The winter blues have a way of seeping in and sucking the energy out. With the short days and cold temperatures we end up spending a lot more time indoors and life can begin to feel pretty stagnant. The routines of work, chores, and bad weather wear on many people to the point of developing a case of the winter blues. Some people actually suffer from the decline of vitamin D from limited sunlight to the point where brain chemistry is effected and Seasonal Affective Disorder develops.
Where ever you may fall on the spectrum of winter blues there are things you can do to change the feelings of stagnation, low energy, boredom or sadness.
Many cold weather dwellers envision the ideal blues break as a trip to a tropical destination and if that is within your means, enjoy. For those who don’t have the money to spend on a get-away, you can plan a different sort of break. You can plan a tropical “stay-cation”: throw a party with the heat turned up, rent movies set in the tropics, read books or travel blogs. The mind is very powerful and your imagination can generate the same positive vibes as actually being in a warm place.
Another way to switch up the winter blues is to make the best of the seasonal conditions. Bundle up and enjoy the snow by building a snow fort, going sledding, or trying out a new winter sport. Do something different and out of the ordinary to create some excitement and energy.
Or if you’d rather stay inside you can use the time and space to start a new project or learn something new. There are languages and crafts to learn or practice, books to read, gardens to plan, games to play, and lots more. Find something that you are less likely to do when the weather is warm and the days are long and devote some time to it.
Just like our habits and behaviors get stuck in a rut, so does our thinking. You may notice your thinking has been tinted by winter blues and find yourself focusing on the negative, for example “I’m trapped inside, this sucks”. Taking a break for negative blues thinking can have powerful impacts on your mood. Do this by switching your focus to positive thoughts, for example “I have a lot of indoor time, I’m going to use it for something worthwhile”.
Spend the remaining month and a half of winter developing some aspect of yourself and improving your mood, so that come spring, its not just the flowers blooming, its you blooming.