Advice: Surviving The Winter Blues

The season of jingle bells. The season of running late and then walking outside to find your windshield completely covered in a sheet of ice. The season of cozy socks galore. The season of losing motivation to do anything but nap. Winter is the season of conflicting spirits, and even on the days when the freezing wind is screaming at you to stay in bed, try to fight through and get out in the world - just don’t forget your extra scarf. 


    As someone battling with generalized anxiety, the cold winter months are daunting. Having to wake up before the sun has risen every morning to see that the high temperature of the day is a whopping 35 degrees is not something that makes me cheer joyfully. On the outside, winter is the best time of the year. Downtown streets are dressed in twinkly lights. The smell of cookies and brownies and sweets galore travels through your house on a weekly basis. So many new candle scents are released. Coffee shops bring out their festive mocha peppermint salted caramel white chocolate frothed cappuccino upside down sideways drinks. Everyone in general has a bit more pep in their step. Hiding behind many of these bright and cozy happenings are the darker sides of winter that cause the temptation to tuck yourself away until the groundhog sees his shadow. This isn’t the Grinch’s perspective. It’s simply the fact that while some feel great running and singing holiday carols, others retrieve the most comfort by working on themselves. If you’re one of the latter, don’t fear. Winter is here, but so is your strength. Take the cold by its hand and show it all of the ways that you can defeat it with some self care methods. 


Write in a journal.

    If you can’t get yourself out of bed today, don’t be ashamed. It’s difficult to put yourself out in the world of scurrying gift buyers and blaring jolly music when your mind is scattered elsewhere. Let yourself snuggle up in blankets and fuzzy socks, and open your mind. Whether it’s a doodle or a poem, a rant or a song, the stuffiness of your head will release itself. 


Take a warm shower or bath.

    It’s a classic self care method, but the coziness of steamy water does wonders. When stricken with the feeling of not being able to face the chaos of the holidays, grab some bubble bath, make a playlist of your favorite songs to belt to, and relax. 


Clean your room. Your house. Your life.

    It truly is much more exciting than it sounds. The satisfaction of having a spotless room, complete with organized drawers and an empty dresser top, is incomparable, and when you’re stuck only seeing the inside of your house during the cold months, the best thing is to create a clean slate for yourself. 


Cook your favorite meal, bake your favorite dessert and treat yourself.

    Of course, this isn’t something you can do every time you’re hit hard with the winter blues, but it definitely does have a way of making you feel more at ease. There’s just something about home cooked meals that make everything seem just a bit less scary. 


Put some time into your hobbies

    Besides the weight of the gloomy grey skies and sleet that pile up outside, the season of giving can cause you to forget to give yourself time. Learn a new stitch in your knitting or buy a book that will tell you why all of your watercolor paintings keep drying unevenly. Gift something to yourself for once. 


    The weather can take over your spirits sometimes, and leave us feeling trapped. If you get stuck in the rut, whatever you decide to do with your time alone, try to make it a catalyst in your growth. 


Chelsea Triano