Six Tips for Beating the “Winter Blues”

Annick Barker of Metta Integrative Wellness Center offers ways to combat sluggish winter moods.

Rachel Hinch - December 2019

Six Tips for Beating the “Winter Blues”

Annick Barker of Metta Integrative Wellness Center offers ways to combat sluggish winter moods.

Rachel Hinch - December 2019


-Shutterstock | Illustrations by Danielle Dernoga

A lack of sun from shorter days can lead to shifts in body and brain chemistry. Add on holiday stress and seasonal colds, and your energy just may dwindle, bringing on the dreaded "winter blues.” Annick Barker, LCSW-C, of Metta Integrative Wellness Center offers ways to avoid feeling down in the dumps this winter.


NAME THE FEELING

The winter blues are not a character flaw, they’re a set of feelings that come and go, Barker explains. Noticing those feelings with curiosity rather than judgment and giving it a name helps to recognize that. Pro Tip: Put it on paper! Journaling can help you feel less fused with feeling blue.

CLWinterBlues1.jpg#asset:123236

CLWinterBlues2.jpg#asset:123240

FIND THE LIGHT

Get outside during the day as much as you can, she advises. Make a rule for yourself: “When the sun is out, I go out.” And stay out for as long as you can. Pro Tip: If you can swing it, splurge on a long weekend in a sunny place.

TAKE IT EASY

It’s important to give yourself permission to put away the to-do list and just rest, Barker says. When you start to worry about wasting time, reassure yourself that you’ll be back at it tomorrow. Pro Tip: Not feeling up to doing much? Try the bare minimum: let the kids watch a movie while you take a long bath with a book.

DON’T HESITATE TO ASK

Barker stresses to note the difference between the common “winter blues” and something more serious. If you’re often feeling down, or it's disturbing your daily life, then it may be time to check in with a doctor or therapist. Pro Tip: Simply talking to a professional can be an effective prevention tool.


KEEP IN CHECK

Exercise, diet, and sleep are the trifecta of improving mood stability, Barker notes. Take care of your body. When your body is deprived of these, your brain chemistry can suffer. Pro Tip: Get seven to nine hours of sleep, 30 minutes of movement, and stock up with fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains.

CharmedLifeWinterBlues3.jpg#asset:123242

CharmedLifeWinterBlues4.jpg#asset:123243

STAY ENGAGED

While it’s important to recognize that you may have less energy, it’s also important to stay connected to the people and things that matter to you, she encourages. Pro Tip: A great way to wake up your sleepy brain is to learn something new, especially if it involves creativity and using your hands or body.





You May Also Like


Health & Wellness

Top Docs 2019

Here are 702 of Greater Baltimore's best physicians—in every specialty under the sun.

Health & Wellness

Male Grooming Tips to Keep in Mind This Winter

Carlos Ramirez of Crown Barber Shop discussions hair trends and tips for the season.

Health & Wellness

A Winning Formula

Women’s health centers in Baltimore have multiplied—and they’re meeting a need.


Health & Wellness

This is His Lane

Shot in the throat as a teenager, Johns Hopkins emergency surgery chief has become a leading gun-violence prevention advocate.

Charmed Life

Tips for Starting a Meditation Routine

Anjali Sunita of Baltimore Yoga Village shares her relaxation techniques.

Health & Wellness

Rest Stop

A mobile meditation studio hits the Baltimore streets.

Doctor Finder

Connect With Us

Most Read


What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.

Kirby Lane Park Brings New Energy to West Baltimore Neighborhood: Formerly dilapidated site has become a hub for community engagement in Franklin Square.

Feds Charge Pugh With Fraud and Tax Evasion in ‘Healthy Holly’ Scandal: Former mayor faces 11 counts, including conspiracy, in alleged children’s book scheme.

John Waters is the Newest Male Face of Nike: Waters is one of three celebrities chosen to be in '90s-inspired Nordstrom x Nike campaign.

Four Key Updates on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Here’s what the BSO has been up to since performances resumed in September.