How to Cope with the Winter Blues

How to Cope with the Winter Blues

Christmas is over, the excitement of a new year is starting to die down, and it’s dreary and yucky outside almost every day. Welcome to mid-January in the Northern Hemisphere.

The severity of the winter blues can range from just overall feeling more sad/low energy/down to actually being its own type of depression, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD primarily affects women, people with a family history of depression or bipolar disorder, and/or young adults. SAD has also been linked to difficulties in serotonin production and Vitamin D deficiency. Even without SAD, this time of the year can be unpleasant due to decreased sunlight exposure.

When I was younger, I used to get incredibly sad around this time of year after Christmas and New Years. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but in fairness I now take Vitamin D and am on an antidepressant. I also live in the Southern United States and as a result, I am exposed to more sunlight and less snow than other parts of the world. I still struggle with the winter blues in January especially, so I thought I would put together a post talking about coping with feeling down during these cold, gloomy months.

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how to cope with the winter blues

How to Cope with the Winter Blues

Get Cozy

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a soft, comfortable fluffy blanket with a warm cup of hot cocoa, tea, or coffee. Cuddle your fur babies (if you have/like them) and get cozy with Netflix, Hulu, or a good book.

Set New Goals

I love goal-setting because it gives you something to look forward to and keeps you pushing onwards. They don’t have to be drastic, life-changing goals unless you want them to be. They can literally be like… “Eat breakfast daily.” or something of that nature, something you can achieve and will give you something to look forward to each day or however often you choose to do it.

Related: 2019 Blogging & Personal Goals


I know the winter blues kind of make it difficult to stay motivated, but if you are physically able and can muster up the energy, exercise can help you feel better through the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. You don’t have to do anything intense– I like to walk about 30 minutes every few days and that’s it, but that’s enough to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something.


It may seem tempting to isolate yourself, but that usually doesn’t lead to anything positive. Even if you’re just talking with online friends, having an outlet for what you’re feeling can help.

the winter blues


Whether you revisit an old favorite or want to pick up something new, reading is a great way to pass the time and get your mind off unpleasantries.

Take Care of Yourself

Keep your skin healthy, stay hydrated, and don’t push yourself too hard. Take some time for yourself if you can. Paint your nails, put on some music you like, drink some wine, etc. Don’t forget to be kind and gentle towards yourself, always!

Related: 6 Tips for Better Self-Care in 2019

Do Something Creative

Get inspired! My blog is my creative outlet because I am NOT an artsy person and I’m terrible with my hands. You might like bullet journaling, drawing, painting, photography, sculpting… etc. Creating something that is your own to put into the world is incredibly rewarding and can provide a sense of purpose.

Try Light Therapy

If the winter blues are too unbearable for you, it may benefit you to seek professional help. If traditional therapy is not an option for you, or if you’re interested in light therapy in general, you may want to consider purchasing a light therapy energy lamp. How it works is that you sit with the lamp for around 30 minutes per day, and it mimics the effects of natural light so your body is getting exposure to the light it is used to! For more information on light therapy, you can go right here.

I hope this post was helpful to you! Let me know your tips for surviving the winter blues in the comments!

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  1. January 14, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    I’m feeling a lot better with the winter blues this year! I guess my birthday is right around the corner after New Year’s, so I still have something to look forward to celebrating.
    I am really hoping to achieve my goals this year, so I do feel like that drive is brightening my mood. I also love all of the other things mentioned on this list-I always like to do creative things, exercise, read, and practice self-care when I’m feeling down! 🙂

    • Jackie
      January 14, 2019 / 10:01 pm

      Ooh if I had a winter birthday I’d probably like winter a lot more too!
      I’m glad you’re feeling so motivated to achieve your goals! I feel the same way so I’m not as down as usual but I’m still sort of blah lol. Thanks for reading!

  2. January 15, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    These are great ideas! Where I live, a lot of times we don’t have extreme winters, but it still gets cold sometimes. Even still, I love the thought of getting cuddly with a blanket and cup of cocoa—or a glass of red wine! We exercise several times a week, but I find that adding in more movement on the days we don’t work out is a good mood lifter. Anything from active stretches to random jumping up and down in the kitchen!

    • Jackie
      January 18, 2019 / 5:54 pm

      I definitely have tried to add more movement to my routines too because I do feel better when I do! Thanks for reading!

  3. Sherry Forbes
    January 15, 2019 / 7:58 pm

    My husband has just undergone cancer treatment and other family issues has made this winter very hard. Some winters I’ve hardly noticed the difference in how I felt. I’m seeing a counselor and going to my doctor to see about updating my meds because I’ve been on them for at least 10 years.

    • Jackie
      January 18, 2019 / 6:09 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that, Sherry. Family issues can definitely put a damper on what’s already a difficult time of year. Hopefully your doctor and your counselor will be able to help!

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