Even if winter hasn’t come for you quite yet (I’m looking at you, Australia!) planning how to boost your mood out of the winter blues without spending money can start now. Because with the temperatures dropping and daylight fading, you may notice your mood taking a dip to match.
The winter blues, is recognized as a common condition by mental health professionals. Approximately 14-20% of adults experience the winter blues when the snow starts to fall. Symptoms do usually disappear when the weather turns sunny and warm once again. So until spring arrives wherever you live, try out my five suggestions to beat the winter blues without breaking the bank.
Plan Time With Friends
While we all long for summer days in the warm sunshine, winter shouldn’t mean missing out on your social life. Plan get-togethers like a Mid-Winter Luau, weekly movie nights or even a regular book club. Interacting with other people can really help boost your mood.
Crawling into a blanket fort when temperatures drop into the single digits sounds like a great plan. But exercise can help to lift your mood and shake off those lingering blues. Consider a workout video at home, an inexpensive fitness class or bundle up for a quick stroll outside. You could even try a new winter sport like snowshoeing. Snowshoes cost around $20-30, or you can rent for even less.
Stick To Your Routine
I know how hard getting out of bed while it’s still dark outside is! But sticking to a set sleep schedule will do more than ensure you get the recommended eight hours each night. Sleep deprivation, or even sleeping too much, can both cause negative effects on your mood and overall wellbeing. Set up a bedtime routine that keeps you on track to go to bed at the same time every night. In the morning, create a wake-up routine that makes the transition out of bed a little easier.
Tickle Your Funny Bone
Research has shown that watching funny movies or tv shows lifts your mood and decreases some symptoms of depression. So queue up some of your favorite comedies on Netflix to binge watch on your next snow day off work. Better yet, host a comedy viewing party, and invite some friends over for socialization and fun.
Check out fun things to do around your town as part of a staycation. There might even be wintertime events taking place you missed in the past. In my home state of Colorado, we have a host of winter festivals to help beat back the winter blues just might make you thankful for snow. In Dillon, there is a hand-carved ice castle built every year that you can marvel at while walking through. But my personal favorite is Frozen Dead Guy Days, a beer and music festival celebrating the town of Nederland’s most famous resident, Bredo Morstol. Morstol died in 1989 and is frozen in a state of suspended animation in a Tuff Shed just outside of town. (His family members find this hilarious and a great way to celebrate his life.)
Winter Won’t Last Forever
Thankfully, winter doesn’t last forever, and neither will the winter blues. It’s worth noting however, that for some, the winter blues can deepen into something else. It’s a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. This a depressive state brought on by shorter days and colder temperatures that requires treatment by a mental health professional. If you suspect that what you’re experiencing is more than just a case of the winter blues, please seek professional help.
But in the meantime, let’s all raise a cup of hot chocolate with friends and look forward to sunny days to come.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
Wendy Priester is a former Tax Auditor turned freelance writer and certified Financially Fit Bootcamp Coach. When not working with clients to help them live their best financial life, Wendy can be found exploring the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with her two hyperactive dachshunds.