Beating the Winter Blues
While I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, I definitely struggle this time of year. The excitement of the holidays is over, the decor and tree are gone, and pool season feels lightyears away. It can be easy to get into a rut this time of year. The cold weather, short, dark days, and dry January are enough to send you to bed until April.
To avoid this sluggish feeling and truly enjoy all that this slower season has to offer, I’ve prioritized a few self-care tasks that I try to implement this time of year. Here are a few ways I beat those winter blues and get past the slump of this season.
- Plan something to look forward to: One of the best ways to get out of a funk (or prevent one altogether) is to plan something that you can dream about and look forward to. Each year, my husband and I use our tax return for travel and vacations. Once we’ve gotten through that potentially painful process, we have a good sense of our budget for the year and begin to look at new locations and plan our spring, summer, and fall trips. It’s a really fun and valuable activity for gloomy winter days.
- Try not to hibernate: This can be so, so hard. Typically, after all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I am ready to go into hiding for a few months and wait out the weather for spring days. This year, I’ve forced myself to plan weekend activities, get out in the rain and freezing weather, and I truly feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled than Januarys in past years.
- Reevaluate routines and reorganize your spaces: While this sounds a bit like goal setting or a resolution – it’s not. This time of year, when things are a bit quieter, is the perfect time to take a hard look at your routines and everyday practices. Are there small annoyances that you deal with every day that could be reworked? Are the routines of 2019 still serving you well in 2020? For example, I reorganized my kitchen cabinets because the previous organization did not work with a new renovation we recently completed. I also gave up my 2019 fight for morning workouts. I’ve come to the conclusion that I only give 50% in morning workouts and evening workouts truly allow me to disconnect and cut off for the day. What is working well and what isn’t? This time of year is perfect for evaluating and making change.
- Join a book club: One of my favorite activities this time of year is reading. You can, of course, find your own books to read. Here’s a great list to get you started! But if you are craving community along with a good read, I encourage you to join a book club. If you want this to be an in-person activity, I would check your local library or Facebook groups. You can also join a virtual book club. Of course, we LOVE Jen Hatmaker’s virtual book club. Caitlin Covington just announced hers. Emma Watson has a great one too. And, I can’t talk about book clubs without mentioning Oprah’s and Reese Witherspoon’s.
- Treat yourself: I used to hoard all of the gift cards I received at Christmas, often forgetting about them altogether. In the past few years, I’ve decided to use them in the winter months. Whether it’s taking a friend for coffee with a Starbucks card or revamping my beauty routine with a Sephora gift card, it allows for a bit of indulgence without breaking the bank.
Overall, this time of year can be lonely and gloomy if you don’t take steps to combat it. We can’t wait to hear how you beat the winter blues. Tell us below!