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How to Deal With the Winter Blues

winter-1492232-1280x960Every year around this time I start to get a little anxious. Money seems to fly out the door, family and friends seem to overwhelm us, the short days make us a little crazy and there’s just so much to get done before the end of the year that it’s no wonder many of us get stressed around this time of year.

I’ve been there and I’m in the thick of it right now, I’m traveling to see family in a couple weeks, my car has broken down twice in the last month and my bank account is overdrawn.

The point is, I know what it’s like to feel the craziness of this time of year.

I think there’s something about the holidays too that makes things a little more hectic.

It also has a stark way of reminding you where you are and where you’ve been, especially that morning the day after Christmas when new years is right around the corner and you can’t help but think about everything you wanted to get done this year and how it didn’t happen.

I was talking to my friend the other day about the hardness of winter, how everything compounds and just puts you in the dumps and she referenced Nordic cultures where, though winter is much longer and much harder, the people are happy. She said it’s because they look at it as a time of rest and of coziness, of unwinding and being comfortable and warm.

It seems as though we look at the winter as a time of cold and starkness and that may not be the best way to look at it.

Regardless, the winter does things to us and there’s little we can do.

I think the best thing we can do in this time before the holidays is to look at the good of it, the fact that we’ll get to see family, the fact that we’ll be able to celebrate a new year, the fact that after Christmas there won’t be that pressure and we can ease into the couch in front of the fire and be comfortable.

We need to be able to find a thing about the depths of winter that makes us thankful and we need to express that gratitude.

It’s kind of like expressing gratitude for the things in your life that have been hard because they made you stronger and more resilient. They taught you valuable lessons and we need to find the silver lining in the gray skies and the fleeting light and the snow on the ground.

My favorite thing about it is how quiet it gets and that’s just a silly little thing I like about winter.

To get through it though, finding those things about it that make us feel good is key.

We need to be able to survive and the only way to do that is to find and pull out the things about any hardship that are good. That’s a good way to look at life too.

If you find yourself overwhelmed this winter just take some time to yourself to find these things that are good. It’ll help.

How to Deal With the Winter Blues

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). How to Deal With the Winter Blues. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Dec 2015
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