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Combat the Winter Blues

winterblues 330The winter months can really get you down. If you are anything like me, the cold makes you want to just snuggle up with a blanket on the couch, eat junk food, and watch television. The issue with falling into that pattern is that it is tough to get out of and can contribute to depression. This is why depression is statistically at an all-time high during the months of February and March. Before we reach these two gloomy and cold months, start building your routine so you can combat the winter blues.

1) Exercise
This will look different depending on your lifestyle, but any type of movement that keeps the blood flowing is going to help you fight the winter blues by keeping your body warm and making you happier. I like to go to the gym at least 3-4 times a week, but you could exercise at home. If you are nervous about working out, there are lots of free videos on YouTube with instructors ready to help you get active.
2) Embrace the Season
Bundle up and go for a brisk walk, go snowshoeing or cross country skiing, go skating with your family, or build a snowman. Winter is a wonderful time to get some different activities in and make some great memories with your family. This could even count toward your exercise for the day! Check out this list of free or nearly free list of things to do in Ottawa this Winter, provided by Ottawa Tourism.
3) Comfort Food
When I hear comfort food the first thing that comes into my head is pasta. However, there are healthier options out there! One of the simplest ways to make healthy and good food is utilizing your slow cooker. It’s tough to find the energy to cook when winter is getting you down, but if you have a slow cooker you can just throw all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do the rest! This is a great thing to do on a Sunday for meal prepping for your family, and a great way to have a hot meal to warm you up. Check out some different slow cooker ideas here.
4) Talk About It
The Winter Blues is a real thing, and it impacts a lot of people. Many of us need support because of the sadness we feel, and we can sympathize with friends or family who are also struggling. I have a friend who gets down in the winter just like I do, so we decided to go to the gym together. If my husband knows I’m having a hard day, he’ll support me by cooking dinner that night. If you let the people that love you interact with you and your struggles, it really helps take that weight off your shoulders.

Now is the time to establish these routines for yourself intentionally – even if it’s focusing on just one of the four for now. The biggest thing to remember is that you are not alone, the Winter Blues are real, and it isn’t going to last forever.

If you are needing additional support, please contact Elim Counselling Services at 613-699-1677 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also listen back to Life Transformations with Michael Hart of Elim Counselling Services..

ash blog 180By Ashlyn Stanley
Social Media and Communications

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