How to Break out of the Winter Blues

It might be dark and cold outside — but your outlook doesn’t have to be.

Even if you live in a warmer climate where snow is a rare occurrence and the temperature stays relatively warm, the winter season can be tough. The days drag on and get dark early, your motivation is low, and the post-holiday slump is real, even weeks after the last decorations have been put away. Many of us deal with the winter blues, from general malaise to Seasonal Affective Disorder, but these chilly months don’t have to dull your shine entirely. Bust out of your winter blues with these ways embrace the season and re-energize your routine.

Find feelings of accomplishment.

A clean, organized home is a happy home. If it’s been a while since you de-cluttered and deep cleaned, well, there’s no time like the present! When you’re feeling unmotivated, completing a task (no matter how small!) can be a big boost in your confidence and mood. Set aside a few hours during the week to tackle the household projects you’ve been putting off, like organizing the basement, cleaning the fridge, going through kids’ clothes, or pruning your bookshelves. You’ll feel accomplished and satisfied when you’re finished – and what’s better than a sparkling kitchen or peaceful, clutter-free bathroom?

Pay attention to what you put into your body.

It’s totally normal to reach for heavy comfort foods when it’s cold and gloomy outside, but going for the green (or yellow, or purple) can uplift you inside and out. Bring a little color in on a grey day with vibrant, flavorful citrus fruits and greens or add extra flavor to your dishes with spices and herbs. Make pineapple, mango, and turmeric smoothies for a jolt of color and nutrients, load up a homemade pizza with your favorite veggies, or chop up red, yellow, and green peppers to warm up your favorite salads, soups, and sandwiches. Your body will appreciate the vitamins and minerals – and the new flavors!

Get creative in the kitchen.

In relation, another way to bust out of the winter blues is by trying new things in the kitchen instead of relying on your go-to recipes each night. Do a seven-day challenge from a food website you like or ask friends for their favorite meals. Even ordering an ingredient that you don’t often use, like an exotic fruit or unique veggie, can unlock your kitchen creativity and give you something to look forward to. Can’t take a winter vacation this year? Pick a state or country and make one of its most popular dishes.

Break a sweat first thing in the AM.

Unwind with yoga, set a PR on your spin bike, dance around the living room, whatever! Just getting your blood flowing and your heart pumping first thing in the morning can lift your spirits and help wake you up. Block out 30 minutes on your calendar to get in motion without distractions – think of it as a meeting with yourself and press pause on everything else going on. You may find that post-workout glow helps you refocus and get things done with a more positive attitude.

Discover new winter-weather activities (even if they’re indoors).

The winter seems far less daunting if you find activities and rituals that make you love the colder weather. Maybe it’s the feeling of coming home to a warm house with food in the slow cooker and having a cup of tea. Perhaps it's that you get more time to care for your indoor plants. Or maybe you are a snow-sports lover and all you can think about is that next ski hill or ice rink. Whatever you discover, let it guide you throughout the season.


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