purpose. From “blahs” to “blues” to clinical seasonal depression, the cold, blustery months can leave us feeling depleted, sluggish, and sad. Warm your heart and soul with these tips for boosting your mood this winter.

 Music

Listening to some uplifting tunes while you get ready for work or school, the morning drive, or while making or eating dinner at night is an excellent way to lift your mood and spirit.

Healthy Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet full of vitamin-rich foods is a great way to feel good during the cold winter months. Steer clear of processed, greasy, and sugary foods as these may feel good going down but only wreak havoc on the system and mood shortly after.

Brighten Your Environment

It’s easy to feel blue when it gets dark around 5:30 PM, so it’s important to incorporate LIGHT where you can!  Open blinds during the day to let natural sunlight in, turn on lights in the house in the evening, sit by the fire in your home if you have a fireplace, or try artificial light or sun lamps in your office or home for an additional bonus!

Exercise

This no-brainer is sure to boost your mood any time of the year.  Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy.  Even exercising for 20 minutes a day can lift your spirits.  Don’t belong to a gym?  Is it too cold to take a walk?  That’s ok. Walk up and down your steps or around your house while listening to a podcast or uplifting music.  Purchase new or used weights and lift weights during the commercials of your favorite nightly TV show. Find a friend and walk around the mall or grocery store.  There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Make sure you’re getting your vitamins

Vitamin D and Vitamins B6 and B12 play a significant role in mood and fatigue.  Talk to your doctor to make sure your vitamin levels are where they should be and incorporate a multivitamin if need be.

Socialize

Either with friends, family or through volunteering, make sure you engage with people now and then.  Surrounding yourself with positive people is always a good mood booster.  Additionally, volunteering during the winter months at a local shelter or agency, and giving back to the community, not only helps those individuals and organizations but is very rewarding personally as well.

Treat yourself

Whether you make time for a warm bath once a week,  find a great book to read, invest in a new TV show, join a club or group, or start a new hobby, make sure you’re doing something each day for yourself. Self-care is huge and so important in the cold, dreary winter months.

If you find that your blues aren’t going away, contact one of our JFCS counseling staff at 502-452-6341.

Naomi Carrico, MSW, CSW, a member of the JFCS Counseling division. Naomi’s passion is working with children, couples, caregivers, and individuals with anxiety or self-esteem issues. She has worked at JFCS since 2010 and uses many different therapeutic tools; she takes clients who are private pay on a sliding fee scale, medicaide and medicare, and sees clients under our KIPDA grants.

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