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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Winter blues antidotes


As the days grow cooler and darker, I get nervous about winter blues. So this fall, I've been brainstorming ways to make the season feel brighter and cheerier...

* host articles clubs and cookie swaps
* watch all the Best Picture movies of the past fifty years
* cook our way through a favorite cookbook
* invite friends over for board games, like Settlers of Catan
* string white fairy lights all over the apartment

Also, this sounds crazy, but one way to cheer up dreary days is to use a sun lamp. Have you ever tried it? Alex had one when we first moved in together, and at first I dismissed it as new-age-y and strange. But then I tried it (you just turn it on for about 15 minutes in the morning) and was shocked by how my mood just lightened. You can actually feel yourself getting cheerier. Apparently the lamp mimics sunlight, so it gives you that natural boost on dark days. Now it sits on my desk all year!



What do you do to help ensure a happy winter? I'd love to hear your tips. xo

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

135 comments:

A said...

Haha, we have a group of friends who are always coming over for board game night! It's so much fun. Especially with vodka gimlets.

igotsapoodle said...

I actually brought this issue up with my doctor and she encouraged me to take Vitamin D3 daily. It really does help with seasonal affect stuff! An artificial dose of sunshine...

Other than that, I like to light candles in the evenings, and bake the occasional cookies.

Helen said...

I use a sun lamp, I love it, it's also helpful with patchy winter skin (mine gets all dry and uncomfortable). A friend of mine at uni used sunbeds for the same reason but thats not such a great habit!
http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

Mary said...

I worry about potential winter blues too-- I feel like hibernating when it gets cool and dark!
I'd love to know-- what kind of sun lamp do you use? There's such a huge variety. I just ordered a sunrise simulator alarm clock that I'm hoping will make getting up easier on dark days.

gster said...

I was JUST thinking about this. In addition to the fairy lights, I think having lots of candles, house plants and hanging mirrors (to bounce what little light we have!) all help as well. I actually did a post on this last year: http://andothersuchthings.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/project-cozy-beating-the-winter-blues/
Gonna go check out those cozy blankets now!
~Gaia

Sarah Tucker said...

We will cuddle up around a warm fire with friends nad just chit-chat :) It is usually a wonderful time when the TV is off and you've got your best friends around!

-Sarah {tuckerup.blogspot.com}

Scout and Rice said...

Oh I know just what you mean! The weather definitely affects my mood, and even more so when it's pouring with rain and you're stuck indoors with a toddler!

The trick for me is getting out to see people and socialising a bit, even if it's just taking the little one to someone's house for a playdate and a coffee. Being isolated is what usually gets me down. :)

Tracey said...

In England i think i could sure use a sunlamp. I have never tried one either. Apparently there;s an alarm clock that lightens up the room gradually for the time you need to wake up. Doesn't sound half bad either!

Erin said...

Oh, gosh. Winter can't come soon enough in my book. But then, I've never been much of a sun worshipper (burn too easily). I do empathize with you, though. We kept our fairy lights up after Christmas and they make our apartment feel a million times cheerier.

Gabriella said...

I like the idea of working my way through some sort of list of fun things, like movies or books, during the cold months...And this will surely be one of them: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/09/michelin_bib_gourmand_1.php

Jamie Farshchi said...

Sun lamps are wonderful! Good quality vitamin D tablets also work if lack of sun is contributing to your blues. Exercise and diet is the key for me, even if it's 30 min on the treadmill and making sure I eat more greens, it makes a world of difference.

Charlotte said...

I'm a big winter lover so don't really get the winter blues, I'm grouchier in summer, so hopefully i won't have to worry about this! Love the idea of that sunlamp though x

ephraner said...

Yes! I remember your article swap idea from last year. My friends and I organized one but never followed through. This year we need to get on it! Such a fabulous idea. Thanks, Joanna!

xox
Erin
http://foodnfemininity.blogspot.com/

Amanda Carr said...

Entertaining is my favorite cure :)

Corrie Anne said...

I'm a fellow winter hater!! :) I plan to play piano, go to concerts, and go snowshoeing!

resgoldsmith said...

I LOVE LAMP! No seriously, I can't live without my SAD lamp between the months of November and March here in Chicago. I swear by it. I was so sad (no pun intended, ha!) to put it away in March this past year.

ohdizzle said...

I actually really love winter, so I'm not worried (and I live in Austin...so it's all kind of a moot point), but I love the idea of article clubs! Wish someone would form one here!

-Becky said...

thanks for this post! I still feel weird admitting to people that I have S.A.D. but it really does exist. And I have that exact light box you posted above and I love it. It really works. I had a doctor that prescribed it. I only needed to keep it within 12-15 inches of my face, so whenever I was on the computer in the evening I had it on and periodically looked over at it (you eyes need to be able to catch the light directly, if only briefly, to get max benefit). I think I'll try a fun list like your movie list, too!

hello, Friday said...

So not ready for winter, but your list sounds cozy enough. xoxo
http://www.hellohellofriday.com/

The Zhush said...

This is me, seriously! I need this light...the food stuff worries me, only b/c I tend to gain weight in the winter and then this adds to my mood slump. I think for me, sleep, exercise and this light could be the key! Thanks J!

Alina Valero said...

LOVE settlers of catan! You should look for a game called Telestrations. It seems like it would suit you and your friends :) I've got to check out that sunlamp!

happy moments said...

mm... hugs,hot chocolate, jazz music.. great reading.. lighted candles... romantic movies..

L said...

Thompson Vitamin D3! It keeps me healthy and in a positive mood!

Tiffany said...

I deal with it by living in Los Angeles. Problem solved. :)

Joana Teixeira said...

Hello Joanna! I love this time of year!! I love wearing scarfs and heavy coats, love to feel the cool air at my face, having tea and scones with my girlsfriends, snuggle on the couch with some warm blanket watching movies with the husband, walking through the ornamented streets, choosing and shopping for christmas presents, having long dinner at best friend's houses hearing the rain outside, love the smell of roasted chestnut on the streets, to bake cookies and drink hot chocolate... Are you cheer up already?? I could go on and on... :) All seasons has its highlights!! :)

*Greetings from Portugal* All the Best!

(sorry for my english errors..)

Rachel B.C. said...

I'm so thrilled at your shout out to Catan. Nerdiness is next to godliness.

Karin said...

This is so timely! Even though it's only just October, I've been thinking about stay-healthy-stay-happy strategies for the winter. A friend just lent me a sun lamp too!

Nantucket Daffodil said...

I do get awful blues...in fact I get the blues thinking of the blues!

Margaret P said...

I swear by happy lights!

redweather said...

Settlers of Catan! Such an excellent game! But don't forget to invite some friends because you need at least 3 players. I recently re-taught (not a word) myself Risk and played with some friends, and had the best evening! Yay for boardgame nerds!

I love winter - I suggest the occasional serving of hot ramen noodles or freshly cooked lentils when it's snowing outside. Wear lots of scarves and cute mittens, and always have lip and cuticle balm handy!

redweather said...

Settlers of Catan! Such an excellent game! But don't forget to invite some friends because you need at least 3 players. I recently re-taught (not a word) myself Risk and played with some friends, and had the best evening! Yay for boardgame nerds!

I love winter - I suggest the occasional serving of hot ramen noodles or freshly cooked lentils when it's snowing outside. Wear lots of scarves and cute mittens, and always have lip and cuticle balm handy!

teeny84 said...

I try to get outside during the winter. Even if it's for a quick walk, a longer run or a weekend ski trip. I found that once I forced myself to get outside it made a HUGE difference in my happiness over the season.

redweather said...

Settlers of Catan! Such an excellent game! But don't forget to invite some friends because you need at least 3 players. I recently re-taught (not a word) myself Risk and played with some friends, and had the best evening! Yay for boardgame nerds!

I love winter - I suggest the occasional serving of hot ramen noodles or freshly cooked lentils when it's snowing outside. Wear lots of scarves and cute mittens, and always have lip and cuticle balm handy!

nestingswan said...

If you like Settlers of Catan (one of our faves!) you should check out Dominion - I think I like it better than Settlers! (Also check out Ticket to Ride if you're looking for other new boardgames). Glad to know there are other boardgame dorks out there!

Danielle said...

I was given one of those lamps a few years ago, but I haven't tried it yet. I just find it hard to believe a little lamp will cure my winter blues.

So far, my cold weather plans include the usual hot beverages and reading by the fireplace, and new for this year, my husband wants to teach me how to play cribbage.

Rachael {all things beautiful} said...

Interesting about the sun lamp but I guess it does make sense! I'll have to remember that when I get the winter blues. I love baking, making new crockpot recipes, and snuggling up with the hubs, a good movie, and wine during the colder months!

lucia m said...

baking and more baking!

xo

blog: www.aroundlucia.com
shop: www.shoplumo.com

BlancaBB said...

When I was 17 I bought one lamp like this with my friends. It was really funny and we were very swarthy in winter!
Now I am 31 and I think I'm not going to buy a lamp like this, but I'm going to do a lot of interesting things with my 3 children ;-)
In winter all my clothes are black, blue and brown... I think need to buy funny clohes!

shawn said...

Thanks for posting about this topic! Excellent suggestions :) For a long time I thought it was just me, but it helps to hear that others experience seasonal depression.

I notice that mine doesn't kick in until after the holidays. I'm busy focusing on work and parties and getting dolled up, which helps. I try to plan something in the midst of winter that gives me something to look forward too, like a party or something sweet for Valentine's Day. Any little excuse to get together with friends and be happy.

It's also super important to keep up an exercise routine, which can be difficult when you want to bundle up with a good movie (or guilty TV). A few winters ago, I was very strict with myself about going to the gym after work. No holiday weight gained and all my cocktail dresses fit when I wore them during the winter. Last year, I threw that out the winter and became kind of anti-social because I wasn't feeling good about myself. Now, I know better.

Amy P said...

Thanks for posting on this! I've had some seasonal blues, most particularly on stressful years (the other years don't really bother me). It can be tough to be 'normal' around others - my husband still doesn't really get it. But candle light brightens my mood, and so do the fairy lights! I always get excited about cooking when fall comes, so I try to sustain that as long as possible. And seeing people despite not wanting to usually helps. So does the sun lamp! I used that on my worst year and it pulled me out of depression. Not much wine this year though...I'm pregnant. It's nice to know I'm not the only one :)

Justin + Liesl said...

My husband and I make goodies every Sunday and invite neighbors over to come and enjoy. It started when we had just moved in and we didn't know very many people. It started out small and turned into quite the party! We have made so many great friends and it helps to have fun personalities combined with sweets all around you :)

xoxo
Liesl

woodsy-soiree.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

What cook book do you plan on using? I love that idea!

Chimmy said...

three sure fire winter survival routines:

1) cozy blankets, fireside, books and red wine

2) cozy blankets, hot chocolate (with baileys or godiva liqueurs or...) and old movies (they have to be old movies, preferably black and white)

3) make.out.session. (this usually follows #1 and #2)

italianmojitos said...

best ideas.

martini said...

Oh, I live in terror of the winter blues! Getting outside regularly and getting plenty of exercise are huge helps, but oh the cold, oh the dark, oh the damp... A few years back a friend of mine was able to get a sun lamp with help from her health insurance, since her doctor prescribed it -- I plan on seeing if I can do the same this year.

Knitting projects help, too. This winter I'll be working on a big, cuddly, cable-knit blanket, and I dare the cold to find me under *that*!

Eva B. said...

I live in New Hampshire, and I LOVE warm weather, so the long freezing winters used to be really hard on me. I just try to embrace the season as much as possible- as in, have the best coat, the best boots, the best accessories to keep warm outside, and to spend as much time as possible outdoors. The acceptance of what IS has really made the seasons more acceptable... Plus I LOVE snow and I adore indoor activities when it is really cold out- like making thick stews and fresh bread, sipping hot cider, and watching movies in the middle of the daytime... (Ps, I have twinkle lights up year round- love them)...
http://www.evabstyle.blogspot.com

Chimmy said...

oh and i love what you've done with the place! the new website looks great... late to the party, but i was on vacation and completely unplugged... even from cup of jo.

Melissa Blake said...

I went through a pretty bad depression 2 years ago in the winter, so do get a bit nervous around this time of year. i've found that sticking to a routine is helpful and surrounding yourself with the people you love! xoxo

Sarah Carlson said...

In the winter I stay positive by listening to folksy, upbeat, summer road trip style songs.( I try not to turn on the Christmas music too early even though I love it.) I make sure I eat lots of fruits and veggies, paint my nails and still shave my legs, even though I'm wearing socks and long pants all the time. I also find it helps to keep the window cracked for at least a little bit everyday. That way, I don't get stir crazy. Fresh air, no matter how cold, really helps!

TROTAMUNDOS said...

Excellent suggestions

Thanks

Shannon said...

This is funny, but I wonder if anyone gets the opposite kind of depression? I grew up in the Midwest (not far from Michigan!) and moved to Florida a few years ago. There aren't any seasons down here and I find myself getting sad every October and November when it should be cold but isn't. I actually miss winter down here!

Huck and Del said...

Joanna,
If you like Settlers of Catan, you'll love Pandemic! All the players WORK together to save the world from icky viruses, and everybody wins - it's a game about teamwork and communication.

Try it!

Amanda McNutt said...

I love how everyone is mentioning to make sure to get outside. I hadn't thought of that before but it totally makes sense!

vanillasugarblog said...

I am affected by it. By jan I start to feel it.
I've already started upping my krill oil intake and vit D.
i just might finally buy one of those sunlamps.
NE winters are the worst.
I hope to get back to cali soon where there is no SAD.

Stephanie Falcon said...

Loove this! Board games totally get me through winter! My favorite is SPONTUNEOUS (http://www.spontuneous.com).. because after a few glasses of wine, the songs my friends choose to sing are hysterical (not to mention their singing! lol)...it always chases my winter blues away (pun intended ;)

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

I moved to Los Angeles. Winter is the season of flowers and green hills, fires in the fireplace, a few rainy days, oranges.
Early fall, however, sucks. It was 102 yesterday. I can't wait for winter.

Kathryn said...

If Ryan and I end up moving back to Wisconsin, I am going to seriously need this list. Something else I think is helpful, is to spend at least ten minutes outside every day, even if it's cold and gray.

Allison Winter said...

Though I'm happy to welcome the cooler weather, I too have been a little nervous about what the darker days will do to my mood. These suggestions are wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. I've always been a little wary of sun lamps too, but I'm glad to hear it's helped you out!

Dana DeVolk said...

Tons of online shopping. ;-)
<3 Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life

Modern Day Mummying said...

We're just heading into summer here in Australia and this year I was determined not to stick to just blacks, greys and browns in my winter wardbrobe... It helped to add a pop of colour to dreary outfits! The list is endless... Colourful scraves, hats, lipstick, boots, umbrellas!

Sophie xo

Abby said...

I grew up in Wisconsin and now I live in Minneapolis, MN so I am well adjusted to cold winters! I always find that having a go to pair of thick fuzzy socks, weekly movie nights with friends, and creamy vegetable soup with fresh bread always make everything seem a little warmer!

Abby

Elizabeth said...

I was determined to be warm this past Australian winter and I was urged on by your favourite Swedish motto "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". Anyway, I rugged my son and myself up every chilly day (beanie, gloves, scarf, vest, coat etc) and I wore a vest on warmer days. Apparently it was one of the coldest, most miserable winters in years but I wouldn't know because I remember it as one of the cosiest, warmest winters I've ever had!!!

Devon said...

In the vein of watching Best Pictures films, the Criterion Collection offers a series of Essential Art House. The collection offers a wide range of classic, foreign and more recent independent movies. It's the perfect way to spend a dark afternoon.

http://www.criterion.com/library/expanded_view?b=Essential+Art+House&m=dvd&s=spine

feathermar said...

Knit! Bake! Paint! Read! Make soup!

Charmaine said...

This post came at the perfect time! I'm moving to a new apartment with no natural light and these tips are wonderful! Thank you :)

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

I'm planning on getting a membership to our local indoor pool. I love taking my daughter in the water and splashing around for an hour. It's amazing how good it feels to swim in January! And afterward we're both sooo relaxed and mellow :)

Tiffany said...

i also slip on some jazz, like nina simone, billie holiday, and michael buble.
eat something with chocolate on/in it.
skype with friends from far away.
and read magazines.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Reading cozy books and drinking lots of tea in cute mugs ... helps me. Fondly,
Glenda

Maria Matiopoulou said...

I had no idea that somebody invented something like that! It's the perfect creation for all of us in gloomy London!

I might have to give it a try this Winter!

Maria x

Casey said...

The only thing that truly warms me up in the winter is a hot bath before bed. Keeps me from having icy toes and fingers all night!

emily said...

A February trip somewhere warm to break up the monotony of winter!
P.S. Catan games are my favorite!

my hyggelig said...

I talk about winter a lot (it's a swear word to me). And when I moved to MN I started using one of those lamps and taking little sun pills. One does what they can to get by in life.
http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com/search?q=winter
http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com/2009/11/beauty-within.html
http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com/2009/01/little-rays-of-sunshine.html

nicolebrown44 said...

Love these suggestions - Cooking through a whole cookbook is on my bucket list.. just need to choose which one...

Missy said...

I love that you are being proactive. Winter can be depressing but it also can be very cozy with the right activities planned. I've always wanted to watch every Best Picture winner so I may have to add this to my rainy day & winter to-do-lists!

VintageDanielle said...

I get a bit moodier when it gets dark earlier and lose energy quicker throughout the day. This is a good idea!

NosyRosie said...

I get kinda down too. Midwest winters can be looooong. But I love gravy and puffy vest! Both frowned upon in warm months. Can't wait for your winter adventures!

suzetteroberts.com said...

Thanks for posting these tips Jo. I too become sooo down and out as winter approaches after living in the tropics for over 40 years. I never realized that this could really happen until last year when it hit me here in Canada. Your blog has been a mood-upper all-year round and I always get a kick out of seeing your adorable son Toby, especially now that he's a soccer star! ;) Thanks for sharing so much with the wider world. Love and best wishes always, Suzette

Laura Rennie said...

one halloween I dressed up as ore and my friend was sheep.
winter blues tip- buy some pretty, cozy socks like these:
http://www.smartwool.com/womens/popcorn-cable-1200.html
then play footsies w/ your snuggle bugs

Nikki.Bollerman said...

I already want to be you when I grow up (okay i'm 25 but still I want to be you) and THEN you mention board games. I die. Seriously.

Ps Ticket to Ride is an awesome game and you can play well (and equally as much fun) with two players. My boyfriend and I play all the time. I am so lucky to live on Capitol Hill in DC where we have a game board store. If you go in they teach you to play the games and let you try them out before you buy... so worth it. Throwing down 50 is a lot for a game, but you feel like you get your moneys worth if they give you a tutoring session on how to play (and you don't have to read confusing directions!)

Julia said...

thanks for sharing this! I think I will give sun lamps + extra vitamin D a try this year since our winters are so long in MN. Better that than mope around all winter! :)

xo, julia [life on churchill]

Aubrey said...

Winter is perfect to get snuggly with the husband, if you know what I mean. Toby needs a younger sib ;]

Emily Marie {Isnt That Charming} said...

The winter blues are absolutely real! These are some great suggestions.
Isn’t That Charming.

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

FAIRY LIGHTS!!! I have a strand of vintage orange Halloween lights up in my kitchen window right now and when October is done, up will go the white ones!!

City Life to Ranching Wife said...

LOVE the Articles Club idea!

BlogS of Hariyanto said...

solar lights ???
really nice, when you can get sunlight in the winter,
though only replica :)

Martie @ Spunkyrella said...

I have a red light lamp for years. Not only is it great for your mentioned reasons but it also prevents you from getting all stuffed up in your sinuses which I am prone to in the colder month of the year! Also I think it´s a great investment to get a more expensive one as the cheapies usually don´t do it!

Oh and I love Yogi tea and cuddling up in my favorite blanked watching re-runs of Friends and Sex and the City ;)

Mai Lowe said...

oh wow, I can't relate at all, I LOVE winter!! I love the holidays, the festivities, the cheer (it's borderline obsession really) - I'm surprised you don't get swept up by all of that in NYC. After Christmas, I do have some post-holiday blues, but it is not hard with cozy tea, sale season and Valentine's day around the corner.

Lisa said...

I live on the German baltic coast which in winter is gray gray gray. Ugh! The only thing really keeping me buoyant is the Christmas markets (mulled wine and fresh-made waffles? yes please!). After December, I'm fresh out of ideas.

perfumehk said...

looking so preety . nice blog /.
Parfum pas cher

Lilac In May said...

Great tips. Mine; flowers, blankets, movies, coffee with Irish liqueur, YES fairy lights, baking, real fires (preferably in a fire place!) winter fruits, box sets, outside exercise on sunny days, organising photos, editing movies, decluttering, knitting and gift planing. That is all.

Sophie said...

Vitamine D + C, eating well (and not just brownies and homemade cakes!), sleeping enough...
Preparing christmas: taking time to craft postcards or maybe some presents.
Trying new hobbies: sewing, knitting...
Organizing albums, pictures...
My Automn list is always full (...but never done, finally).
Happy autumn!

Corinne said...

You must buy a YELLOW SCARF. It's guaranteed to cheer you up. Go for a lime yellow. Then start planning some winter trips. Think where it's fun to go in winter. Also try look at winter through your son's eyes. I grew up in Cape Town where it's cold and wet (no snow though) in winter and i still love the smell of a fire, sound of the wind in the trees, and looking out through the window at the pouring rain and feeling all snuggly inside. Before you know it you'll be ready for spring :)

gaekstrom said...

That Swedish phrase about no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing is true. My Swedish husband says it all the time and especially in winter. We live in Stockholm and here the winter blues are aggravated by the short daylight hours (average of 5-6 hours per day). Like all of the Swedes, we try to get outside as much as possible in the winter, even in the cold, dark and snow. Last year we even got snow tires for our bicycles and rode year round.
This year I plan to focus some time on making some long awaited photo books online, take up a ceramics course, and just recently some friends from my book club started a crafting club to get together and work on our individual craft projects while drinking some wine.
Also helpful is to focus each day on something positive or happy!

www.findinghappy365days.blogspot.com

Wildes Waldwesen said...

Best winter blues antidote of all times?
Hot, wild, cozy, snuggled sex :)

mrschatelaine.com said...

Every winter I think about getting a sun lamp -- it gets so dark in Paris by late afternoon, it's easy to feel like you're living in a cave! Maybe this will be the year?!?

xo Mrs. Ch√Ętelaine in Paris

~Heather said...

I always remind myself that, after December 21, the days start to get longer again.
That, and I play in the snow whenever I get the chance, followed by spicy cocoa!

Stephanie said...

I tend to get the winter blues, but somehow last year didn't seem so bad. I think it's because we finally got our fireplace fixed. And seriously, how can you not be happy curled up next to a warm fireplace with hot chocolate and a good book??? ;-)

Rose said...

My sun lamp is my saving grace during Minnesota winters. I used to just accept the fact that I would get down during a few months of the year, but now the colder months are actually manageable!

allie said...

If you aren't worried about getting pregnant (and I know you're not :D!) you might try St. John's Wort this winter. It worked wonders for me in college. I also have a light lamp and I swear by them. And then I think it also helps to keep in mind that winter, like all things, comes and goes, and even if it does not feel like it will ever end at any given moment, you know that one day in the relatively short future you will be out in the sunshine of spring and summer again.

laurenfoode.com said...

So funny, my boyfriend and I just bought a sun lamp! It's supposed to be good for your skin, too.

Kathy said...

I feel the same way when winter approaches - especially sinceI am used to California "winters"! The fairy lights is such a great suggestion! Yoga always helps me beat the blues of any sort, and every fall there are a ton of specials, so I bought myself a six-month pass for a bikram studio. Also, Mile End has a cookbook! I love their food and it's the only place I must have at least one meal at when I visit NYC. I can't wait to learn how to recreate some of their deliciousness in my own kitchen!

Claire Gibson King said...

I bought the "Happy Lamp" from Brookstone and keep it by my computer all day long.
It makes a world of a difference. I know it sounds crazy but it really make me happy.
I 100% recommends it and hope when the dark days set in it helps keep my sprits up.

high.http://www.brookstone.com/happylight-6000-sunshine-supplement-light-system

Lee Bobbitt said...

Our group of friends have been doing an Article Club ever since your post! We absolutely love it, and we call ourselves the "PTA"(Pass the Article!)

http://www.askforroses.com/2012/04/april-pta-meeting.html

kaitlin said...

You have entirely won me over with the fact that you play Settlers of Catan. Our favourite cure for the Sunday blues is homemade pizza, wine, Catan, and cookies!

collette said...

I don't have time for movies or board games with two young ones, but we try to do a lot of sledding and indoor soccer as a family. Activity = endorfins! Thanks for an affordable light, too!

dreamsinhd said...

i actually try to take advantage as much as possible of some of winters most "depressing" qualities. early darkness means more opportunity to see the stars and explore the city at night {i love seeing city lights against the dark night sky}. cold weather means cozying up by the fire, lots of hot tea, and cuddling up with my boyfriend. snow {when we are lucky enough to get it} means sledding, snowball fights, snowmen, and that lovely early morning walk in the fresh snow.

Chelsea said...

That sun lamp is a smart idea!

Nataliya said...

take a vacation to someplace sunny mid January. Always works for us. oh, and tons of vitamin D

Ester said...

hi joanna

could you please tell us which lights do you use? i'd love to get some for our home.

thanks

ester

FutureLint said...

My friends and I do a soup swap instead of cookie swap! Every recipe for soup makes a TON (and I usually freeze it) but it's fun to have a bunch of different ones to try!

Mary said...

I love the soup swap idea! More sugar is the last thing I need in winter-- it's unavoidable already!

lover said...

SEX,SEX,SEX these are the secrets to the" WInter Blues". at least 5 times a week.. It works...

xo
Melissa

~Love Lis said...

What a great list! I need to do the same and gather all the happy things around me. I've started to feel the blues already so I better get to work!

bridget anne said...

i'm getting all ready for a winter of board game nights with friends...and maybe pie-baking nights. : ) oh...and since we are zoo members, we always love stopping by in the cooler seasons -- it's so fun to bundle up and traipse around the zoo with a hot cocoa in a mittened hand.

SaraSherrell.com said...

I love my young living essential oils. I mean there is an oil called Joy. The whole feelings kit is awesome. Oh, and it helps when Green Bay wins too!

Rosanne said...

For a fun board game that is still competitive but also lighthearted and zany, I highly recommend Small World. It's also really fun to play two player, unlike Settlers.

Rose

{quixotic.elizabeth} said...

Oh I hardly ever leave comments but I love settlers of catan! It always seems like no one knows of it! Great post!

Alina said...

Yes to cookie swaps, fairy lights, and cooking from fantastic cookbooks ("The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" in my case, I hope)! That is definitely how I will be making the most of winter.

Wendy Wainwright said...

My husband is active duty military and so between our moving all the time and his deploying I spend a lot of time adjusting and coping to changing circumstances - and I suffer from mental health issues in general - and what I have found to be helpful is the understanding that it's often a very small thing in your daily routine that helps you adjust to a new home or make it through a deployment, much in the way that you try to keep each day positive in the dreary seasons...for me it's become the routine of getting coffee. Our last home was in TN (I'm from Los Angeles) and I had a really hard time adjusting to living there and to my first (and second and third) deployments and the daily routine of going for coffee, the drive there and back, etc., kept a sense of stability in my day. Each night before I'd go to sleep I'd think of five good things that had happened that day and one to look forward to the next day. Countless times the one thing for the next day was going for coffee. Now we are living in Jerusalem, Israel for three years and I have a new coffee routine but it's helped tremendously with adjusting to living so far from home. Another thing I find helpful in the winter is simply buying fresh flowers once a week.

http://marginalia.wendywainwright.com

fleur_delicious said...

I grew up in the pacific nw and spent two years in santa barbara, ca, while getting my master's. I wasn't depressed, but when the winter months were still sunny and 70 degrees, I started to feel kind of worn out - I didn't get that indoor, sleepy, down-time that the long dark winters up here provide. People laughed, but boy, I missed winter.

fleur_delicious said...

I live in Seattle, where we get about 7.5-8 hours of daylight on the shortest days, and it's generally dark and wet from Oct-May. Seasonal affectedness is very common here. Now, this will sound crazy, but what changed my life was starting to observe and celebrate the old agrarian holidays - there are 8 major festivals (the two equinoxes, the two solstices, and one transitional holiday between each of these four major sun events). I researched northern European traditions (since that matches my climate and Seattle's large scandinavian population) and started employing them here. There is one major festival every 6 weeks or so, so you always have something new to look forward to - and I found that, as my life settled into this rhythm (which also governs the planting/harvest cycle in my garden), I never suffered from SAD again.

On this system, winter is governed by reflection and a kind of inward life. While I make sure I still get out to the gym for regular excercise, mine is a very cozy winter home: I take extra care to pick out warm and cozy outfits that still incorporate pattern and colour (this keeps my students' attention, too). I love candles and go through a lot of them during the dark winter months - there is nothing like coming home, switching on the heat, lighting a candle, and turning on some choral music (I like the older traditional feel of medieval compositions during the winter months) to fill the house with a warm, calm, cozy glow as the light goes down. I make presents for friends throughout the winter months, and new jewelry for myself. I almost always spend some hours embroidering by a window, so I can watch the change in the days. In January, I start planning my next summer garden, and in February I start browsing bare-root plant sales for a new rose to add to my collection. And then you're off and running by March!

My husband and I are also experienced cooks, and food is definitely a big part of our cozy home! I consult the week's weather forecast when building our dinner menu and grocery list for the week (so soups and stews are prepared in advance when we know a deluge is coming, and we bread dough fermenting in the fridge so that we can enjoy steaming hot sourdough bread). We make the most of seasonal eating in the winter, just as we do in the summer: we are transitioning to apples, pears and kale now; next month we'll start eating pomegranates and cranberries and december means broccoli and then january brings citrus (ever made marmalade? It's fun!). In late winter, I usually shift to mexican food (but not tex-mex - think squash and fish and bright citrus sauces) which helps us ride out the last of the cold weather while also lightening up (calorie-wise) from the heavier dishes of late autumn. And always, we keep our eye on the next ancient holiday, tracking the sun's progress back north.

Madelyne Rush said...

I love Settlers of Catan! It made me smile super big when I saw you mentioned it. I'll have to try a Cookie Swap and the twinkle lights in the house and sun lamp. War Against the Winter Blues!

Jenny R said...

I use a sun lamp too. It really helps. I also try to get some exercise as that always lifts my mood. The last thing then is to try and make my home cosy, cook tasty hearty warming food, light nice candles. A little project is really good too, something to keep me bust, like making my own Christmas cards, or baking nice cookies :)

Jennifer said...

I love you Winter! I missed you so bad! This is my happy time of year :)

Ms. May said...

Yes!! D3 saved my soul. I swear by it. It makes me feel permanently vacation-tan. I love it.

Allison McGregor said...

I love how honest and open you are, you don't sugar coat things. you talk about real issues! Loving it. Great suggestions!

http://two-leaf-clover.com

CHEVRON and GEOMETRICS said...

I felt exactly the same way! I love getting all cozy and such with the cold weather but the blues can easily come around. All that you listed are some good picks for me too. There's nothing better then turning on some good tunes, cooking, and dancing around the kitchen. Instantly makes my day better. The You've Got Mail soundtrack is my go to right now. xxxxx

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ALL ABOUT CHOCOLATE CREATIVE... said...

How funny I am about to get one myself. I come from a very sunny and warm island in spain but live most of the time in London, just returned from 28c to 1 so yes I will get the lamp as soon as possible. I suffer from SAD and I should have got one many years ago...playing happy music, curling up in the sofa with my cat, drinking hot chocolate, being under the knitted blanket my mother made for me, doing pilates, walking in the park and being with friends are my ways of coping with grey cold days in London.

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Sue Harris said...

My doctor tested my blood to see what my Vitamin D level was, and it was so low it barely registered. She prescribed a super mega dose of Vitamin D for several weeks. It helps a lot. I also use a light therapy light box. Exercise helps too--I do Zumba three times a week as well as a weight circuit. Zumba is fun and gives a surprisingly good cardio workout, and I love my instructors!

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