8 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Winters on the east coast have been record-breakingly cold and long these past few years, and February is particularly rough to conquer. Here are 8 easy ways to beat the winter blues this season.

New York may be cold, but it's still beautiful in winter! Photo from telegraph.co.uk

New York may be cold, but it’s still beautiful in winter! Photo from telegraph.co.uk

1.Stay close to the windows.

Keep your blinds open and try sitting close to the brightest windows in your house or apartment. Dim lighting is great for cozy romantic dinners, but not for raising your happiness levels! Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with as much light as possible.

2. Try some light therapy.

For an extra happiness boost, try light box therapy. According to post by Well + Good, light box therapy is believed to have significant effects on the brain. According to the post, “It’s meant to mimic daylight, and it’s been shown to be an effective treatment,” Dr. Taravella says. He suggests to start by sitting near the box for 30 minutes a day while at work or at home. A quick amazon.com search shows lots of different sized boxes and prices to choose from.

3. Stay outside longer.

I know this one seems simple, but make sure to spend some time outdoors during the daytime. Try to add extra time to your work commute so you can stay outside a little longer before and after work, even if it’s just adding a few extra blocks. It’s important to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D. Take a Vitamin D supplement every morning if you don’t think you’re getting enough of it naturally from the sun’s rays (which during the winter is likely you aren’t).

4. Stick to your workout schedule.

It’s tempting to skip the workout and go binge on a TV series on Netflix, but don’t skip your morning run or yoga class. Make sure you get to the gym the way you normally would the rest of the year. This will definitely help you maintain energy for the rest of the day.

Photo from huffingtonpost.com

Photo from huffingtonpost.com

5. Discover a local coffee shop or bookstore.

Make these places your go-to after work and on weekends instead of heading straight home. You’ll soon get to know the other regulars and it’ll become your “home away from home” hideaway.

6. Cook some new recipes.

Cooking is a great way to keep you busy indoors, and winter is the perfect time to test new dishes and experiment in the kitchen. And for those of you who are just beginners at cooking (including yours truly), now is the time to start practicing!

7. Host dinner parties.

If you’re going to cook, why not make a little extra and make it a social event too? This also gives your friends a good reason to leave their own homes. Even if the food doesn’t come out perfect, you’ll still be passing those cold nights with the people you love.

Photo from blog.cabinets.com

Photo from blog.cabinets.com

8. Don’t forget your friends.

Make sure to keep a busy social calendar so that you’re forced to leave the house and stay engaged with your friends. Go to the movies, sip on a warm cocktail at a bar, attend a spin class together, see a local concert, or visit an art exhibit. All of these you can do on your own also, but having it planned with a friend helps you stay accountable to leave the house and to stay active.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: AMANDA EFTHIMIOU

IMG_9202I’m the Senior Editor of Women’s iLab and the Community Marketing Manager for Kite, a social reading startup. One of my labors of love is co-organizing #ArtsTech meetup, which focuses on the intersection of art and technology. One of my greatest passions is world travel: when I’m not home in New York City, you’ll find me somewhere in Europe, Asia, or Latin America. I graduated from the George Washington University with a BA in Art History. Get in touch with me on twitter @amaiou.
 
Read more about and from the author: Amanda’s WiLab Profile