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How to Get Over the Winter BLAHs

The festive season is now over. Hopefully, by this time, you are either safely home or on your way there. For those who are still stuck in travel, you have my deepest sympathies.

This is the time for some of us who are retired when the blahs set in. You know the feeling. After all the hectic running around in the last few weeks, there’s suddenly nothing to do. If you’re on a sports team, chances are it hasn’t started yet. Or maybe you have a hobby, like gardening, that won’t start again for a couple of more months. Or, worse yet, there’s nothing exciting on your horizon. So, you’re sitting there wondering what to do next. BLAH!

Here are a few suggestions for overcoming the blahs that I’ve successfully used in the past.

1. Get outside. Weather permitting, go for a walk or do some physical activity outside. Where I live, we get lots of snow so, after a snowfall, I get to go shovel off the walkway or laneway. If it’s sunny, regardless of how cold it is, I do a short walk around the block.

2. Get together with friends. An afternoon or evening playing board games or just chatting can work wonders. While the actual activity will be fun, the anticipation in the days or hours before will help lift your spirits as well.

3. Use the time to indulge in something “non-productive”. Since you’re probably just sitting around doing nothing anyway, why not make it an interesting nothing? Go ahead, binge-watch that TV series you’ve been wanting to watch. Do a movie marathon. Put together that puzzle. Read that book in a day. The thing is that it really isn’t “non-productive” because it is something you wanted to do before this all happened and now that you’ve done it, you’ve accomplished taking it off your ‘to-do later’ list.

4. Spend some time listening to good music. By ‘good music’ I mean the type of music that makes you feel good. It’s probably the type of music you listened to in your teenage years. Music is a great way to lift your spirits.

5. Research something you’re interested in. The most important thing here is that it should be something you can do in a few hours or less. Keeping it short makes it easier to complete your research and get the “I’ve accomplished it!” feeling. I’m one of those rare (crazy - lol) individuals who really likes eating Christmas fruit cakes, so this morning I spent a couple of hours looking into how to make them.

6. Take half an hour and write out all the things that you want to do with your life. This is a positive-feeling exercise, so it should only be those things that you feel you can still reasonably accomplish. Being out of shape and wanting to climb to the top of Mount Everest isn’t reasonable. Something like joining a volunteer organization or starting a part-time job or online business is. The purpose of this exercise is not to convince you to start something new, although that is an option, but to show you that there are still things out there that you can do if you wish. Limiting this exercise to a half hour does two things. Firstly, it forces you to focus on something positive for the half hour, and, secondly, because it’s only half an hour, it’s not a ‘big’ task and you’ll be more likely to do it.

I hope these suggestions help you overcome your winter blahs. In fact, they can be used any time the blahs return.

I’d love to hear any other suggestions you might have.

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