Dealing with the Winter Blues: Practical Solutions

Posted on: Fri, 01/21/2022 - 11:38
By: Richard Lange, Ph.D., LPC, LCSW


Winter doldrums, winter blahs, winter blues. We all get them. The holidays are over; all the rushing about is over, families are gone, the weather is dark and dreary. So, it’s no wonder that people start feeling down around this time of year. And even worse for this year, we are in the middle of a big COVID-19 spike, and everyone’s concerned. 

Feeling down is common for most people during this season, however, it can be more than just the blues for some. There is a disorder called Season Affective Disorder which affects about 14% of the population of the United States. I will discuss this disorder in a separate article, but for now, I would like to provide some physical suggestions for dealing with the Winter Blues. In a follow up article, I will address some of the psychological things you can do for the Winter Blues.

Get more light.

There is a strong connection between light and feeling good, and in the winter months, the lack of light can make us feel down. To remedy this is simple: get more light. Sit by an open window when there is sunlight. Go for a walk outside. Even if it is cloudy, you are still getting some of the benefits of light. It doesn’t take that much time, and it is recommended to get 15 to 30 minutes of sunlight to get the benefits. You can also change your light bulbs in your home or apartment to Full Spectrum LED products.

Drink more water.

We forget that our bodies deplete water in the winter just as much in the summer. The dry heat in our homes and the lack of humidity in buildings can drain the moisture out of our bodies. That is why we get such dry skin during the winter months. But unlike the summer where we feel thirsty, in the winter we don’t. So, we need to think about drinking water even if we don’t feel thirsty. Put out a few water bottles on the counter to remind yourself to drink more water.

Get some Vitamin D.  

Again, the body is not making enough Vitamin D due to the lack of light, so you need to add more. A good way is through a supplement, orange juice, or fish (canned fish is best, tuna, sardines). 

Exercise, exercise!

Move, walk, get to the gym. I know it feels hard to go out into the cold and get yourself to the gym or even walk outside, but the benefits are tremendous. Again, it does take longer, but if you get at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, you will feel a lot better.


Stay tuned for our next installment in which we will cover mindset tips that can help make this winter blues feel a bit more manageable.


Are you interested in talking one-on-one with a professional?  Call Center For Family Services’ Access line at 877.922.2377 or email  Our Access support team will work with you to set you up with a professional counselor who can help.