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Feeling blah at this time of year? Here are 10 tips to turn your frown upside down.

Watching the days slowly scroll by on the calendar? Wishing for longer days filled with more sunshine and outdoor activity? If so, you may be in a winter funk. Seasonal depression, when you feel down during a certain time of the year – most notably, the winter – is a common phenomenon. Some people find their spirits dip due to less daylight or cooler temperatures. Others are affected by the holidays or just a feeling that they’re ready to be done with the season.

Whatever your reasons for being in a funk at this time of the year, you don’t have to accept your blah feelings as something you have to live with until spring rolls around. Instead, you have the power to turn your frown upside down and to get out of your funk.

Here are 10 things that may give your mood the boost it needs:

  1. Get outside – Sunlight is one of the best cures for the winter blues. Even if the weather is cold where you live, bundle yourself up and spend some time enjoying the bright sunshine.
  2. Keep moving – If you don’t like going to the gym and the weather is not conducive to exercising outdoors, dance in your kitchen, lift weights while streaming your favorite show or do some housewalking.
  3. Stay connected – Now that the holidays have come and gone, you may not be as inclined to connect with family and friends. But now is the perfect time to keep those conversations going. Pick up your phone, text a friend or schedule a date to meet someone for dinner.
  4. Eat healthy – You may be inclined to turn to comfort food when you’re in a winter funk, but choosing healthier foods and drinks may help you feel better than those filled with too much fat, salt, sugar or alcohol.
  5. Get enough sleep – Good quality sleep, and enough of it, can have a big impact on your mental health. Aim for 7 – 8 hours a night. Don’t overdo it, though. Too much sleep can also negatively affect how you feel.
  6. Limit media consumption – Does the news of the day give you anxiety? Make a pact with yourself to limit the amount of social media and news you allow yourself to be exposed to each day.
  7. Get creative – Start a project that taps into your more creative side. Whether you have been wanting to try your hand at painting or prefer to play around with a new recipe in the kitchen, doing something new and interesting may be just what you need to turn your mood around.
  8. Create an upbeat playlist – Select a bunch of songs that make you smile. Then listen to the playlist whenever you need a bit of a pick-me-up.
  9. Pamper yourself – Now is the perfect time to treat yourself right. Take a long bubble bath, get a pedicure, buy yourself a new workout outfit or take yourself out for a specialty coffee. You deserve it!
  10. Speak up – If you find that your winter funk is more than you can handle, talk to someone about your feelings. It can be a trusted friend, a family member or a healthcare professional.

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Date Last Reviewed: December 19, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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