Winter Can Be A Bitch: Here Are A Few Ways To Stay Happy

Here are a handful of ways to placate winter, the season for skiing and weeping in semi-public places.

Publish date:
November 25, 2013
happiness, winter, seasonal depression, being sad

I like winter all right during the first snowfall. If I can watch it from inside as I sit by a raging fire with a mug of something hot and a man who resembles a lumberjack.

Sure, snow is pretty and, yes, boots are my favorite form of footwear. But winter is long, cold, dark, and generally unfriendly. I loathe winter so much, I moved to an island just to avoid it.

I know that some people love winter. They love winter sports and wearing scarves and having perpetually runny noses. I am not one of those people.

 What I'm saying is, I have SAD real hard. Whether you've got a full-blown case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or just find the cold months to be a bit of a downer, here are a handful of ways to placate winter, the season for skiing and weeping in semi-public places.

Make sure you get enough vitamin D

When I was still living on the east coast and winter was still ruining my life, I would often go to the gym before work. When I left the house, it was dark. When I left the office, it was dark. Sometime between October and January, I turned into a vampire. A cranky, miserable vampire who refused to leave her apartment or wear anything other than manpants and a bathrobe. Because sunlight had become something I only ever saw from my office window, I started popping a Vitamin D pill in the mornings, and after only a few days I felt a serious mood lift. I had more energy, and I stopped viewing my morning car commute as the perfect opportunity for a sobfest. 

Plan something fun to look forward to

Whether it's daily or weekly or monthly, make an effort to have fun during winter. Time and finances in mind, this can be as simple as a fresh playlist to jam out to on your commute (it's kind of hard to cry to Janelle Monae), or as complex as planning a beach getaway. When my life was suddenly shrouded in darkness, appealing weekend plans were no longer enough to keep me humming during the week. So I made an effort to make more weeknight friend dinner-dates, because when I'm miserable, dinner for one resembles a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. Try not to make your fun plan a late March beach vacation, because while Punta Cana might seem like the ideal thing to look forward to, the months between November and March are long and cold and heinous. 

Try not to hibernate

This pairs nicely with the planning fun things. Plan them, and then actually go and do them. This is easier said than done. When I was in Brooklyn, and being social often required three subway transfers, I would often make grandiose plans and then bail, which made me feel even worse than I would have if no plans were made at all. When it's cold outside and you have fuzzy slippers and Netflix Instant inside, it can be daunting to leave the apartment. But try your best to go out, so that when spring comes around you still have some friends left.

Retail therapy.

When all else fails, buy shoes on your lunch break. 

Zoe is writing, Tweeting and Instagramming from Hawai'i, where the winter is gently referred to as “the rainy season.”