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How To Make It Through Short Days This Winter

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Photo: Jennifer C.

How To Avoid The Winter Blues

Winter is an unbelievable time for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers of all ages. The crisp weather, access to snow, and cheerful holidays all culminate to create a season that inspires the best of us.

Except when it doesn’t.

When the sun goes down at 4:30pm. When grey clouds plague the skies for days on end. When you’re afraid to take a shower because getting out will be too damn cold.

Sometimes winter isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or general moodiness during the cold, dark months before spring.

Luckily, in modern society, we’ve got resources to get us through the doldrums and avoid the winter blues.

So let’s break it down. How do we make it through the short days and long nights? It’s as easy as getting outside, getting a little tech savvy, and getting by with a little help from your friends.

Get Moving

It’s incredibly easy to say “nah” after a busy workweek and stay in bed all day Saturday. But I challenge you to spend those precious weekend daytime hours getting out into nature.

The luckiest of us will have access to winter sports like downhill skiing, nordic skiing and snowshoeing. So this Saturday, get out there and do it! Plan a day trip to your favorite snowshoeing spot with your buddies, pack a picnic and a few beers, and hit the road. It’s important to make your plans as dynamic and fun as possible (which will help keep you motivated to actually follow through with them).

And if you don’t have access to the snow, make do with what you’ve got! Find your nearest National or State Park and plan an adventure with friends and family.

It’s scientifically proven that regular exercise benefits mental/emotional stability, which is why getting up and moving is 100% necessary all winter long.

Get Googling

The wonderful world of the internet exists purely for browsing Amazon and buying random pieces of technology. In this case, you might want to invest in a sun therapy lamp. These magical pieces of machinery mimic the sun’s rays and provide you with a balanced circadian rhythm.

Some lamps are designed specifically for sun and ion therapy, while others have clock settings that allow the light to gradually wake you up in the morning (mimicking the sunrise). Sounds much more pleasant that your screeching alarm clock, right?

Get Some Friends

Commuting home from work in the dark is a little disheartening. But don’t let it get you down! Find some friends and join an ice hockey or indoor soccer team. Go to trivia night at the pub. Join an exercise class. The bottom line: when you have plans built into your evening routine, it’s so much easier to commit to them! Especially when your friends are part of your plans.

Don’t let them down this winter! You got this!

 

Mandy Burkholder is a travel, adventure, and outdoor writer who honed her craft in the foothills of the La Plata Mountains of Southwest Colorado. After a stint in the Swiss Alps, she now resides in Tennessee. Follow her on twitter — @mandyburkhold3r