Beat the Midwinter Blahs
The holidays are now only a memory. The skies seem to be perpetually gray. The spring thaw is still a couple of months away. And you feel … meh.
You’re not alone. The midwinter blues seem to visit just about everyone at one time or another. For some folks, this coldweather letdown can get serious, turning into depression. For others, it can be a matter of low energy, ambivalence, and a vague sadness. Regardless, it’s not something you have to accept. Take action to fight off the blues. Here are some steps you can take:
Eat better. Sugar might seem like a pick-me-up, but it often results in a drag on your system. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables while getting plenty of protein will perk you up.
Get moving. Our biggest midwinter enemy might be inertia. Exercise is the cure. Get moving and you might move right out of your blues.
Treat yourself. Doing something nice for yourself – a trip to the spa, a mid day movie, a visit with old friends – can give you a boost when you’re in a rut.
Socialize. We’re often tempted to hunker down at home, but isolation can feed the blahs. Make a point to get out and get together with friends.
Plan for spring. Shift your focus from how awful today is to how nice things will be in a few weeks. Plan a garden, order new spring clothes, set up a spring visit with out-of-town family … anything to point yourself toward spring.
Travel. A change of scenery can change your mood. Even if you can’t get to the beach, get away. It can make a big difference.
Soak up some sun. Experts say the midwinter blues might be tied to a decrease in the vitamins and other benefits we get from the sun. Get out and catch some rays. Even on cold days, the sunshine can boost your mood.
Of course, if your midwinter blues turn into serious depression – with symptoms such as an inability to get out of bed, loss of appetite or thoughts of harming yourself – get help from a healthcare or mental health provider. And, remember: Even the darkest winter eventually leads to spring.