Share on Google+
Winter walk at Sanford Farm

Five Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

It’s Sunday March 1st and we’ve been locked in a frozen snow globe for months now, in fact it’s going to snow again tonight.  I have not run outside since the end of January, disrupting my winter running record, my training, my peace of mind-and I’m cold.  It’s making me grumpy and I am not alone.

In fact over the last few weeks, I have watched reasonable people, people I work with and talk with regularly, be reduced to gloom and doom, impatience, and irritability.  Smiles have been replaced by frowns, and shoulders are frozen to ears.  The dreaded Winter Blues. 

It’s difficult to imagine going on like this much longer.  On Friday I decided to stop the insanity, ignore the weather and go back to running outside, it felt better.  I made the boys walk with me to Sanford Farm and enjoyed the sunshine so much we did another walk yesterday.  On my run today, outside, I started thinking about the tools we have to beat the winter blues, so here they are;

Sunshine and fresh air – if you can’t get an hour of sunshine a day then take a vitamin D supplement, many of us are surprisingly D deficient.  Pick the warmest part of the day and get outside for a walk, even 10 minutes is a mood booster. 

Light Therapy – if you are sensitive to the short grey days, consider light therapy.  SAD or seasonal affective disorder affects many people, and we in the throes of this long grey winter are prime candidates.  There are several types of lamps that you can use at home to boost your light exposure. 

Massage – if in fact you have been chronically cold for months now like I have, a massage can take the tension from holding the cold out of your bones.  Plan B, an Epsom Salt bath (available at Island Pharmacy) is good for your skin and your muscles, inexpensive and you can use them as often as you like. 

Gratitude journal – the practice of writing down three things that you are grateful for everyday can improve your mindset and make you a happier person. 

Smile – smiling has been proven to be contagious, and it’s a powerful communication tool.  For an instant lift try watching this TED video.  

We are exactly one week from daylight savings time and robins are waiting patiently for the snow to melt.  The most important thing to remember is to be kind to ourselves and each other.  A little perspective goes a long way--and winter can’t last forever.  

Joanna Roche is a wellness, beauty and retail expert with a long career in the spa industry; she spent eight years with Canyon Ranch and then ran Pierce Mattie PR in NYC where she tried, tested, and worked with hundreds of beauty and wellness brands. She is currently an educator for the Esthetics Spa International speaker series, a member of ISPA and CEW(Cosmetic Executive Women). On Nantucket she is the Spa & Fitness Director at The Westmoor Club and is committed to promoting wellness and providing inspiration and tools for healthy living. Joanna is a runner, occasional yogi, entrepreneur and co-founder of ACKFresh, and mama (or tamer of wild beasts) to Luke and Noah.