Beating the Winter Blahs

The winter blahs, blues, whatever you want to call them… They’re obviously no fun.

We’ve definitely had our fair share of gloomy days, temperatures in the single digits, and smoggy air around here lately. Blech.

IMG_1041[Believe it or not, there ARE beautiful mountains hiding in that smog!]

I don’t know about you, but cold temps and gloomy days just aren’t my thing. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona after all. I’ll take blue skies and sunshine with a side of warm temps please.

Ever heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

“It’s a type of depression that occurs at the same season every year. If you get depressed in the winter but feel much better in the spring and summer, you may have SAD.” (source)

I wouldn’t say I have full blown SAD, but it certainly affects me from time to time. I just notice myself feeling “blah” more often compared to my usual cheerful self around this time of year. Some weeks, months, and years are better or worse than others depending on the weather. This winter it seems to be affecting me a lot more than last year. I suppose it makes sense considering we barely had a winter last year (which I LOVED) and this year is a full blown one.

Fortunately, I’ve figured out how to deal with it pretty well. It still sucks, and I still regularly dream of sunny days by the ocean, but the below tips help me get by until the sunshine comes out again.


  • Sweat it out!

Exercise almost always helps me snap out of any “blah” mood I may be experiencing. Those endorphins are no joke my friends! Your mind and body will appreciate you!

  • Hang out with someone that makes you laugh

Whether it’s your best girlfriend, husband, or mom, go hang out with them! Thankfully I live with the funniest person I know, so this one comes by pretty easily for me. Laughing is truly the best medicine.

  • Do something you enjoy

This could be going out to eat, reading a book, getting a pedicure, you name it – just go do it. You will thank yourself for it.

  • Get to work in the kitchen

If you don’t like to cook or bake, obviously this one isn’t for you. I believe cold and snowy weather makes for the perfect day to cook/bake your little heart out though. Bake your favorite quick bread or cookies. Or cook some meals to freeze for easy dinners in the future. This always makes me feel so accomplished, plus you get some yummy food out of it!

  • Enjoy a LAZY day!

Sometimes all it takes is a little shift in our attitude. Look at the cold and gloomy weather as an opportunity to rest and do things we might not normally do in our busy lives. Read a book, take a nap, watch a movie, stay in your pajamas all day, drink hot tea. Obviously you don’t want to be making this a habit every day, but the occasional lazy day can be good for us.

  • Plan a vacation

Sometimes you just need to get away and that’s totally okay! If it weren’t for the basketball on my stomach and the recent trip we took to Arizona, I have no doubt I would be making plans to be sipping a margarita on the beach surrounded by palm trees and the ocean. Ahh that sounds glorious!


  • What has the weather been like where you live this winter?
  • Do you ever experience SAD?
  • How do you deal when you’re in a “blah” mood?
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  1. Angie says

    I live in FL and we had a week of HOT weather… yesterday my car said it was 90!!! Finally a cold front moved through last night and it is now 45 out and Im very happy!! lol I can imagine the gray and fogginess would get old day after day though :( I love that you live near the mountains, I’m so jealous!!

  2. says

    Great tips!! Winter blah’s are just that – BLAH! If I feel like I’m in a funk I call a friend and plan a meet up – shopping, coffee date, lunch/dinner, out on the town, gym date, etc.!

  3. says

    oh my gosh I hate the winter blues! Last year when I was pregnant I SOOOO had them and what helped was GETTING outside and walking. I bundled up even in 15 degrees just to get fresh air and moving. Esp being pregnant its easy to get lazy but remember a walk or anything will help! Even go Mall Walking :)

  4. says

    I don’t think I get SAD, but I do absolutely detest snow/cold weather! For now, I just suck it up and eat a lot of soup and make sure I have relaxation time. When I’m done school next year, the boyfriend and I are looking at moving. Our only must? Somewhere warmer than here! (Southwestern Ontario).

  5. says

    Usually in tx we don’t get a terrible winter however the past few weeks have been really cold and I’m over it! I don’t know how people live up north! I usually try to still get out everyday and not just stay in the house. Here’s to hoping for warmer weather soon!

  6. says

    Plan a vacation….yes!

    If there’s one thing that helps me get through the cold winter months its looking forward to getting out of the country and exploring a bit more of the world :)

    Well, that and exercise/working out. I’m really not sure if its even possible to feel down and demotivated if you exercise and workout regularly!

  7. says

    Being in Canada I am more than used to it! I combat SAD but getting outside on those sunny days, even when its cold, to do something active – skiing, sledding, or skating. And yes, we almost always have a winter vaca south to Arizona which helps a lot too!

  8. says

    When I lived in Buffalo, I used to feel this every day. It was tough, but you’re right about the exercise. After I got done with a run, I always felt a ton better. Or, if it was a rest day, I would go with my sister or friends and just do a little mall walking and browsing with a hot cup of coffee. That was the best! :) Great post!

  9. says

    I know exactly what your talking about. When we have long stretches of cold temps and cloudy weather I feel a little down. Exercise is defiantly what helps me to feel better, baking also works but getting out of the house for a good sweat session is the best!

  10. says

    I had some serious SAD when I first moved to Chicago from Charleston, SC. It was a huge change in the temperature and amount of sunshine. I didn’t want to do anything, I spent days in my apartment if I didn’t have to go to school. The worst part was winter literally lasted into May! Now that I’ve gotten used to it it’s so much better, the key is to make plans with friends!

  11. says

    I hear ya. As someone who has actually been diagnosed with this…it’s a struggle. Besides meds, I definitely need a couple “lazy” days here or there to just allow myself to relax a bit. It’s hard to push yourself through work and other obligations when your mood dips so low. It’s really draining. Beyond that, I try not to isolate myself too much, seeing friends and family helps. Andddd I think planning a trip to somewhere sunny is a marvelous idea. 😉

  12. says

    I definitely think I get SAD each year…not severely, but like you said, just the feeling of “blah.” I’d take a beach over a ski slope aaaaany day!! It’s really cold here today, so I just want to sit inside, have Starbucks make a home delivery and eat haha!!

  13. says

    I definitely experience a bit of SAD around this time of year. It hasn’t been absolutely freezing around here lately, but it’s been gray and cloudy for so long that I can’t even remember the last time we saw any sun, and it’s taking a toll on my mood and energy levels for sure. I think the best thing to do is to try and keep busy and make sure to get out of the house. When I feel mopey, the only thing I want to do is stay at home and pout, but getting myself out always brightens my mood, even if I initially don’t want to.

  14. says

    I definitely don’t think would have a diagnosis of SAD either, but there are definitely days where the cold, winter yuck just makes me get overwhelmed with that “blah” feeling too. Exercise definitely helps, and I just posted about buying some new workout clothes to help motivate me to keep moving. It’s the little things :)

  15. says

    This past weekend we SO cold and cloudy here. You couldn’t even see the mountains here either. Plus we had a friend visiting. I’m like, I promise you can usually see the mountains clearly from our house!! We had to drive into them for a ride to prove it to him, lol.

  16. says

    I was diagnosed with SAD a few years ago, and have undergone light box treatment for it when it’s at its worst. All of your tips are great, and really do help beat the “blahs”! My husband is great about recognizing a potentially bad day, and usually tries to plan a trip out of the house, even if it’s just to run some errands. Being out and about helps a lot!

  17. says

    I’m in California so I’m verrrry used to the warm, sunny days. Gray days make me feel so lazy and tired! I’d almost always take an ice cold sunny day over a warmer gray day. I like the “plan a vacation” tip :). I need to get on that one!

  18. says

    Love all these tips! I definitely deal with the winter blahs. I’m convinced I live in the wrong state (Minnesota). I’ve ranted about this a few times already, but we have a high of -1 next week. I’m so done. I’m so happy to have found these tips though, all the lists you make never cease to intrigue me. Keep it up, girl!

  19. says

    It’s sooo weird because ever since I was little girl I’ve loved cloudy and rainy weather! It actually makes me realllllllly happy and I like to walk in it, and if I see the sun come out, I get sad…lol. But then I still enjoy sunny weather if it stays that way and the rain doesn’t tease me–you’re right, it’s very nice and makes you feel light hearted. It also reminds me of my honeymoon in Kauai! But even still, I’m a rainy-girl at heart.

    I hope you continue to stay encouraged and smile lots! At least for your baby 😀

    ps: not to make you SADder, but Cali has been super sunny and in the 70’s during the day time! I’m beginning to wonder, “what’s going on here?”

  20. says

    Awesome/informative post! I too have a great, hilarious one around –so I’m good in the laughing dept. 😉

    I think reading for me is a HUGE one to help me ‘stay’ happy & grounded. I have to have that time or else I go nutso.

  21. says

    I get so depressed this time of year….I yearn for a vacation for a pick me up but we can’t afford one this year because we’re getting married. It’s going to be a loooooong three months. It’s so dreary and miserable. I hate New York.

  22. says

    I think I have summer SAD (or whatever it would be called) Summer in Australia is really really HOT and it makes going outside practically impossible for many days – I am really looking forward to winter and the more pleasant temperature we have during those months :)
    xo Emily

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