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8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

By March 06, 2014 , , , , , , , , ,

It’s no secret that this has been a long and intensely cold winter. I’ve never been a fan of the cold, but this winter has been especially tortuous. And while I usually appreciate a snow day off, I felt that this past Monday was the umpteenth time I was stuck in my little studio apartment in DC, suffering from cabin fever and frantically trying to get work emails out on a slow server.

With hot summer days a forgotten memory and the hope of spring showing no signs of being realized soon, what can you do to beat the winter blues? Here are a few tips that might work:

1. Plan a vacation or staycation (ideally somewhere warm): It goes without saying but getting away, preferably to a warm, beachy clime, can do wonders. But if you’re like me and need to save your vacation days for later or can’t afford to take time off now, planning a trip can also provide great respite. Studies show that the mere process of planning a trip increases happiness. And that makes sense – how times have you felt your mood brighten when you daydream about lying on the beach or read up on places you should visit during your next Europe trip? Right now, I’m excited about a trip I have planned for Tampa in April and Miami in July. Woohoo! Another idea is to do a staycation - book a room at a fancy hotel for a night or two in your own city and enjoy the room service and other amenities to make you feel like a king!

Krabi beach, Thailand (which Richa visited earlier this year)

2. Exercise: Whether it is running, dancing, biking, kickboxing, or any other means of working out, staying fit boosts your dopamine levels and definitely helps beat the blues. I also think it’s a great way to pass the time when there’s nothing else interesting going on outdoors anyways. I’m a big believer that summer bodies get made in the winter…put in the time now (rather than in May) to make sure you have that bangin’ beach body for that trip you’ve been planning!

3. Get started on your resolutions/learn something new: With less of the social distractions that come with spring and summer, winter is a great time to start something new or to get moving on those New Year resolutions - read that book you’ve been wanting to, take a course of meditation, get back into painting, start exercising, or catch up on all the Oscar-nominated movies. I’ve been trying to redecorate my apartment in small ways and have used this time to scope out new rugs and paintings for my place.

4. Treat yourself: Use this time to pamper yourself with spa treatments, chocolate, shopping or whatever it takes to make you feel rejuvenated. Winter sucks, and self-indulgence is the way to get yourself through it! Personally, I’ve been indulging in one too many glasses of wine with my friends (and balancing that with working out - ha!). So go ahead, treat yo’self!

5. Plan a game night: Misery loves company so why not get all your friends together under one roof and turn it into a party? I love a good game night where friends get all competitive and riled up in a good way! Taboo, Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples, Scattegories - I love them all!

6. Movie marathon: What? You haven't seen the Ironman movies? Well, with the days shorter and the nights longer, a movie marathon with friends might just do the trick in helping you forget about the frigid temperatures outside. Order in some pizza, cozy up in your snuggie, and get your Netflix movie selections ready. And if you're watching Bollywood movies, prepare for an even longer night!

7. Be a snow bunny: Keeping warm in the winter is a given but it doesn't mean you have to look frumpy. Looking good is a superficial, albeit effective, way to feel good about the season. Be it a bright pink coat, sexy boots, or smart leather gloves, invest in some stylish winter gear so that you at least feel motivated to dress up and step out. It sounds crazy but it works! Just look at Carrie Bradshaw!

8. Embrace the cold: Lastly, if you can't beat it, join it. No use fighting the cold when you know it's going to be around for a few months. So why not embrace it? Winter sports and activities, like skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding can be a lot of fun.

These are just a few things that make winter more tolerable for me. What have you found helpful in beating the winter blues?


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  1. Grt post..I so love the quote about summer bodies.


    1. Hi Aditi! I know it's soo true right? This is why I've been putting in some extra work out time this winter...there isn't anything much better to do outside anyways!

  2. love the compilation!

    esp the first idea..im all about taking vacations..



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