15 ways to beat the winter blues
Christmas and New Year are now behind us. During the shorter days of winter, it can often feel like the bright days of spring are a long way off, and it’s not uncommon for people to suffer from seasonal depression and cabin fever while stuck inside their homes.
But winters can be long in Germany, and we’ve still got many weeks ahead - and so rather than just wishing for winter to be over, it can be helpful to embrace it. Here are some tips to help get you through the rest of the season in a healthy way.
1. Have a daily 30-minute walk
Try to go outside for a little while each day to move around and get some fresh air. Getting out of your flat for a minute to reset will not only do your body some good but also your mind as well. Find 30 minutes in your day to get out for a walk.
2. Find a creative outlet
During the winter, we stay in more. This makes it a great time to start a new hobby: painting, drawing, knitting, writing, cooking, jewellery making, anything really. A creative outlet will let your mind relax and stop you from focusing on the weather outside. Try one and see where your mind takes you. What is a new hobby you have always wanted to try?
3. Do something indoors
Most cities have indoor sporting activities and cinemas - perfect for entertaining yourself, no matter what the weather is like. You should see what is happening in your city and plan a time to get out of the house to do something entertaining. Why not invite some friends as well and make a day of it?
4. Go to a cafe or restaurant
Sometimes you need to enjoy a good meal or just a caffeinated drink in a cosy atmosphere. That meal or drink can help you escape the winter blues and be more in the moment. You should visit a place you like a lot and give yourself some well-deserved “me time”. Where is your favourite cafe or restaurant? Make a plan to go there sometime this week.
5. Get some sunlight
It’s not always easy in Germany in the winter, but if you can get some sun, you will be happier. It’s science! Even a burst as short as 10 to 15 minutes will make the difference - so if you get a sunny day, grab the opportunity to get outside and soak up some rays.
6. Be social
It can be tempting to go into hibernation mode, but at this time of year, it’s especially important to make time to meet friends, attend meetups, and just generally give yourself time around other people. Don’t lock yourself up this winter! Go out and socialise! Who can you meet this weekend?
7. Enjoy some culture
Cities especially are hives of activity during the winter months - you just need to know where to look! Do some research on what’s going on in your area, and plan an evening or afternoon to enjoy some music, appreciate some art, go to your local museum, or attend a lecture. Stimulating your brain and soaking up culture will spike your senses and reduce sadness, and it’s a great way to get out of the cold!
8. Plan a trip
You don’t have to plan an international trip. Do a staycation or weekend trip close to your home. It could even be a day trip to a neighbouring city or town you’ve always wanted to visit. A change in your environment can help you relax and get a new perspective on life. It’s also fun to have something to look forward to.
9. Start a journal
Keeping a log of your feelings lets your emotions flow onto paper. Some people find journaling an extremely satisfying way of letting go of negative feelings. Make time to write every day - even if just for a few minutes - about life and how you feel. A session of writing is time for the soul and brain to calm down. When will you pencil in your next journaling session?
10. Go to a comedy show
There’s nothing quite like laughter for making the world seem a little brighter. Humour is your friend this winter. Laughing will raise your mood, boost your endorphins, and can even help your immune system! Getting in a good laughing session will zest up your life. Check out whether there are any comedy shows near you - you can even find lots of them in English nowadays.
11. Take a spa day
It’s cold out there. So why not go to your nearest spa, relax in the sauna and soak in the warm pools? You will soon forget the freezing temperatures outside and feel your worries melt away. There’s nothing quite like it for soothing the soul.
12. See your doctor
If you are having an especially hard time, maybe you should call your doctor. Sometimes the winter blues can get to us and make life hard. It is okay to reach out for professional help if you are not feeling well.
13. Get enough sleep
Are you good at getting your seven to eight hours a night? Sleep will give you energy, boost your immune system, enable you to think more clearly and function better, and give you many other positive side effects. You should get yourself into a good sleeping routine by trying to stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time each day (including on weekends). This will help you have more productive days and better nights of sleep.
14. Help others
A great way to keep yourself busy and make yourself feel better is to help others in your community. Use the internet to find some local causes to support. By helping others in need, you can affect someone’s life and make new connections. How can you help a cause in your area?
15. Eat well
During the winter, it can be tempting to dive head-first into rich, calorific food - and a certain amount will certainly help! But it’s also important to try to eat well for your health. Eating a well-rounded diet will keep you going and make you feel at the top of your game.
Hopefully, you find some of these tips to be helpful for this winter season. We are not that far from the first day of spring. If you follow some of these tips, you can finish winter in a happier mood and healthier state. Don’t let the winter blues win! Be proactive and take care of yourself.