How to kick the blahs of winter

It is now February and the holidays are done.  We now have to deal with the aftermath.   The new toys still don’t have a place.  The kids aren’t going outside to play as often and seem to be inside all of the time.  For some of us the muffin top got bigger and is taunting you at every moment, especially when you drive (okay maybe it is just me).  How do we break the boring blah feeling that comes at this time of year?  Here are a few ideas you can try to get through until the spring:

  1. Sit with those feelings. Don’t fight them.  Sometimes we just need to let all those bad feelings take over for a bit.  However it would be more productive to schedule this in.  It sounds odd I know but can be very effective.  Pick a time during the day, maybe before the kids wake up or maybe lunchtime or after the kids go to bed.  Take that time to be sad or bored or annoyed.  Once you control the when and how, the feelings lessen. They will be less overwhelming.
  2. Enjoy the downtime and slower pace.  The kids are in bed, it is cold and dark outside.  Instead of worrying about the dirty kitchen, grab a book, kindle, or your iPad and relax!  If you have a hobby, (i.e. sewing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking) get to it and let the process and finished project exhilarate you again.
  3. Schedule some fun events.  Call friends for coffee, a walk, lunch, dinner, drinks, or whatever you enjoy doing.  Schedule some date nights.  Most schools are publishing their winter continuing education – how about line dancing or learning a craft?  Having these things to look forward to will help keep you upbeat.
  4. Create some outside activities inside.  Create a camp out with the kids, have an inside picnic or a treasure hunt.  My kids love pillow forts.  They also make trains, space ships and other great things out of the coach cushions.
  5. Turn on some music and dance with the kids.  Or your spouse for that matter.  Kids love to see us have fun and get goofy.  Their joy will spread.
  6. Just let the blah feeling pass on its own. We know that spring makes us feel better naturally and, as much as you may not believe it now, spring will come in its own time.

Spring will be here real soon.  In the meantime if you can’t shake your low moods, call a friend or family member that lifts your spirits.  If it gets to be too much and you are overwhelmed, you may need to get professional help.  Contact a friend or your insurance for a referral or check out for therapists in your area.

Lenore Pranzo, MA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Redding, CT with a private practice in her home and an office in Fairfield.  She is a mother of 5 year old twin boys. She works with couples, teens, groups and individuals on issues including substance abuse, fertility, anxiety, depression, marital strain, and stress management.  Her website is and phone is 203.274.0158.