Yes, people get down in winter sometimes. But there are ways to beat the winter blues. Here are 11 of them.
The surprised folks in Cairo and Jerusalem who woke up to a coating of snow on the ground might have thought it was a joyful sight. But for those of us used to four months of snow – and this year it will obviously be five months, since it started in mid-November – “joyful” is not the word that usually comes to mind.
By mid-January, many people have had enough. There is even a term for the kind of funk people sink into: Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D. for short). Most people call it simply the mid-winter blues, but the fact is that the only color you see is white. Well, brown if you live in the city, but technically it’s still snow, so let’s go with white, OK?
11 tips to beat the mid-winter blues
Here are 11 tips to beat the mid-winter blues.
Get some sun. One of the things that gets us down is the lack of sun. The sun is less intense in winter time, and it is around for fewer hours per day. The worst is that the hours the sun is up are the hours that most people are indoors, at work. The sun gives us heat (warmth), light and precious vitamin D. Without sun, no wonder we get depressed.
Head south. If you can’t get sun in the north, like around here, head south. If you live in the south, stop – don’t move! OK, now everybody else, go south. If the sun heads south on vacation, why shouldn’t you?
Resort posters. If going south is too costly, do it the frugal way – plaster your walls with travel posters. Greece. The Caribbean. Costa Del Sol.
Hot paint. Even better, paint your walls in reds, oranges and yellows. You will feel warmer. And if you close your curtains, you might even fool yourself into thinking that you are not buried in snow.
“I do not believe in winter. I do not believe in winter. I do not believe in winter.” http://t.co/HzQIODxpti
— David Leonhardt (@amabaie) January 14, 2014
Fire! Nothing is hotter than fire. In fact, that’s what the sun is made of – fire. So get the fireplace going and warm your toes. Don’t have a fireplace? Light some candles.
More light. Probably what we miss the most about summer is the light. We drive to work in the dark and we come home in the dark. It helps to have extra light at home. Pick a room you spend a lot of time in, and get some extra lamps. Bright, white fluorescent lights work best. Overlight that one room while you are in it.
Cod liver oil. Oops. Did I accidentally drop this item into the wrong blog post? No, cod liver oil is full of vitamin D, which we miss due to the lack of sun. Vitamin D has been linked to fending off the common cold, so it also helps us feel better by protecting us from feeling “under the weather”.
Sing summer songs. Line up those Beach Boys tunes. Get out your ukulele. Summer music gets you in the mood. Here is a great summer song video to get you started:
Challenge yourself. It is hard to feel sad while focused on trying something just a little beyond your abilities. Learn a new language. Learn a new sport (physical activity!). Learn to program computers. Try something you have never done before.
Get out! Leave. Right now. No, wait. First finish reading this blog post and share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Then get out. One of the things that depresses people about winter is feeling cooped up. Getting out, especially to do something physical like bowling or walking on coals (for warmth), is just the ticket.
Socialize. When you get out, make it a point to do something with friends or family. Nothing helps lift a person’s mood like friendly social contact. You could make walking on coals a social outing, for instance.
Exercise. Being cooped up means we tend to spend more time seated or slumped and less time moving. The antidote could be a gym membership or the decision to go walking every day, even if it is cold outside. Walkng on coals would be even warmer, with the added benefit that it might induce a lot of hopping and running, as well.
Even fitness equipment at home is good, but better if you do things that take you out of the house.
As for the snow, you could always hire somebody to shovel it for you…but that would take away some precious exercise.