40+ Tips To Help Anyone Beat The Winter Blues
If you have ever felt a bit down when the cold winter months roll around, you’re not alone. At some point, most of us have experienced “the winter blues” or seasonal depression—aka Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s normal to feel a bit gloomy when the days are shorter and colder, and it can be hard to stay motivated when all you want to do is hibernate in your bed and stay buried under your blankets all day. But don’t feel discouraged—there are plenty of things you can do to combat those dreary days.
In this post, we’ll share tips on embracing the winter season, so you can make the most out of these colder months and come out smiling on the other side.
1. Write down your goals
No matter how you feel about winter, it’s a great time to set goals. And don’t just mentally list them; get it on paper. By taking time to reflect on what you want to achieve, you can make this winter happy and productive.
By doing this, you can have something to focus on and work toward. Setting things you wish to accomplish throughout the colder months will not only help to make winters happier, but it will also give you a sense of achievement.
2. Be kind to others
The winter season is when we all need to be a little kinder and more caring toward one another. This is because the weather can be harsh and cold, and people often feel a little down during this time of year.
Each step and act of kindness can go a long way in making someone’s winter a better time. Let’s all try to be a little kinder this winter season—it will not only make your winter more pleasant but also make everyone’s winter a better time.
3. Go on a vacation
A winter vacation can be the perfect antidote to the hardships of daily life, and it can also be a great way to make lasting memories with family and friends. Use this opportunity to finally plan that getaway you’ve been talking about for months.
A change of scenery, new experiences, and time spent with loved ones can work wonders for your mood. So, if you ever feel sad during this cold time of the year, pack your bag, and give yourself a break in a warmer place.
4. Lightly-scented candles
When the winter blues start to set in, and you start feeling lost and sad, you can light up a scented candle. The warm, inviting smell of your favorite fragrance can help to cheer up your mood and make your home feel cozy and inviting.
When picking a candle, make sure that the fragrance is manageable. A heavy, cloying scent can end up making you feel more depressed. Instead, go for something light and fresh-smelling, like citrus or lavender. You can even get a variety of small candles to figure out what scent suits you best.
5. Find a kindred spirit
Happy winters are not only about having fun in the snow and playing around in the cold weather. It’s also about being with someone who understands how you feel and is willing to make the best of it with you.
So, if you’re not feeling pleased about winter, talk to someone who feels the same way. Even if you’re sharing the same grievances, talking it out with them can make you feel better. Also, you never know if you help them in a similar way, they might also feel happy again.
6. Use music to feel better
When the cold weather sets in and the days grow shorter, it’s normal to get wrapped up in the negative aspects of winter. One thing that can cheer you up, no matter the weather or time of day, is your favorite music.
Music has the power to lift up our moods and boost our spirits. So why not use it to fight off those winter blues? Turn up the volume on your favorite tunes and let the melodies chase away the chill.
7. Dress up for yourself
With a thick winter coat on, it can feel pointless to dress up nice. But putting on your feel-good outfit doesn’t need to be something extravagant to impress others. You’re doing this as a favor to yourself, not other people.
Whatever it is, take the time to look for something that puts a smile on your face. It will make braving the cold so much more bearable. Even if it’s just for a walk around the block, it’s important to do things for yourself rather than for the sake of others.
8. Say no to tech for a day
We all love our tech gadgets, but sometimes it’s essential to disconnect and enjoy the simple things in life. One day without screens can do wonders for your mood and mental health. So, vow to say no to tech for at least one day.
It’ll be challenging at first, but give it some time and you’ll realize how happy and carefree you feel without your phone, tablet, or laptop. Instead of staring at a screen, pick up a book, or head outside for a playful snowball fight.
9. Complete your pending task
With short days, there’s more time spent inside than out. Why not use this time to finish up those half-done projects? Or, if you’re home for winter break, take this opportunity to wrap things up so you can start the spring semester fresh.
Here is how you can do so: start by making a list of everything you need to do. Don’t let the nebulous list of things overwhelm you. Pick one at a time and slowly tackle each one. By the time spring flowers bloom, you’ll have nothing left on your list.
10. Sleep, sleep, and sleep
Who doesn’t love sleeping in on the weekends? Well, why not do the same on lazy winter mornings? Plan your day to start a little later, when the sun is finally high in the sky, and get in an extra hour of sleep in the morning.
Of course, getting enough sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being, but during the winter months, it can also help us feel happier. So if you’re feeling a little down or blue during the winter, make sure to get some extra shut-eye.
11. Take more sunlight
When the winter months come around, being trapped in your house/apartment can also mean getting trapped in your head. One way to make sure you enjoy your winters is to take some time each day to soak up the sun.
A few minutes of sunlight exposure can help you to improve your mood and make the winter months happier. So next time you’re feeling down about the cold weather, step outside and let the sun put a smile on your face.
12. Look at yourself in the mirror
Looking in the mirror can be a great way to make you happy during the winter. Before you laugh, hear us out. Looking in the mirror can help you to see how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished. It can also remind you of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Reflect on who you are and take a moment to appreciate all you are and have. Then, let go of any negativity and focus on enjoying the season. Let the happiness fill your heart and soul, and warm you from the inside out.
13. Bring plants to your room & kitchen
There is something about plants that makes us happy. It could be how they oxygenate the air or the way they add a touch of life to any space. Whatever the reason, we can all agree that plants make us feel good.
So bring some plants into your room and kitchen this winter and watch your mood improve instantly! Taking care of something, even as simple as a plant, can boost your mood. As a bonus, you can grow some herbs to use for cooking your favorite foods.
14. Start your day right
If sleeping in isn’t your thing, find something that suits you and build your perfect morning. This can mean anything from setting a peppy song as your alarm or setting out fuzzy slippers to shuffle around in first thing in the morning.
If you can’t settle on just one thing, plan out your week with a different “perfect morning” to start each day. The variety will prevent you from getting bored of these things and it’ll keep you happy all season long.
15. Watch a stand-up comedy show
There’s nothing like a stand-up comedy show to help chase away the winter blues. Whether you stream a comedy special on your favorite platform or head out to a local comedy club, enjoying some laughs is guaranteed to boost your mood.
People believe that when they laugh, it makes everything feel better when it’s cold outside. So, if you want to make your cold season happy and bright, be sure to catch a good stand-up comedy show. You’ll be glad you did.
16. Add exercise to your daily routine
If you want to feel good and relieve stress on cold days, try exercising. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or start running marathons, but simply adding some physical activity to your daily routine can make a big difference.
Taking a brisk walk in the cold air, doing some fun winter sports, or even dancing around your living room are all great ways to stay active and chase away the winter blues. So, make sure you exercise daily and keep your mind and body active.
17. Solo trip
Traveling alone can be a great way to make the most of your winter. It’s an opportunity to explore a new place, meet new people, and have new experiences. And best of all, it can be a great way to boost your happiness during the colder months.
There are plenty of reasons why solo travel is suitable for your happiness. First, it challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Second, solo travel allows you to focus on your needs and wants.
18. Talk to your mom
You can’t deny that talking to your mom is the best therapy to boost your mood and feel better on your down days. She always knows what to say to make you feel better, and she’ll be able to help you out with anything that’s bothering you.
Spending some time chatting with her will for sure put a smile on your face and make your winter much more enjoyable. So go give her a call or send her a text—she will be thrilled to hear from you!
19. Have food that has tryptophan
One of the best mood-boosting nutrients is tryptophan. This nutrient is present in a lot of delicious food items. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in regulating your mood.
So, if you’re looking for foods to help you stay cheerful this winter, be sure to stock up on tryptophan-rich items like turkey, salmon, cottage cheese, nuts, and seeds. You can also find tryptophan in supplements form, but getting it from food is always best.
20. Keep humming your favorite song
Looking out at the trees stripped of their leaves, it can be easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of winter. One simple way to boost your mood and make winter happier is to keep humming your favorite song.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune—hum along with whatever melody is stuck in your head. The act of humming has been shown to have a calming effect on the body, so it’s a great way to relax and relieve stress.
21. Remember the good old days
If you’re feeling cooped up and long for something different, pull out that old photo album and curl up on the couch with your loved one(s). Making new memories is important, but so is reminiscing in the good times gone by.
Plus, remembering those old, good days can help to relieve stress because they remind us of a simpler time. When we were younger, our problems seemed smaller and more manageable. Life was only about having fun and being with the people we loved.
22. Find one positive thing
This winter, let’s focus on at least one positive thing to make us happy. For instance, you can spend time with family and friends, eat all your favorite comfort foods, and snuggle up under a warm blanket with a good book.
If you can find several things that make you happy during winter, that’s even better! Having something positive to focus on can help offset your negative feelings about the season. So go ahead and make a list of all the things that make you happy during winter.
23. Take a walk
Sure, you could hunker down and spend all winter inside. Or, you can go out and get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying the crisp winter scenery. Going for a walk is a great way to improve your mood and overall happiness during winter.
There are plenty of reasons why walking is good for you, especially in the winter. For one, it gets you out of the house and into nature. Being in nature has been proven to boost your mood and reduce stress.
24. Work on your posture
Winter is full of downtime—we mean that literally. Sleeping in, cuddling on the couch, and lounging in front of the fireplace are all winter staples. Unfortunately, you might get too comfortable. If you ordinarily have a stiff back come spring, make sure to work on your posture all winter long.
There are plenty of resources online to help you work on your posture and alignment and make sure you’re not straining the wrong muscles. If you feel silly doing it, get a loved one to join in and make it a game.
25. Watch dog videos
Something about those wagging tails and puppy dog eyes makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. And it’s not only us—studies have shown that watching animal videos can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve our moods, and boost our overall well-being.
There is nothing like an excellent doggo video to chase away the winter blues. So if you’re feeling down this winter, turn on your favorite device and start streaming quality canine content. Your mental health will get better with this simple tip.
26. Go to yoga classes
What could be better than starting your day with a yoga class, feeling refreshed and invigorated, and then enjoying the rest of your day knowing that you’ve already taken care of your fitness? You can do this to start or day, or as a way to wind down.
When you have to bear harsh and cold weather during the season when days are short, your mood may follow suit. But there’s no need to let the winter blues get you down. You can sign up for online yoga classes if you want to avoid going out for the classes.
27. Experiment with a new recipe
There are many recipes you can experiment with when it comes to winter food, and it can be a lot of fun to try out new things. Moreover, you’ll be surprised to know how much you enjoy certain dishes you would never have thought to try.
So don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes this winter. Get in the kitchen and start cooking up something special. With creativity, you can have fun evenings full of delicious food that might just be your summer comfort food, too.
28. Get yourself a furry friend
Dogs and cats make great companions during the colder months, and they can help chase away the winter blues and freshen up your day. Spending time playing with or walking your pet can help to improve your mood as well as your overall well-being.
Some research studies have shown that pet owners can also have health benefits, like reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, and improved heart health. So if you are looking for extra happiness this winter, why not adopt a new furry friend?
29. Spend time with positive people
No matter the season, if you want to make your day better, one of the best and easy things you can do is spend time with positive people. Surrounding yourself with upbeat energy will help you get through the colder months with a smile.
Moreover, when you’re around positive people, you’ll be more likely to engage in activities that make you happy. So if you want a happier winter, surround yourself with positive people and enjoy their company. Doing this will surely boost your mood.
30. Make your house walls colorful
Did you know that painting your walls in specific colors can lighten your mood? It’s true! Studies have shown that certain hues can elevate our spirits and make us happier. So, go, grab some bright colors and start painting your walls.
There are all sorts of cheerful colors to choose from, so take your pick per your preferences. A sunny yellow might be the thing to lift your spirits, or a rich jewel tone will add some warmth to your home.
31. Renovate your home
When the winter months come around, it’s easy to leave your home somewhat neglected. After all, who wants to go outside when it’s cold and dark? But if you take the time to renovate your home before winter, you’ll enjoy a cozy and comfortable space all season long.
Take the time to clean those hard-to-reach areas or upgrade features like your light fixtures. Doing this will not only brighten up your space but will also help to lift your mood. Winter can be tough on our mental health, so it’s essential to do everything we can to make our atmosphere as enjoyable as possible.
32. Don’t give attention to anxiety
When the winter season comes, it’s easy to fall into a funk. When that happens, we tend to forget how to calm down. One way to fight the winter blues is to stop focusing on your anxious thoughts. To do this, you can use meditation or relaxation exercises.
If you find that you’re feeling more anxious than usual, you need to take some time to focus on your mental health. This can be anything from ensuring you’re getting enough sleep to taking time out for yourself each day.
33. Start eating a clementine
Clementines are not only a delicious winter fruit, but they can also help you to lighten your mood and reduce anxiety. That’s because clementines contain an essential oil called limonene, which has been shown to have mood-boosting and anti-anxiety effects.
So next time you feel down this winter, reach for a clementine. The sweet taste and uplifting scent will help chase away those negative thoughts and leave you feeling happy and refreshed. Also, you can have these every day to feel okay.
34. Organize your wardrobe
When the weather outside is frightful, your wardrobe should be delightful! By organizing your winter wardrobe with happy colors and festive designs, you can light up your mood no matter what the temperature is. Start by hanging all of your clothes on color-coded hangers.
Warm colors like yellow, orange, and red will help to brighten up even the dreariest days. Then, fill your closet with items that make you feel good when you wear them. Cozy sweaters, cozy scarves, and cute hats are all great choices.
35. Treat yourself to fast food
One of the finest things you can try is to treat yourself to fast food. While it may not be the healthiest option, indulging in your favorite comfort foods can help to lighten your mood. So, grab your favorite snack next time you’re feeling low.
Something about the combination of high-fat and high-sugar foods hits the spot when you’re feeling down. So, if you’re feeling a bit low this winter, don’t hesitate to give yourself the little fast food treat you deserve without any guilt trip.
36. Talk to an old friend
As per some studies published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, maintaining social relationships is one of the critical ingredients for a fulfilling and happy life. No matter what people say, talking to an old friend and sharing your thoughts with them is the best thing to do.
Think about someone you used to be close with but have lost touch with over the years. You can call them or text them to see how they’re doing. It’ll feel great to catch up with someone you care about and can help brighten your day.
37. Take selfies
Selfies are a great way to light up your mood and improve your self-esteem. It’s not about taking a picture of yourself; it’s about celebrating who you are. It’s a simple and zero-effort way to boost your mood. Best of all, it only takes a second.
Not only does this help to improve your self-image, but it can also help you to increase your confidence. Think of it as a tech version of positive affirmations. So, get up (or get cozy) and go click selfies. You don’t need to post them. Just have fun with it!
38. Do problem-solving assignments
Assignments that require problem-solving can help lighten up your mood! Negative feelings can compound and it’s easy to spiral down. But when you’re challenged to solve a complex problem or difficult puzzle, it forces you to think more critically and creatively.
Not only will it help you escape the gloom for a little while, but it can also help you develop skills that will serve you well in the future. So next time you feel blue, try working on a problem-solving assignment.
39. Make some positive notes for yourself
One of the best things you can do to make yourself happy and keep yourself motivated is to write down some positive notes. Starting your day with a positive note and committing yourself to do better than the day before is the perfect winter pick-me-up.
Whether it’s a motivational message to help us get through a tough day or simply a reminder of all the things we’re grateful for, these little notes can make a big difference in our mood and outlook on life. Oh; don’t forget to make it colorful!
40. Buy colorful winter clothes
Now, this idea of wearing bright and colorful clothes will surely help you out. A bright and cheerful outfit is sure to put a smile on your face, even on the coldest of days. As a bonus, you’ll be adding some color to an otherwise gray day.
You can go for a bright coat or scarf that can instantly lift your spirits and add a touch of color to your outfits to put a smile on your face. So next time you feel down, take a trip to your favorite store and pick out some fun new winter gear.
41. Get yourself an activity calendar
When we’re feeling down, it can be tough to get motivated and enjoy the things we usually love. It’s important to use every opportunity to keep your spirits up. One best ways to do this is to get yourself an activity calendar.
This can be a physical calendar you hang on your wall or an online calendar you keep on your computer or phone. You can find inspiration online, or talk with friends and plan activities together. There’s no wrong choice here.
42. Stop being a resentful person
If you’re feeling resentful, it’s time to stop and take a step back. Holding onto resentment will only bring you down. Instead of wallowing in those negative emotions, try to let them go and focus on what makes you feel happy.
Sometimes, all it takes is a change in perspective to lighten your mood. Spending time with positive people can change your mood pretty quickly. Moreover, when you start taking time for yourself, you will have no time to be resentful.
43. Give gifts to your loved ones
Giving gifts to your loved ones can light up your mood. You don’t need to wait for a holiday or birthday to show them how much you love them. And seeing their smile can put one on your face, too.
Seeing the smile on their face when they open up your gift is sure to put a big old smile on yours. So next time you’re feeling down, remember that giving a gift might be the thing that cheers you right up again.
44. Have a cup of coffee
It’s no secret that coffee can perk you up and help you feel more alert. But is it also a way to lighten your mood? Yup! That’s right—a cup of coffee can cheer you up and make you feel better.
Of course, this only works if you like coffee, but you can use any hot caffeinated drink. If you’re feeling down, a perfect cup of your favorite coffee/tea/hot chocolate may be what you need to pick yourself up. Better yet, try out a new exotic flavor for some extra pep.
45. Keep smiling
Your mood is like a weather forecast. It can be bright and sunny for one minute and then suddenly change to dark and dreary. Just like the weather, your mood is constantly changing. However, you have the power to control your mood by choosing to keep smiling.
Every time you smile, you send a message to your brain that says, “Everything is okay.” This helps to lighten up your mood and make you feel better. So next time you feel down, remember to smile and cheer yourself up!