In the winters, many people feel down and blue from the lack of sunshine and warmth that characterize this season. Winter depression—also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—is a type of depression caused by lack of sunlight, and it can be brought in by the shorter days and colder temperatures associated with the approaching winter months.
You want to stay warm most of the time, the shorter days make the days darker and colder, and sometimes you simply want to sit around with Netflix instead of braving icy roads. However, there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy your time in the winter, no matter where you live or what the weather is like outside. We know what it is like to feel low and depressed during the winter months, and these activities may help you get into a happy and positive mindset.
Check out this list on how to have an unforgettable winter to enjoy all that the season has to offer!
11 ways to beat your winter blues
- Binge Holiday Movies
- Enjoy Hot Chocolate
- Spend Time Indoors with Family
- Build a Snowman
- Play in the Snow
- Show Kindness
- Get into Reading
- Invest in Comfortable Footwear
- Check Out Beautiful Scenery
- Do Something Creative & Inspirational
- Indulge Yourself!
1. Binge Holiday Movies
It is that time of year again when you start dreaming about holiday movies—or better yet, re-watching your favorites! There is nothing like a great holiday movie. Even if you do not have a fireplace, a cozy blanket and a mug of hot chocolate will do just fine when you curl up with your favorite seasonal flick. The winter holidays are all about family, friends, and traditions—watching one of your favorites can put you precisely in that sort of mood. Here are our favorites –
The Polar Express
Let It Snow
The Princess Switch
2. Enjoy Hot Chocolate
Everyone loves hot chocolate, but few people think about how you can tweak it for even more flavor. Do your palate a favor and make hot chocolate special by adding spices like cinnamon, a dash of pumpkin pie spice, or nutmeg. The options are limitless! You will be rewarded with a richer taste that enhances any cold-weather holiday. Besides, this tip is great for spicing up drinks all year long—not just winter holidays!
3. Spend Time Indoors with Family
Do not miss out on spending time with your family. Set up a board game night or have some fun baking together. Not only will you all be able to spend quality time together, but you will create memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure everyone is involved, and no one gets left out!
4. Build a Snowman
There is something special about making a snowman. It is like creating a little world of your own—and if you can impress someone with your skills, then it may as well be a real little person. Building a snowman gives us that chance through playfulness and creativity while bringing together different perspectives from which we learn new things about ourselves and others. It may sound silly, but it can make those first few minutes or hours outdoors with friends or family more meaningful and memorable. It might even get others interested in building their own!
5. Play in the Snow
A lot of fun and adventure comes with winter activities, but there is also a danger of getting hurt. The good news is, winter sports and outdoor recreation are not just for pros. You do not have to be a pro athlete or Olympian to try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating, or other cold-weather activity. Simply follow these simple steps before you get out there on your next big winter adventure.
6. Show Kindness
Those little gestures that we sometimes do for each other can make a big difference in our lives and those around us. The forward mentality is one way we can create a ripple effect of happiness and peace within our communities. Think of something kind you can do for someone every day. Pay attention to opportunities where you can make someone’s life easier or better, even if it is something small like offering your seat in a crowded subway car.
Use some of your winter downtimes to help someone less fortunate—in any way you can. The holidays come once a year, use them as an excuse to share some goodwill rather than just waiting for Santa Claus. Not only will it give back, but may make you feel good as well.
7. Get into Reading
As a perfect activity for winter, reading is something you can do indoors while curling up in a blanket or on your Kindle by a fireplace with some hot chocolate. If you are looking for something more holiday-like to read, these sweet storylines will help you relax –
‘Royal Holiday’ by Jasmine Guillory
‘One Day in December’ by Josie Sliver
‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens
8. Invest in Comfortable Footwear
You already know that walking is a great way to stay fit in cold weather. Well, you will be much more likely to get outside and walk when your feet are warm and comfortable, which is why it is essential to invest in quality winter boots. Not only will they keep your feet warm when you step outside, but you will have a much better time walking when your footwear provides support and comfort.
Ps. And if you do not have any of those fancy woolen socks on hand—grab a pair, at least, for your next winter shopping trip. You won’t regret it.
9. Check Out Beautiful Scenery
No matter where you live, there is a good chance it is cold and dreary during winter. While you cannot change how chilling it is outside, that does not mean your surroundings have to be dull. Give yourself a healthy dose of Vitamin D by checking out beautiful scenery whenever possible. Pack a lunch and spend an afternoon at a nearby park or beach. Visit your local museum or art gallery. Or pick up some cheap clip-on reading lights for indoor plants—there is nothing better than watching plants grow!
10. Do Something Creative or Inspirational
When you are in a bad mood, it is natural to want to blame something. Maybe it is too cold out, you hate winter, or it is that gray sky that makes you feel like there are no options for happiness. Whatever your excuse is, try asking yourself if indulging yourself in some way could help make your day brighter. Get up and dance around with an inspirational YouTube video, write a love letter to someone who inspires you (even if they do not know it), or take a snow break and draw snowflakes on paper! If we always think of our moods as something we can change immediately, we might find ourselves fighting depression more effectively than we thought possible.
11. Indulge Yourself!
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you feel down during the winter, there is no better way to beat it than by doing something you love! Whether it is taking a trip somewhere sunny, buying yourself a gift, or just hanging out with friends who make you feel great, indulging yourself can lift your spirits and have an effect on your overall mood. So do not be afraid of holiday stress—use it as an excuse to pamper yourself and enjoy life…