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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kenealy

Smart Strategies to Deal With the Winter Blues

There are plenty of people out there who love winter, and they’re probably really psyched about Christmas, skiing, and all the other fun activities that come with the colder months. But if you’re not one of those people, that’s okay! You can still enjoy the season; you just must be a little more creative. Here are some ways to make the best of winter, even if you don’t love it:

Don't hate on winter

Hate on winter in your mind all you want, but never let it leak into your words or actions. If you’re going to tell a friend about how much you hate winter, following with “let’s go somewhere warm and sunny!” it just doesn't work. The best way to deal with hating the weather is to accept it and then find ways to work with it.

Pretend You're In North Dakota

When it gets cold, and it rains and snows, adjust! Make a trip to L.L. Bean in the fall, get all the necessary gear, and go ice-fishing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and do everything in your power to appreciate the very elements that you are in. Once you try to act like you are from North Dakota, and stop resisting the cold temperature, the better you can tolerate it or even enjoy it.

Switch To Wearing Bright Colors

There is no research today that has been done supporting this theory, but there may be a link between feeling optimistic and sporting bright colors. It’s in line with the “faking it ’til you make it” desperate attempts to trick your brain into thinking that it’s sunny and beautiful outside — time to celebrate spring! — even though there's a blizzard with sleet causing some major traffic jams. Skip wearing black to look skinny. Make a conscious effort to wear bright green, purple, blue, and peach.

Pretend to be a sunflower

Pretending to be solid and strong enough to face the elements, especially if you've seen a lot of movies with scenes showing a gorgeous field of blooming sunflowers surrounding a farmhouse in summertime, is a great way to trick yourself into feeling braver or even happier about the weather, which can make it easier to deal with.

Treat the snow like kitty litter

This is an idea that may seem counterintuitive but, when you get down to it, for some reason this works. Instead of fighting the inevitable snowfall and getting upset over all the inconveniences that come along with it (traffic jams, waiting for the bus/subway/train longer than usual, having to shovel it out of your driveway), try embracing it. The best way to do that is to think of snow as just big balls of fluffiness, like kitty litter or cotton candy, and treat snowflakes like cat toys.

Bundle up!

One of the worst things about winter is how cold it can get, but if you dress appropriately, it won't be quite as painful. Wear layers (layers are always in style) and make sure your socks are nice and toasty. If you don’t want to wear bulky gloves, wear mittens instead; they do wonders for keeping your hands warm. It may sound silly, but you can also put a heating pad in your bed to keep your toes warm at night.

Indulge in comfort foods

Warm soup, chocolate, and all your other favorite comfort foods are the perfect way to get through winter. When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a big bowl of soup, a blanket, and your favorite slippers. Eat whatever you want in moderation, just don't forget to eat when it's cold because it can affect your mental health!

Go ice-skating

Ice-skating is one of the most fun winter activities, particularly if you have kids or friends. There are plenty of places around the city that you can go ice-skating at to get your daily dose of Vitamin D! If you’re not down to skate, there are lots of places where you can just hang out and drink hot cocoa while watching other people make fools of themselves on the ice.

Go exploring

It’s the perfect time of year to go hiking or camping, or whatever other outdoor activities you can think of that are appropriate for the cold. Bundle up, make sure you have everything you need, and get out there. When it’s freezing outside, exercise releases endorphins in the brain which make people feel good, so this is a great way to get out of your winter funk.

Watch holiday movies

Holidays are for relaxing, eating, drinking cocoa, and watching holiday movies on TV with the family. It’s the perfect excuse to sit back, relax with some junk food in front of the TV, and get all cozy. You can pick any holiday movie you want, but we recommend Elf or Home Alone — perfect for when there’s nothing better to do than get tipsy and eat a lot of junk food.

Make holiday crafts

Christmas is the best time of year for getting creative, so if you have some free time over the holidays, why not try making some holiday crafts? There are so many tutorials online for things like gingerbread houses, wreaths, and ornaments. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, and you’ll have something to show for it when you’re done.

Get a winter sports fix

If you love winter sports, now’s the time to start doing everything you can. If it snows where you live, go snowboarding or skiing as much as possible — just make sure that if there’s ice on the ground, use proper equipment and don’t go out without a helmet. And of course, if it’s not snowing where you live, just wait a little while.......

Get in the holiday spirit

Holidays are for celebrating and enjoying life with friends and family! Put up some decorations around your house to get into the spirit of things, hang out with friends, and go see a Christmas play if there’s one going on in your area. There are plenty of things you can do to feel festive, and even though it may be cold out, you still must take time for yourself every now and then.

Seek winter activities that interest you

If you don’t like winter sports, there are lots of other things to keep yourself busy with. Start learning a new skill, like knitting or sewing; you can make cute winter accessories to wear if you’re feeling crafty. Make sure you get out occasionally, and do something for yourself that interests you, even if it’s not the most fun activity that you could be doing.

Get a good night’s sleep!

We saved the most obvious one for last! If you’re having trouble sleeping, make sure to get plenty of rest because everyone knows that when you get enough sleep, you don’t feel as tired or cranky throughout the day. Even if you’re not tired, take a nap anyway! A good night’s sleep will make you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the holiday season head on!

I'm sure that now we've whetted your appetite, you'll be able to think of a million and one things you could do to prevail over the Albuquerque winter blues. Just remember, it's not all bad! There are plenty of good things to enjoy as well, so make sure to get out there and take advantage of everything the season has to offer. Have a happy holiday season!

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