10 ways to beat winter blues and boost your mood

Winter brings with it the magic of snowfall, cosy sweaters, and the warmth of family gatherings.


However, for some, it can also be a season marked by the 'winter blues' and the onset of depression. The shorter days, colder temperatures, and limited sunlight can leave many feeling down. But there are strategies you can utilise to overcome the winter blues and stay well and balanced throughout the season.

How to beat the winter blues

Here are 10 effective ways to beat those winter blues.

1. Embrace the outdoors

While it might be chilly, spending time outdoors can do wonders for your mood. Bundle up and go for a walk in the crisp winter air, try winter sports like skiing or ice skating, or simply enjoy a hot cup of tea on your porch.

2. Let the light in

Maximise your exposure to natural light during the day. Open your curtains, sit near windows, and consider investing in a light therapy box if you suffer from SAD. Light therapy can mimic the effects of natural sunlight and improve your mood.

3. Stay active

Exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters. Create a winter workout routine that you enjoy, whether it's at the gym, yoga, or home workouts. Regular physical activity can really help our mind and body.

4. Maintain a balanced diet

Eating well is crucial to your overall well-being. Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like salmon and walnuts, may also help improve mood. Taking vitamin D supplements can really help too.

5. Keep up with connections

Closeness to others is essential for mental health. Don't isolate yourself during the winter months. Plan time or activities with friends and family, or join clubs and events in your community to stay engaged and combat loneliness.

6. Set goals

Having something to look forward to can provide a sense of purpose and motivation during the winter. Set achievable goals, whether they're related to personal growth, hobbies, or work projects. Try and set them in line with what is meaningful to you and in line with your values.

7. Practice mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you stay grounded and manage stress. Regularly set aside time for meditation or deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and improve your mental state.

8. Create a relaxing environment

Make your living space a warm and inviting haven. Decorate with soft, comforting colours, use warm lighting, and indulge in cosy blankets and scented candles. Creating a cosy atmosphere can lift your spirits.

9. Show gratitude for the small things

Enjoying simple pleasures, like reading a good book, sipping hot chocolate, or taking a luxurious bath. Small indulgences can brighten your winter days.

10. Seek professional help

If you find that the winter blues are affecting your daily life, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can provide guidance and support to help you manage SAD or other mental health concerns.

The winter blues may be a common seasonal occurrence, but they don't have to dominate your life. By implementing these ten strategies, you can take control of your mood and enjoy the winter season to its fullest.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wilmslow SK9 & Macclesfield SK11
Written by Sheena Rydings, BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist
Wilmslow SK9 & Macclesfield SK11

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