Beating the Winter Doldrums

For some, it comes when all the torn wrapping paper or empty champagne bottles have been put out with the recycling. For others, it’s the day after Super Bowl Sunday. Either way, when the short days, long nights and cold weather hit, the winter doldrums oftenWinter follow. The seemingly endless wait for spring can wear on anyone; here are a few tricks that can help you to keep midwinter melancholy at bay! 

Release those endorphins. The natural feel-good chemical that our bodies produce during exercise is a great elixir for the winter “blahs”. By making a commitment to raising your heart rate, you can also lift your spirits. Already have a workout routine? Mix it up by engaging in winter sports — lace up the skates, strap on the skis or snowboard, get that sled or tube out of the garage. All of these activities will reduce the boredom of the season while getting your adrenaline and blood pumping. They may also help you to look your best when the warmth finally does arrive and it’s time to shed those extra layers.

Surround yourself with friends.  Now that the hubbub of the holidays are over, your calendar suddenly looks wide open. During the dead of winter, many of us tend to make fewer plans or decline social invitations, but spending time with good friends is crucial to our well-being. Plan a theme party or night on the town, or schedule poker nights or cozy movie nights at home. Nothing makes you feel better about the cold and desolation than laughter and good times. Reconnect with pals and inject some fun into your winter weeks!

Allow a small splurge or pamper yourself. A little retail therapy or a spa session can go a long way in brightening your day. But remember that if one of your New Year’s resolutions involved fiscal responsibility, over-spending will only add to your stress. So whether it’s that small item you saw while shopping that made you think “I wouldn’t mind having that myself” or the “no-special-occasion” manicure or pedicure, go for it — but be frugal as well as frivolous and keep it guilt-free.

Learn something new. Challenge yourself and have something to look forward to each week. Often times during winter we find ourselves trapped indoors, sitting on the couch watching TV. Get out of the house and sign up for a class — cooking, yoga, martial arts — anything that may have piqued your interest in the past. Break free from the monotony and lethargy of the post-holiday winter months and find a new hobby or passion.

Embrace the light and color. Remember the wondrous transformation from black and white to Technicolor in the classic film, The Wizard of Oz? Winter often seems draped in shades of gray, so grasp every opportunity to let the sun shine in! Throw open the curtains and blinds; brighten up your home with colorful flowers or houseplants; ditch the drab and add splashes of vibrant color to your wardrobe. Bundle up and get outside for a brisk walk in the crisp air with the sun glistening on the fresh snowfall.

Above all, be positive. Studies have shown that optimists live longer and healthier lives. Keep an upbeat attitude and you’ll get through these ho-hum winter months and be welcoming the spring before you know it!


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