Got The Blues? 7 Ways To Beat The Winter Blahs

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happy woman reading book
Freezing temperatures and gray skies getting you down? Here's how to pick yourself back up.

When freezing temperatures, gray skies, and the occasional polar vortex blast get you down, it may seem as though winter will never end. If the winter blahs are sapping all your energy, here are seven things you can do right now to lift your spirits.

1. Go Green!
Combat cabin fever with indoor greenery. Some houseplants, such as indoor palm trees, can remove toxins and help add moisture to dry winter air. Plants brighten up a room and remind of us the great outdoors and warmer seasons to come.

2. Donate Blood
According to the American Red Cross, winter weather affects the blood supply, but the need for blood is constant. If the weather is clear, why not take the opportunity to do some good? Just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. You'll feel great knowing that your unselfish act will help save lives. Bring some friends along and make it a group activity. Performing a good deed is a surefire way to lift the spirits. For more information about donating blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

3. Volunteer
Get involved! There are plenty of organizations that need help and you can probably find one close to home. Try to match your volunteerism to your interests. If you're a people person, maybe you can teach adults to read, become a hospice or hospital volunteer, or distribute meals to shut-ins. Have a love of animals? Perhaps your local animal shelter could use a hand. Are you a writer, a web designer, a graphic artist? Donate your services to a nonprofit. Use your skills in the service of others and you'll open up a whole new world for yourself in the process.

4. Walk
If hitting the gym isn't your thing, make a daily walk part of your routine. Walking is a low impact exercise that is good for your body and your spirit. Notice your surroundings as you walk. Take in the atmosphere and breathe the fresh air. Say hello to your neighbors. A good walk can increase energy and help rid you of the blahs.

5. Read a Book
When is the last time you plopped yourself into a comfy chair to read a good book? Fiction or non-fiction, choose something you've been wanting to read for a long time, but you just never had the time. Make the time — and don't skim it — read it. Set aside an hour or two and really allow yourself to get lost in a book the way you get lost in a movie. Let it stir the imagination and take you away.

6. Cut the Cord
Take a break from television. Sometimes it's just too much of a good thing. Did you ever notice that the longer you sit in front of the tube, the more tired you feel and the more likely you are to munch, even though you're not hungry? TV is habit-forming and it can get out of hand. Not that TV itself is necessarily bad. It's the amount of time we spend with TV and the bad habits that come along with that. Break free and find alternate entertainment. Play a game, take a walk, get together with friends ... do something that requires interaction with other human beings.

7. Reach Out
Call an old friend you haven't been in contact with for a long time. Reconnect! Enjoy a nice, long phone conversation, make a date to meet for coffee, or whatever works. Remember when you said you'd get together "someday?" If you don't grab hold of someday, it may never come. Make today that someday.

 

article by Ann Pietrangelo, from Care2

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.