Did you know that having the winter blues is a real thing? It’s called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and getting more sunshine can help.
Although SAD doesn’t affect everyone, many people say they get the blahs when the thermometer dips during winter. As a result, some people turn to shopping, eating out, and other activities that cost money. Of course, that behavior can cause serious damage to their overall finances.
But you can beat the winter blues without having to overspend your budget each month until the sun shines again.
Cheap Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
Open the Drapes
One cure to help you beat the winter blues might actually be as simple as letting in more light. Open the drapes or blinds to get more sun and boost your melatonin and serotonin levels. If you’re a SAD sufferer, it will help and if you’re not, it can’t hurt.
Go for a Walk
Even when it’s a bit brisk outdoors a short walk will do you some good, provided the weather cooperates. Wrap up in your warmest coat and softest mittens and take a quick stroll around your neighborhood.
The extra exercise will get your heart pumping and also increase your mood. Best of all, there are no hefty gym fees because going for a walk is free!
Learn Something New
Learning something new is another way to increase your mood and get you out of the winter doldrums. Try taking an art class or learning a new skill. You could even add to your income by investing in stocks.
Light a Candle
Another cheap way to beat the winter blues is to light a candle or turn on a diffuser filled with essential oils. Choose your favorite scent or try something minty or citrusy. Both candles and essential oils are affordable ways to lift your spirits without breaking the bank.
Read Something Motivational
Check out some motivation quotes or stories to get you out of the dumps in the winter. There are lots of apps that offer free books you can read on your phone, tablet, or eBook. If those options don’t work for you, try borrowing a book from a friend or going to your local library.
Make Small Changes to Your Home or Office
Is your office feeling blah or making you dread going to work each day? Try making a small, inexpensive change to beat the blues.
For example, buy a cheap plant for your home or office. Add a new shade to a lamp or new pictures to a wall or desk to refresh your space.
Turn on Music
I’ve recently discovered that listening to some of my favorite music while I work increases my mood and productivity. When I’m feeling happy and upbeat, I get more done both at work and around the house.
I downloaded my music using an iTunes gift card I received as a gift. Therefore, I saved money because I didn’t have to pay for it. But there are other completely free ways to get music as well, such as Pandora or a local radio station.
Eat Better Food
Have you ever heard the expression that you are what you eat? It’s a pretty accurate statement if you think about it. If you want to feel better and beat the winter blues, try eating better.
Skip desserts and junk foods and stick to good, wholesome fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats as much as possible. When you eat food loaded with nutrients, instead of sugar, you’ll feel better physically and be happier. You might even lower your food budget.
What Not to Do
Hopefully at least one of the above tactics will help you beat the wintertime blues. Still, there are some things you shouldn’t do if you want to keep your spirits high during the colder months. Here are a few examples of what not to do:
- Drinking excessively – some people find that when they drink too much they get down in the dumps. Limit your alcohol intake if you want to beat the blahs.
- Shopping when depressed – you may get a temporary mood lift from shopping when you’re in a bad mood. However, this bad habit will hurt you financially and eventually make you feel lower than you were before.
- Engaging in risky behaviors – there are lots of risky behaviors that can provide a short term endorphin rush. Unfortunately, engaging in those activities can cause bodily harm or harm in some other fashion.
If you’re prone to having the winter blues, you don’t have to suffer through it this year. Try some of the affordable ideas above to help you beat the winter blues without emptying your wallet.
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Do you sometimes get the winter blues? What do you do to get over them?
Andy Marsh says
Hey, thanks for your blog post. I have had SAD for quite some time. There are some great tips in here for what to do and what not to do. I have always taken my holidays somewhere warm over the winter period and this has really helped. I finally moved to a warmer climate which has dramatically helped. It was a long term goal that I gradually worked towards. Thanks for sharing.
Angela Squires says
Don’t forget vitamin supplements. If you’re spending a lot of time in doors a bit of extra vitamin D can make a big difference.
That’s a great suggestion! Thanks for your comments!
Adam Russelz says
I agree and workouts can help so well too during this time.
1.Keep active. Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. …
2.Get outside. …
3.Keep warm. …
4.Eat healthily. …
5.See the light. …
6.Take up a new hobby. …
7.See your friends and family. …
8.Talk it through.