Three Easy Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

The past two weeks have been unlike any other. The events that I’ve heard about or even experienced firsthand are weighing heavy on me today.

Not only have I had numerous employee relations concerns come across my desk, but I’ve experienced many other negative daily interactions that seem out of the norm. Recently, a man rolled down his window and threatened me because I was going “too slow”, a barista was extremely rude to me while I happily ordered my coffee, and I overheard a conversation at a restaurant between a boss and an employee about how they didn’t like a co-worker.

As I sit here reflecting on these events, I ask myself, “What’s going on?

With the magic of the holiday season long behind us and the countless days of little to no sunshine, Michiganders often struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – also known as the “winter blues.” Let’s be real, it is a tough time of the year. It’s hard to be motivated and energized when the outside temperatures are subzero, the sun rarely shines, and people everywhere tend to be a little down in the dumps.

I’ve come up with a list of the three favorite ways my family and I beat the winter blues. These are just a few of my favorite go-to’s since they are simple, achievable, and free!

  1. Wear bright colors
    Why are black, gray, and dark shades the “colors” for winter? Blah! Let’s get some color back into our wardrobe. I challenge you to wear bright colors – orange, yellow, blue are considered high energy or happy colors. Why not pull out some of your colorful clothing to brighten up a gloomy day? Learn more about how colors affect our moods in the article, Color Can Influence Mood and Performance.
  2. Change up your routine
    A routine helps to eliminate unexpected events or delays and usually helps to keep you organized. BUT…what about when you’re feeling depressed and you just need to get out of the rut you’re in? Why not change up your routine by taking a different route home from work (you may see a new restaurant you want to try) or stopping at a different grocery store to pick up milk? The point is to initiate your transformation into something different than your old self.
  3. Set Attainable Goals
    First, consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Make sure it’s possible to achieve the goal YOU set for yourself (do not fall victim to society or Facebook’s goal)! Recently, I wanted to set a new goal for myself, so I set a goal to exercise every day – and I failed. Setting a goal that I couldn’t reach at the time in my life didn’t help my motivation or mood. I am a wife, a mother of two little children, and I work a full-time job. It is hard to find time to exercise every day, so instead, I modified my goal to making an effort to silly dance and stretch with my kids for 30-60 minutes every day. So far, I’ve been meeting my goal AND having fun while boosting my mood in the process. You have to start somewhere!

Even though winter may not seem so terrific, it is a time for reflecting and planning – which has the potential to bring a lot of joy! Keep a positive attitude and reach out to positive people who can “fill up your cup.” Make a conscious effort to change things up to elevate your mood!

I would love to hear from you – what are some of your favorite ways to beat the winter blues?