Four ways to cure the winter doldrums

Even winter has blue skies. (I couldn't resist the terrible pun.) Via Flickr user enkhbayarba1.

Even winter has blue skies. (I couldn’t resist the terrible pun.) Via Flickr user enkhbayarba1.

It’s mid-January, so cue the winter blues.

Even in Atlanta, where the sun often shines on cold days, it’s tempting to sink into winter madness. It’s cold. The only fruits that seem to be in season are oranges. The early sunsets make slinking into bed all too attractive.

To combat all this, I’m giving you my four tips to cure the winter doldrums.

  1. Keep doing your regular activities. I have to admit, I haven’t followed my own advice too well on this point. Case in point: I haven’t written a blog post in three weeks or gone to the gym in a week and a half (I blame the unseasonably cold weather last week for that one). But it’s important to maintain your normal activities. It will keep you to a schedule and break up the day.
  2. Stay social. Most winter nights, I just want to curl in bed, eat a bowl of soup, and watch Seinfeld reruns. But if you stay in every night, you’re bound to feel depressed. So see friends and family, join a club — do something that requires getting out of bed and putting on shoes. It isn’t as easy as vegging in front of the TV or computer, but friends will talk to you. Seinfeld won’t. Bonus points if you do volunteer work to better your community/the world.
  3. Don’t overdo the social media. There are few experiences more depressing than seeing photos of your friend’s vacation in the Bahamas on Facebook or Instagram, while you look wistfully out your window at the gray sky. So just don’t go there. Limit your social media time to a reasonable daily amount — 20 minutes should do it. Anything beyond that and you’ll probably end up stalking your friends’ great-looking lives. Hint: People carefully curate their social media presence. If they don’t want to put negative life events online, they don’t.
  4. Try/learn a new activity, skill, or hobby. Put all that time you saved on social media stalking to good use. Learn a new language. Start a blog. Take up the tango. Become a chess master. Pick an activity that you’ve always wanted to try, and (as Nike would say) just do it. It will give you something new to get excited about and make you feel more fulfilled.

In keeping with my tips to cure the winter doldrums, this week I’m going to:

  • Resume my workouts and blog posts. (#1)
  • Work further on starting a Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), including putting the finishing touches on an SPJ Georgia trivia night. (#2)
  • Resume volunteer tutoring an elementary school student. We were on hiatus for the holidays. (#1)
  • Limit daily personal Facebook time to 20 minutes. I still need to go on Facebook for work since I’m in charge of social media as part of my job. (#3)
  • Work on learning more Spanish. I think I’ll start on baño vocabulary. (#4)

What are you doing differently this week?

  1. poyvzski said:

    Nice post!
    There’s no winter here in my country but it’s wet season so it’s raining all day and people are stuck in the house because of flooding. Though the rain is just making me sick and depressed and I guess I’ll try to go out to hang out with friends. Because staying at home everynight is just making me feel lonely and sad.

    • It really is true. It feels good in the moment to stay at home and do nothing, but if you do it too much, it leaves you feeling empty in the long run.

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