By Carrie Pinkard
The weather keeps getting colder and the days are so short and aggressive they must be suffering from a Napoleon complex. This time of year is always difficult, but with a global pandemic raging, the feelings of sadness and isolation get ramped up to overdrive.
That’s why we compiled some tips to help you fight off the winter blues this year. Follow this guide and before you know it, spring will have sprung and the vaccine will be coursing through your veins.
1) Take An Online Class
Since you’re cooped up inside anyway, why not take a free online course to learn a thing or two? If nothing else, you’ll gather a bunch of useless knowledge and blow everyone away when bar trivia starts up again.
Coursera has a whole collection of free online courses that you can finish in just one day. If you want to delve into the science of happiness, they even have a course called The Science of Well-Being.
Skillshare is another great site where you can learn new things and come out the other side of this pandemic a super-woman. They have classes on photography, graphic design, creative writing, and more! Check out this awesome class on filling your home with plants and nurturing them while you nurture your damn self.
2) Get Out In Nature
We know it’s tempting to spend all of winter buried under the covers with a roll of cookie dough, but not getting outside is hazardous for your mental health.
Try to catch some sun for at least 15 minutes a day. This can be as simple as taking a few laps around your block. More often than not you’ll find that once you get outside your body adjusts to the cold and you want to stay out longer. Head to your local dog park to get a dose of cuteness with your outdoor time.
3) Schedule A Tea Time
Developing a routine is very important when it comes to combating seasonal blues. Now that the sun sets before 5 PM, days can feel like they’re over before they begin.
Give yourself a treat every day by setting a tea time and sticking to it. This way, no matter how crazy the rest of your day is, you know you have a cup of tea waiting for you at 3 p.m. (or whatever time you choose).
4) Keep A Virtual Social Calendar
We know it’s difficult to see your friends and family in person, but that doesn’t mean you should just abandon talking to people altogether.
Socializing is still vital to your mental health if you want to survive this long quarantine winter. Instead of meeting up in real life, schedule virtual friend dates where you do different activities beyond just staring into the depressive void of a Zoom call.
Trivia Nation does a wonderful job putting on virtual trivia nights. You can sign up with your friends to play trivia centered around pop culture, tv shows like The Office, and even Christmas movies! Marco Polo is another app that’s great for keeping up with friends in a pandemic. It’s all the fun of video chat without the pressure of talking live. The premise is essentially you send a video, and your friends send one back when you’re totally done.
5) Consume Uplifting Content
We are all just comprised of the things we watch, read, and listen to. If you’re exclusively watching The Titanic, reading War and Peace, and listening to You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette, you’re probably not going to feel that great. Practice seeking out the media that makes you feel good.
Speaking of that, spend LESS time on social media. It can be damaging to see other people have a “happy winter season” while you’re at home doing “nothing.” Remember that what you see on social media is a fabrication and only the brightest snapshots of people’s lives.
Here’s some uplifting content to add to your wheelhouse this winter:
Dash and Lilly
What We Do In The Shadows
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Good Place
Jane The Virgin
Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wang
Man Seeking Woman by Simon Rich
Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
P.S. If you're a fellow bookworm, join our book club, Literature In A Cup, on Facebook!
Why Won’t You Date Me - Nicole Byer
Good For You - Whitney Cummings
Armchair Expert - Dax Shepard
The Bald & The Beautiful - Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamo
Dolly Parton’s America - WNYC Studios
My Favorite Murder (Ok, yes it’s murder-y but it’s also a lot of fun!)
Office Ladies - Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fisher
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me - NPR
You Made It Weird - Pete Holmes