The winter months in Alaska can feel so long!
The lingering darkness and cold can weigh heavy, zapping our energy and motivation. Depression rates always raise during the winter. We never want to go anywhere or do anything because it’s so much work to clean snow off our vehicles, or it takes too long for them to warm up. Many of us just don’t like to be cold!
So, are we destined to be miserable, or is there anything we can do to beat the winter blues?
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been contemplating how to make winter seem less dreary. I’ve discovered that I have to be intentional and make plans. Sitting around waiting for my mood to change or my energy to return will never happen! It’s up to me – I’ve got to motivate myself to get past the dullness.
Here are some tips I found in my search:
- Get outside to play. Bundle up and take a hike or walk your dog. Grab a camera and look for beautiful scenery to distract you from the cold. Go skiing, snowboarding, sledding – anything that involves being in the fresh air. There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors, and if you have a set of warm weather gear that’s cute or comfy, you’re more likely to use it and get outside.
- Get plenty of exercise. It may be difficult to get going at first, but being active always gives our bodies more energy. Go to the gym or try a DVD at home. Excising with other people will lift your mood, too, so plan to get active with a friend. Scheduling exercise into your day can help motivate you to get busy rather than skipping it.
- Get out of town for a night or two. Go someplace fun. Travel to someplace new. Take a drive, try the train, go out on a boat. Do something different that you can look forward to, planning extra time for contingencies if the weather is bad. Getting away from the mundane things of life can boost our mood and energy level.
- Plan outings with friends/family. Go see a movie, take a class, join a life group or Bible Study, invite people over for dinner, attend a small-business party such as Pampered Chef. Gather a group of people for a game of cards or an evening at the bowling alley. Don’t wait for an invitation – make it happen and encourage others to join you!
- Enjoy warm foods/beverages. Winter is the perfect time for soup or chili to chase away the chill outside. There are many ways to serve warm teas, hot chocolate, or apple cider. Search for recipes and learn how to make something new for your family to enjoy!
- Fireplaces, blankets and snuggles. Cold, dark days are always brightened by a warm fire, comfy blankets, and the presence of someone you love (pets count too!) Plan times of rest with a good book or a favorite TV show. Look through old photo albums, research a topic you’ve always been curious about, or jot down a list of dreams/goals.
- Light up the house. Although it may add to the electric bill, there are ways to add additional light to your home so it doesn’t feel so dull and dreary. When the Christmas tree is put away, you can still string lights in different ways that can add to the decor. Burning candles can also add cheer, not only with the light but also the scent. Get creative and add lights.
That’s all I came up with. I would love to hear your ideas!
How do you beat the winter blues?