Beating The ‘Winter Blues’ While Depressed

Let’s face it – for some of us, winter sucks.

It’s hard enough to have anxiety or depression. It’s even harder when you realize how essential a routine is to your wellness plan… and then one season in particular *cough* winter *cough* can ruin that plan in seconds because it has a mind of its own.

You know what I’m talking about. You might be super stoked to roll up to a friends’ house in January or February, and then BOOM, weather hits and you’re unable to get there safely. Or, BOOM, you slip on some ice and you feel like crap (physically… which does affect you mentally too) for the next week which leaves you unmotivated to do much of anything. You feel defeated.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind winter. I like snow, and prefer colder weather. However, I’m not into how unsafe the season can force traveling and routines to be – but, it is what it is.

So how are we supposed to stay positive and navigate this three or four month long labyrinth of struggle while having depression or anxiety? I have a few ideas.

For starters, let’s think about how essential a routine is to our well-being. If you’re like me, you need time at the gym, time to relax, time to eat, and time to be social in conjunction with your “duties” (work, cleaning the home, etc.) to feel truly happy. You need balance, really.

When winter makes achieving this balanced schedule harder, I say fight back and fight for it! You can’t be upset with yourself for trying.

I also think that it’s important to stay vocal. When the weather makes traveling harder, make use of your phone and use them for what they’re intended for! Call, text, or message someone that you love. If it’s harder to see a loved one physically, do it more often than normal to get that social fix you might need. That’s an immediate mood booster! Communicate with your loved ones and let them know how you’re doing.

You could even take this opportunity to get to know your neighbors better. Winter shouldn’t place a physical barrier on a neighbor. Get to know them, and make a friend!

Make the plan anyway. Even if you don’t keep it, who cares? Make a plan and keep something on the calendar to look forward to.

If exercise is your thing, that’s awesome! Give some workouts that can be done at home a chance. This way, the weather won’t interfere with that you need to do. Dive into a hobby that isn’t beholden to weather conditions, and get into something you enjoy!

If you’re just having a day where nothing seems to be boosting your mood, I think it’s okay to admit that as a last resort. Give yourself the room to say, “I’m not feeling so great today and that’s okay.” Then, get up again and try again tomorrow. Make the change you’d want to see the next day.

What do you think? Would these tips work for you?