Winter is Right Around The Corner! Blues-Proof Your Life Now to Fight Depression Later


Published: November 5, 2009

Let’s fast-forward about a month and half. It’s below 20 degrees and you haven’t left your room in over a week.  Your diet has consisted of pizza and Chinese food (delivered to your building, of course).  That warm, fuzzy feeling you seemed to have had inside you before this weather set in is long gone.

Does this sound familiar?  Then you, along with countless others, may suffer from the yearly winter blues.  The winter blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is defined by “feelings of sadness and depression that occur in the winter months when the temperatures drop and the days grow short,” according to the Web site.

Luckily, there are ways to combat the winter blues, and the best time to start is now! Here are some lifestyle tips bound to keep the pep in your step and keep you from holing up in your bed and hibernating all winter.

Get Some Sun

Even though the days are becoming shorter, exposing your skin to the sun for 15 minutes everyday provides a good source of Vitamin D, and “will improve the mood of those suffering from the winter blues because [it] restricts the secretion of melatonin in the brain,” as stated by the Website. Make sure you apply an SPF before soaking up these rays.  Reading a short assignment outside Lowenstein or taking a quick stroll up to Lincoln Center and back during your breaks between classes will help you meet your body’s daily need for sun intake.


Get yourself outside and take a jog in Central Park.  You may not realize it now, but deep down, you will miss the great outdoors, and that’s part of what’ll get you down.  If you just can’t bring yourself to be outside any longer than you have to, consider using McMahon’s gym. states, “Exercise has proven to help people combat feeling the blues in the winter. Not only does it improve mood, but it has also been shown to reduce stress which often exacerbates feelings of depression brought on by the winter blues.” So put on your running shoes and jog away those blues!

Listen to Some Tunes

Remember all those awesome summer jams you played all season long? Who says you have to stop rocking out to them just because winter hit?  Make a playlist of all your favorites and blast it when you need a serious pick-me-up.  Put it on your iPod and take your summer tunes with you when you have to brave the winter weather. It’s okay to admit that Jason Mraz’s song “I’m Yours” makes you feel like you’re still on summer vacation.

Eat Right

It’s understandable to order in when going outside requires a parka and snow boots, but loading up on carbs will only keep you happy until you try and squeeze into that bikini for spring break (then it’s all down hill from there).  Incorporate fresh foods into your diet, especially fruits and veggies, while the weather is still reasonable enough to bare. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.  McMahon’s uncontrollable heating system is bound to dry you out if you don’t.

Re-Decorate Your Space

What’s your favorite color? Your favorite pattern? Favorite picture?  Surround yourself with colors and images that make you happy.  Try online sales or flea markets to find yourself some new posters or print curtains to liven up your space.  You’d be surprised how happy a fuzzy throw pillow can make you feel.

Hold on to Those Summer Food Favorites

Although eating a hot dog indoors might not taste as good as having one at a baseball game, keeping those favorite foods from summer around through the winter will keep your summer memories right where you can taste them.  There are summer foods that you can have all year round, such as lemonade, watermelon and Italian ice. Who says you can’t eat ice pops in the winter?


Get a good amount of sleep, but don’t overdo it, either.  Getting seven to eight hours of sleep on a consistent basis will keep you energized, and increase your chances of wanting to leave the building/your bed.  Try to resist taking mid-day naps, as they will cause a disruption in your sleep pattern and will probably result in you wanting to stay in bed until Spring rolls around.