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janbb's avatar

Is there a cure for the wintertime blues?

Asked by janbb (62669points) November 29th, 2021

My SADness is setting in already. It’s not crippling but I am in my bathrobe at 5 p.m. I keep Christmas and Chanukah pretty simple but I just don’t feel like getting started this year. (There is a personal sorrow as well that I don’t want to share.)

I’m ok and well enough but I am a little down. Humor and nurturing suggestions are welcome.

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28 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I recommend a warm drink and any Discworld book by Terry Pratchett, called the best satirist of the late 20th century. He wrote comedy for thinkers. It’s a fantasy world, but it’s done intelligently and with British humor.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Activity is the best cure…go out and walk around your neighborhood, bring a camera , enjoy the fresh air helps.

kritiper's avatar

Where I live, the weather really starts to warm up on or about Feb, 21st so I consider that my first day of spring. Move your day up in your mind and let go of those winter blahs EARLY! It’s easier to take that way.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Try SAD lamps, very old friend from 1966 had SAD in 2016. she used and found it helped.

product's avatar

I have a light therapy lamp that I’ve been using in my (losing) battle against depression. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any difference, but I have heard that it can benefit some people.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Maybe get out and take a little walk, if it can be done safely with no issues. Or take a drive and treat yourself to a bite at a diner or restaurant you have never been to. Just to get out of the house a while if for no other reason.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Inspired_2write I agree. Activity (especially getting out of the house, even at night) helps me. Too much stasis and quiet time and I start to get really negative. While I don’t think I have SAD, I have been down a bit lately (to some extent it’s caused by the opposite situation: dry warm weather here with yet a third consecutive year of drought in the forecast has made me feel less motivated to do anything).

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I have suffered from SAD for years and have tried all kinds of things from lightboxes to supplements. There are three things that work. 1. Aerobic exercise. 2. Vitamin D and 3: I try to take a trip to Phoenix every year in January to visit relatives. I spend at least four days out hiking places like Camelback mountain or Sedona. That essentially cures it. Suffered through last year and my relative that lived there passed and the others moved. Not sure what this year will bring. If you can manage it take a trip somewhere sunny and warm in peak SAD season. Even just a long weekend works wonders.

canidmajor's avatar

Vitamin D helps me, too.

JLeslie's avatar


I agree try one of those light lamps they use for SAD. It’s supposed to be helpful. I also think just keeping your regular lights on at home can be helpful. Brighter rooms feel more cheery.

If you are not seeing friends as much, make a date to zoom with friends or family who pick up your mood.

I hate the grey weather, so I emphasize with your dilemma.

janbb's avatar

Thanks all. I try to find the balance between me-time and socializing and it was a very social weekend so a quiet day worked well up to a point. I like turning on the gas fire and cozying up but at times, the gray and cold are a downer.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I was just thinking to also recommend staying warm, but here you just mentioned it.

Being cold is paralyzing to me. I hate it. If getting up from under the covers is uncomfortable I just stay snuggled in bed or on the sofa with a blanket, or wherever it’s warm. Bulky clothing is uncomfortable. I find putting my heat up to be liberating.

elbanditoroso's avatar

There ain’t no cure for the wintertime blues.

Except this: (skip the ads) youtube

janbb's avatar

^^ Thanks for catching the reference.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My mom has a touch of this. Opening the curtains, being around others and daily phone calls help her.
She said a hot shower felt huge this morning but felt great afterwards. Same with loading dishes or a load of laundry is an accomplishment. Hugs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just keep your eyes on the fact that Dec 21st is the shortest day of the year. 3 weeks, and it starts getting better from there.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, I always do remember the 21st! It does make me feel better.

Actually I’m in a much better mood now but it does come over me at times.

JLoon's avatar

Love Babas – and their POWERFUL BLACK MAGIC SPELLS!!

(Side effects may include irritability, blurred vision, and loss of self respect)

JLeslie's avatar

The 21st never actually makes a difference for me even though I do recognize it every year as a symbol of the beginning of longer days.

The reason it doesn’t help me personally is because of the reality of how it plays out. Typically, January is the coldest most miserable month of the flipping year, and that is especially felt in northern states. Not to mention February isn’t far behind and then when you really are completely sick of the bad weather you try to convince yourself March is finally the beginning of warmer days, but then you get a late winter snowfall. At least the worst is only about 90 days in most of the US. That whole time there are a lot of grey skies unless you live in Colorado.

Brian1946's avatar

♫ Ask your congressperson what you’re supposed to do, because you’re NOT too young to vote! ♫

longgone's avatar

^ Creepy. I didn’t recognize that song, but Amazon Echo chose to play it just two or three minutes after I read your post, having been asked to play Elvis earlier.

The only things I’ve found to work against the winter blues are taking vitamin D (on doctors’ recommendation) and “leaning in” to the hygge of it all. I drink a lot of cider, hot chocolate, and tea. I bake, take bubble baths, play wintery music and movies, etc.

Also, definitely continuing the tradition of buying myself a Christmas present :)

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III, my mother declares, every winter solstice, “Summer’s almost here!” and it really does help (a little). :-)

janbb's avatar

@longgone Come on over. Those hygge activities are my winter ones too! I slept well last night and am feeling better today.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t suffer from SAD, but when spring finally comes it feels like I’ve crawled out of a hole and now I’m stretching. Feels good.

jca2's avatar

Since January and February are the coldest months here in the northeast, I’d say a trip down south or somewhere warm might help. Just having the trip to look forward to would be encouraging. A few years ago, we went to Williamsburg Virginia right after Christmas and the weather was in the 60’s, flowers everywhere, really nice. Here, in NY, when it’s winter time, I just want to stay under the blankets all day with socks on, which is not productive (for me).

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flutherother's avatar

It may be the looming holiday season. I go into it with minimum expectations so anything is a bonus. Anyway, I’m glad you are feeling a bit better.

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