How to Lose Those Winter Blues and Blahs
5 easy and fun ways to make this winter soooo much more exciting than last winter.
When it’s cold outside we retreat like hibernating bears to our warm caves, except for necessary forays to the workplace and to gather food. Those caves can be awfully comforting when the weather outside is frightful, but indoor living can also lead to the blues or even depression. What to do?
The trick is to commit to doing something outside the cave. Something that you enjoy or care about enough to motivate you. Something that makes you want to get up and out of your cave and participate in the vibrant, real world. Here are some tried-and-true ways to fight back against that winter inertia and expand your mind/life at the same time:
- Be a temporary dog or cat owner: There are organizations that match volunteers with dogs and cats for various periods of time (called “fostering” – here’s more on that). This can also afford you the chance to find out if you would like to have a pet of your own, and meaningfully help out a local shelter. Research suggests that pet ownership leads to better mental and physical health, and the popularity of cat and dog videos on social media reveals how much all our hearts are opened by these furry beauties.
- Join a club: Doesn’t matter what kind – book club, knitting circle, music lovers, birders. Anything that you enjoy sufficiently to motivate you to leave your cozy cocoon. Being part of a group involves a commitment to that group, and the guilt about not showing up might be enough to propel you through the door of your cave. Or start a club in your own cave so you don’t even have to leave.
- Move your body: Yoga is a great indoor activity to help you stay in shape over the winter. For those who can’t or don’t want to yoga, tai chi is a marvelously graceful, meditative form of exercise. And if you crave something more aggressive, tai chi has a martial arts side you can gravitate to.
- Take a class: Find a seminar, talk or class in something that you’ve always wanted to explore. Jazz, female writers, movie making, screenplay writing, jewelry making. Take it seriously and it might lead to a whole new career. At the very least, you’ll meet people who share your interest and expand your social circle. If you’re in NYC, The Center for Social Innovation and the 92Y are both really good places to start looking.
- Volunteer: Local hospitals welcome volunteers to read to the elderly or children. Churches and community groups are eager to recruit people to help out in soup kitchens and take elderly folk to appointments. Animal shelters need help to walk dogs and socialize potential pets so they have a better chance at getting adopted. By helping others you will also be helping yourself, and the rosy glow of your cheeks will be matched by the rosy glow of your virtue.
And a few more just for New Yorkers:
- Explore NY: This wonderful city of NY has an ever-changing roster of events on offer daily, many of them free. Every Friday, the Weekend section of the New York Times lists a variety of things to do in all five boroughs. Concerts (rap, pop, classical – take your pick), movies, museums, comedy clubs, plays, walking tours – they’re all here. Arrange to do them with a friend so you don’t chicken out.
- Check out the new Whitney Museum: It’s crammed with young and interesting looking people and the art is amazing. Then walk the High Line to see your city from a whole new perspective.
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge: Why? Why not? It’s a fun thing to do that many tourists enjoy but locals don’t think to experience. And Brooklyn Park at the other end is awesome. End up by taking the ferry back to Manhattan and see your city from the water. It will make you proud and happy that you live here.
When all else fails and the winter blues persist… Count your blessings, plan a spring trip, and remember what the poet said – “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
I definitely got the winter blues. Summer where are you? I miss you so much!!!!
Winter blues have hit an all-time high. I need warm sun, shorts, swimsuits, lake days, beer, damn it.
What a nice way to chase my winter blues away! I hope you’re all doing alright people!
Damn. Beer and beach are what I miss! Can’t wait for the summer!!!
Just enjoy the weather. There are a lot of things that you can do to enjoy it. Be thankful for what we have.
Don’t let that winterblues get you down! Winter is only for few months, and don’t let season ruin your life.
This season, I learned a lot. I learned to be patient, and not to over think. Overthinking will ruin my happiness, and if that happens, I will be depressed.
You are right. I always overthink even in small problems, and I just hate myself for that. I am taking anti-depressant medicine for me to be calm.
I miss seeing colors outside our home. The color of the street, flowers, and trees. All I can see is objects being covered by the snow.
I have the worst case of the winter blues. I miss home, I hate school, and all I want to do is sleep until summer. Can summer be here right now?
I know how hard it is to deal with winter blues, but stay positive dear!
I searched the google about winter blues, and I saw a lot of invitations from different organizations. Why don’t we try that, people? I think it’s nice to go outside during this season.
As beautiful as Winter may be, unfortunately, winter blues is a real thing. There are many simple ways that we can help ourselves get out of that funk, and get back to enjoying the beauty in Winter, and back to our normal selves! This article is one example of that. Thanks, Urbanette!