There is such a thing as the Winter Blues. For some it can be quite debilitating. The lack of sun and colder days contribute to mood-altering that seems to snuff out the joy of Christmas. What can we do to combat the Winter Blues? Here are a few suggestions to keep us going until we can be revived by the brightness of the sun, the green growth of spring and the new life of Easter.
Combating the Winter Blues
1. Get as much sun as you can. Get out there when the sun is shining. And when you don’t get enough sun, take a vitamin D supplement.
2. Embrace something new. During a month when you feel like shutting down and when you are paying off what you spent in December, take on something fun, different, stimulating. Take a creative or mind/spirit-enhancing class. If you are more of a loner, do a puzzle (especially one that has lots of colour) or read a good book. Or try out an ethnic food or a winter sport that you have never tried before.
3. Learn something new. Learn to knit or play an instrument or just memorize a poem or verse of Scripture. Not the shortest verse, “Jesus wept”, which is sad-making, but something more like:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is full of uplifting material. Memorize a few verses.
4. Do the things that bring comfort. Listen to music, have tea with a friend, look at pictures that make you smile, a movie that you love, or utilize social media to connect with an old high-school buddy.
5. Throw a party. The planning itself can give you a sense of purpose. Seeing friends and family can boost one’s spirit – as can enjoying delicious food and drink over good conversation. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. What a great time to have a party.
6. Spend time with a child or an elderly person. The young’un will give you a sense that everything is new and wonderful and awesome and the old’un will bless you with wisdom and remind you of the nearness and sweetness of eternity and give you the gift of patience as you listen to rich story after rich story.
7. Be silent. I recommend this for any time of year, but perhaps stillness of soul is needed even more profoundly when the blues try to cloud our very being and our connection to the Ground of Being, God.
8. Encourage a person that you know that suffers from the Winter Blues. Helping another can make you feel good.
Don’t give into the Winter Blues but, like downhill skiers, try to enjoy the journey over the ups and downs of life that is ours during the winter months.