How to Beat the Winter Blues


The year was 1986, and I was seven years old at Horizon on the Hudson elementary school in New York. The highlight of my day, and to be honest, my elementary school career was recess. If you are anything like me, you counted down the minutes until it was time to go outside and play kickball, tag, or Double Dutch with your friends. This winter, to beat the “winter blues,” that feeling of fatigue, sadness, or sluggishness that sometimes comes with shorter days and colder weather. Tap into your inner seven-year-old and go out and play, yes, I am serious! Research suggests that movement of any kind can decrease symptoms of depression and reduce stress. Similarly, being in the sun increases your vitamin D production which can lead to an improved mental state. Best of all, they are both free and easily accessible. Rainy day, or just can’t make it outside? Try the three good things (TGT) technique. Every night before you go to bed, write down three good things. Now, these do not have to be big things like an A on a test, or a new iPhone, although they are great too. No, these are those everyday moments that we sometimes take for granted. For example, you were able to hang out with your friend at lunch, you had dinner at your favorite restaurant, or you mastered a cord you had been struggling with. Research suggests that if you practice TGT every night for 21 days you will reap the benefits of improved sleep, a reduction in mild or moderate depression, and enhanced happiness that lasts for nine months. However, if you’re still feeling down, help is available! See your school counselor, reach out to a trusted teacher and/or your parents. You are not alone.

Written by Ms. Briggs, Springbrook Counselor