Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

December 12, 2023

Winter Wellness: How to Beat the Winter Blues

How to Beat the Winter Blues

If the combination of shorter days and colder temperatures causes you to grapple with the winter blues, you’re not alone. During the dreary months of winter, it’s not uncommon to experience sadness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and a disruption in your sleep schedule. The good news is – there is a handful of ways to battle the winter blues and infuse your life with warmth and positivity.

Understanding the Winter Blues

Also known as a seasonal slump, the winter blues often describe a general sense of low energy, decreased motivation, and a shift in mood that can accompany seasonal changes. Here are some key symptoms to be mindful of:

  • Mood Shift: If you find yourself frequently downhearted without an apparent cause, it may be a sign of the winter blues.
  • Low Energy: Winter blues also bring about declined energy levels, making you feel lethargic and unmotivated.
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Another indicator, influenced by reduced exposure to natural light, disruptions in your biological clock may lead to alterations in sleep patterns. 

Winter Blues vs. Seasonal Affective Disorder

We all feel sad sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Emotions are part of what makes us all human, not something we want to extinguish. However, when sadness interferes with your daily life, it could become a more serious issue. 

Compared to the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not just sadness but a more complex disorder. People with SAD exhibit signs of a major depressive disorder, experiencing severe sadness during the fall and winter months. If the symptoms get severe, wherein depression limits normal functioning and causes anhedonia – the inability to enjoy things that typically bring happiness, it’s crucial to seek professional mental health services. 

9 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Unlike SAD, which requires further interventions, self-care practices, lifestyle adjustments, and simple mood-boosting activities are often effective in alleviating the symptoms of the winter blues.

Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Photo by Léa Jones | Bella Grace Issue 34

Cultivate Hygge

Originating from Denmark, the concept of “hygge” embodies the essence of finding comfort, contentment, and connection in simple pleasures. Start by creating a cozy corner for snuggling up with a good book, a warm teacup, and a soft blanket. Add warm lighting and your favorite scented candles for an even more calming atmosphere. Embracing hygge is about curating a space that radiates warmth and comfort.

Here are some of Stephanie Harzewski’s hygge luxuries from The Cozy Issue Volume 6:

  • Easy Winter Botany: Plant amaryllis or paperwhites. Tie a holiday ribbon around the flowerpot for a charming hostess or neighbor gift.
  • Merry Entertainment: Listen to a bell or chime choir. A children’s choir is sure to renew your sense of wonder.
  • Seasonal Self-Care: Practice dry-brushing and finish with peppermint foot lotion. Or, apply honey to your heels at night with a cotton sock to keep warm and protect your linens.

Discover more ways to have a bank account of comfort in The Cozy Issue.

Bring the Outdoors In

Beat the winter blues by bringing a touch of the outdoors inside. Decorate your living space with winter foliage like pinecones, evergreen branches, and seasonal flowers. Consider placing indoor plants around your home to add greenery. The presence of nature, even in its simplest forms, can boost your mood and overall well-being.

Prioritize Self-Care

Take the time to focus on activities that nourish your mind and body. Indulge in a warm bath with soothing bath melts – which you can make yourself, practice meditation, or escape into the world of literature by the fireside. The key is to set aside regular moments for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Beating the Winter Blues

Photo by Michela Ravasio | Bella Grace Issue 34

Explore a Winter Hobby

Winter is ideal for exploring new hobbies. Whether painting, quilting, journaling, or cooking, find a winter-friendly hobby that sparks your creativity and passion. Doing things you enjoy regularly not only provides a sense of progress but also serves as a  distraction from the winter blues.

A great hobby you can try is art journaling, which blends artistry, writing, and personal reflection. If you want to learn more about this artistic form of self-expression, check out Art Journaling magazine.

Connect with Loved Ones

Winter provides the perfect backdrop for meaningful connections with friends and family. Host a gathering, complete with comforting foods and drinks. Share stories, laughter, and lasting memories with those you care about. 

Chase the Light

The reduced daylight during winter can contribute to feelings of lethargy and sadness. Combat this by chasing the light whenever possible. Make the most of sunny days by spending time outdoors, opening your curtains wide, and allowing natural light to flood your living spaces. Consider investing in light therapy lamps, which mimic natural sunlight and can significantly improve your mood and energy levels.

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Photo by Duet Postscriptum | Bella Grace Issue 38

Stay Active with Winter Sports

While the temptation to hibernate indoors is strong during winter, maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for physical and mental well-being. Bundle up and explore winter sports like ice skating. If extreme sports aren’t your thing, a brisk winter walk or hike can do wonders to lift your spirits and keep those winter blues at bay.

As a bonus, here are some simple ways to romanticize winter by Cherries Chamberlain from Bella Grace Issue 38:

  • Snow pants and jackets and yoga in the snow
  • Watching snow bunnies nestled on hills of white
  • Writing letters to loved ones while watching the snow through snow-kissed windows
  • Holding umbrellas under trees of fallen snowflakes
  • Dancing in snow showers under clear umbrellas, listening to your favorite music with tall, cozy socks and those old rubber rain boots 

Explore the rest of the list in Bella Grace Issue 38.

Plan a Winter Escape

If the winter blues become overwhelming, consider planning a brief escape to a warmer destination. A change of scenery, even not for long, can provide a mental reset. Whether it’s a weekend retreat to a cozy cabin or a tropical getaway, breaking the routine and experiencing a different climate can work wonders for your overall well-being.

Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude

Adopt mindfulness practices to stay present and appreciate the beauty of winter. Take a moment each day to reflect on things you are grateful for, from the crisp air to a cup of hot cocoa to the company of loved ones. Mindfulness and gratitude help shift your focus from what may be lacking to the abundance around you.

 

Among these, what is your favorite activity? If you’re looking for even more ways to replace the winter blues with winter hygge, we invite you to dive into the pages of Bella Grace Issue 38.

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Comments ( 1 )

  1. Nina Naomi, Diary of a Mindful Nature Lover

    January 19, 2024 at 4:26 pm

    How about finding a spot of sun for a nap, just like our pets do.

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