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Beat the winter blahs

By on February 22, 2008

photo by audreyjm529hyacinth

Are you going stir-crazy waiting for spring? Bring on the sunshine, cue the butterflies and give me the sweet scent of hyacinth. I’m done with short days, heating bills, gray skies and cold and flu. I enjoy the four seasons, but sometimes winter is too long. It’s not surprising that some people experience the winter blues. Don’t bottle your feelings up. Make some positive changes. Here are a few blah-busting tips to help you feel alive. Before you know it, it’ll be spring.

GET OUTSIDE: It’s way too easy to make excuses for not getting outdoors during winter. A simple walk outside can make a huge difference in how you feel. At the very least, open the blinds and let the light shine through. If you can, plan a vacation during winter to break up the season. Even if it’s a drive, get outside and breathe in the air and absorb the light. It’s a great time to feed winter birds. If you have snow, look for a place to go snowshoeing, ice-skating or sledding. It’s a great season to grab your camera and take some scenic pictures.

EXERCISE: If you’re not into winter sports, there are plenty of exercises you can do inside. Try an exercise video for even 20 minutes a day, and I guarantee you’ll feel rejuvenated. You have an opportunity to take that spin or yoga class or go swimming. Plenty of time to get in shape before summer.

EAT WELL: Break out the recipes you’ve been meaning to try. It’s the perfect time to enjoy comfort foods, too. Nutritious foods and balanced meals combined with rest and exercise are going to help you feel good. If you don’t usually take vitamins, try it. Vitamin D can help.

ADD COLOR: Add colorful decorative accents such as pillows, towels and place mats to freshen and liven up your indoor space. It’s amazing what fresh flowers, fruit and tropical plants can do to improve your mood. Colorful candles and reed diffusers with fresh scents can lift your spirits, too.

MUSIC: Curl up with a book and some feel-good music. Is there music you haven’t listened to in years? Now is a great time to play it. Sit next to a window. Pamper yourself. Break out the moisturizer to soothe dry skin and simply relax.

WATCH MOVIES OR TELEVISION: Grab a comedy and laugh, or watch programs that focus on the outdoors. Gardening shows can inspire you, and it’s not too early to order seeds and get a jump start on your garden with winter sowing. For more information, check out

TAKE A CLASS: If you’ve been thinking about taking a class like cake decorating, knitting or learning a foreign language, do it. Get out and and interact with other people.


  1. Amy

    2/22/2008 at 11:00 am

    I’ve definitely had the winter blahs, but your article reminds me that I’m feeling this way of my own choosing! There are definitely ways that I could cheer myself up and there is no reason why I’m not doing any of them! Thanks for reminding me, Sara, that life is about the choices you make!


    2/22/2008 at 2:52 pm

    The winter blues are a killer. Even for us here in Arizona! Although we probably sound like babies because it doesn’t snow much out here, we can’t wait for it to warm-up. But before we know it, it will be 115 degrees! Is there something called the summer blues? Anyway, you have some excellent tips. I highly recommend taking classes as well. Any classes from aerobics to kickboxing to yoga to art history. It is a great way to socialize, learn and grow.

    Accompaniment Backing Tracks at

  3. Frugal Dad

    2/22/2008 at 5:14 pm

    I recently started doing some “spring cleaning” thanks to some unseasonably warm weather that hit. Before I could really get into it, another cold snap! Now I’m bummed again.

    Stumbled here by way of Frugal Hacks and I’ve enjoyed reviewing your work. I look forward to future posts!

  4. DixieJean

    2/22/2008 at 7:31 pm

    I’m go ready for spring. Our winters are usually not to harsh, but this year we’ve have 3 icestorms. Pretty to sit inside and look and tough getting out it. Nothing cures my winter blahs like going to Aldi and getting a three dollar bouquet of fresh flowers.

  5. Marie78

    2/22/2008 at 8:47 pm

    I’m definitely experiencing the winter blahs! Keeping busy helps, I love browsing the library and I am trying to get the apartment organized and cleaned now, because I won’t want to be inside when the weather warms up :).

  6. Daisygirl

    2/23/2008 at 8:38 am

    What a refreshing article. I like the idea about taking a class. Every winter I try to learn one new skill. One year it was crocheting lace, one year it was cross-stitch. This year I have been learning to bake. It really passes the time more quickly and gives you something to look forward to that is also productive.

  7. LeeAnne

    2/24/2008 at 9:21 pm

    This article toned down my spring fever a lot!! I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and just recently moved to Michigan…not much of a difference with the weather!! I feel like this is the longest winter ever and I’m tired of being cooped up in the house all the time. Your tips have given me a lot of ideas on how to tough out these last few weeks of winter….thank you!! =)

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