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January 29, 2020

How To Survive The Winter Blues

I have lived in Michigan my entire life. That means I have survived 24.5 winters which is approximately 100 months of temperatures averaging around 30 degrees. I did spend one month of January studying abroad in Costa Rica, which was amazing but that I still had three months of winter that year so that doesn’t really count. Summer has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember, and fall has been my second. Although winter has never been something I look forward to, apart for Christmas, I remember having a blast playing in the snow as a child. I was even lucky enough to have a big sledding hill in the back yard of my childhood home.

I can’t quite remember what age I was when I started to dread winter, but it’s unfortunately not growing on me over time. However, like with many things in life, winter is what you make of it. You can choose to complain about driving in snowy roads or you can choose to acknowledge how pretty a fresh snowfall is. You can let the gloomy days and lack of sunlight be your excuse or you can be grateful for the cozy nights spent inside with your loved ones under a warm roof. I’m writing this blog not only to inspire you to stay optimistic this season but also as a reminder to myself. It’s easy for me to let my seasonal “depression” get the best of me but the time will pass anyway so I might as well make the most of these months and do my best to have a positive outlook. That being said, here are a few ways to “survive” the winter blues.

1. Play in the snow – I love having a dog that loves the snow because his joyful energy about it rubs off on me. I love throwing snowballs at him, watching him try to eat them and running together through areas of untouched, fresh snow – the kind where you can see your shoe/paw print. Even if you don’t have a sled dog, get outside and build a snowman with your friends. There’s no age limit to playing in the snow.

2. Catch up on sleep – the nights are longer this time of year and I find myself having fewer plans so it’s a perfect time to catch up on sleep.

3. Take a day to do nothing – in addition to getting more sleep, don’t be afraid to schedule a day to do nothing. I feel guilty or as if I’m wasting a day if I do this when the weather is nice but a gloomy, winter day is a great excuse to be extra lazy.

4. Snuggle up by a fire – I love having a fireplace and will be so sad if our next apartment/home doesn’t have one. I love watching the fire and feeling the warmth of it on my skin. It also helps me feel calm and at peace.

5. Buy some warm clothes – one perk of living in a cold climate is getting to layer up with cozy sweaters, coats and other winter accessories. Similar to how having a new athletic outfit motivates you to work out, a warm winter outfit can help you brave the cold. Check out my recent blog post on the types of clothes I’ve been wearing this season.

6. Exercise – staying active and eating healthy is so important for both physical and mental health. If you find yourself feeling down, move your body and there’s a good chance it will boost your mood.

7. Be social – it’s easy to go into hibernation mode during winter and spend most of your free time on the couch (I’m guilty of this). However, spending time with family and friends will be time well spent and much more fulfilling then binging a Netflix series.

8. Listen to something upbeat – just because the weather is moody doesn’t mean your playlist had to be. I love listing to fun music or a humorous podcast during my commutes to and from work.

9. Try to get at least 30 minutes of fresh air/sunlight a day – I don’t always get an opportunity to see the sun each day this time of year, but I still take Leo on walks every day to get some fresh air. Even when it’s cold it’s good to get outside.

10. Practice gratitude – if you find yourself caught in a spiral of negative thoughts, slow down and list out 10 things you are grateful for. Counting your blessings is a great way to stay positive and make the most of your current situation.

I hope these tips help you get through these last few weeks or months of winter depending on where you live. If you have any other tips for overcoming the winter blues leave them in a comment below!

For more winter-related blog posts, you can also check out:

What I’ve been wearing this winter

Our winter favorites

A quick trip to Colorado

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