Paint the Winter Blues Yellow With 6 Coping Strategies

Sahar Aker

Winter is a coming. And it's time to get ready. Now. Before the days get even shorter and darker and you get the blues so bad you don't want to leave your house until it's spring.

That's what happens to me. So this year, I decided to get a head start and show those dark days I can beat 'em!

Here's what I did -- you'll be amazed how a few simple tweaks and rules can cheer you up on a cold and cloudy day.

  • I replaced regular light bulbs in my house with full spectrum ones. I use full spectrum light bulbs because they simulate sunlight. But any electric light bulb with a "color temperature" of 5000K or higher also has the same effect.
  • I stick to my exercise schedule. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which is a good mood booster.
  • I spend time outside. I go on walks, eat, or work outside whenever I can to soak up the sun. That outdoor light can do wonders.

That's my three-prong winter blues proactive prevention plan. Once the time change sets in, I will kick it up a notch and add a few more mood-lifting weapons to my arsenal.

  • Get social. Hanging out with friends and family can help you feel better and keep you going when you're feeling down.
  • Light therapy. Besides the light bulbs around the house, I also have a light therapy box that I use for 30 minutes a day starting when the time changes until spring. It makes a huge difference for me. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light and can really help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Take a trip. This year, I am going to try to go somewhere warm and sunny for a few days to take the edge off.

So take that all you overcast, cold, dark days. This year, I'm armed and ready. Bring it on!


Image via siskadm/Flickr

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