Cold temperatures got you feeling blue?

These tips will help you beat the winter blues and keep your spirits up

Winter is well upon us and isn’t going away any time soon.

That means it’s time to hunker down and stay as warm as you can, if you haven’t already been doing so. But with all this hiding from the cold weather, it’s not unsurprising if you’re feeling a little… blue.

“Winter depression” is a real thing, and a lot of people experience it. Or, as it is more commonly called, the “winter blues.” This is when you’re feeling more down than usual during the winter months, but there is a way to beat this. Actually, there is more than one way, and if you’re someone who suffers from the winter blues, this is the article for you.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay happy and content, even in the dead of winter:

1. Start a new series on Netflix (or whatever streaming service you use)
Getting invested in an entirely new story and world can distract you from the blistering winds around you.

2. Start a new book
That is, if you like reading. This is similar with starting a new TV series. You can immerse yourself in a totally different reality than your own and in doing so you can forget about the crappy weather for a minute. Bonus points if you read a book that takes place in a warm climate.

3. Start a new hobby
This one might be a little hard, but you could try anything from calligraphy to learning a new instrument. If you’ve got something lying around that you haven’t tried yet, now is the time to get on it.

4. Start a new tradition with friends
For example, every Wednesday night last winter, my friends and I would get some food and go to a friend’s house. There, we would spend the night watching movies, listening to music, doing homework, anything to keep us busy. And it was better because we were together. You could try going to a restaurant once a week to meet up with friends, or even try a group Skype/call if you are too far from each other to hangout.

5. If you’d rather embrace the cold weather than run away from it, try winter activities like ice skating, ice fishing, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, etc.

If you’re not totally into physically demanding activities, you could do things like watch Christmas lights or visit places that have ice sculptures.

Again, there are a multitude of things you could try in order to keep your spirits up during the winter. These are just a few ways I keep myself from becoming mopey and sad during Minnesota’s harshest months, and hopefully this list will help more people than just me. Keeping yourself busy and distracted from the cold, dreary environment really can do a lot for your mental health while you wait for the earth to warm up and the temperatures to rise. Here’s to summer!

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