8 Ways to Fight the Winter Blues the Frugal Way

I’m not sure about you, but I always get S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) come winter time. Especially if you live in a place on the West Coast like Vancouver, you know how it feels to live in one of the the most depressing places in the world from November to February.

It’s cold, it rains almost every day, and it gets dark at about 4 pm. So, the other day some of my co-workers and I were talking about ways to fight the winter blues, which inspired me to do a bit of research. Of course, one of the biggest things on the market these days are light therapy lamps, which can cost upwards of $100, but I’ve never tried one, so I’m not totally sold that they’re a sure-fire cure. So, instead of shelling out some of your hard-earned cash for a lamp that might just be a lamp, here are some free options to try out:


I’ve been failing at this miserably since the beginning of December, and I have absolutely no excuse besides laziness. I’m going to make it more of a priority, because I know every time, I work out I feel great (besides the soreness the next day).

Get a hobby and keep busy

When I’ve got too much time on my hands and I’ve got too much time to think, that’s when I start beating myself up about not doing this or that and then the inevitable gloom ensues. But since I’ve started this blog, it’s really taken my mind of things. So, start writing, or knitting, or trying out new recipes, and definitely do things that give you a sense of accomplishment afterwards. It’s always an upper when you can easily see the fruits of your labours.

Go outside

Part of S.A.D. is not getting enough Vitamin D. Whenever it’s not snowing or raining, go outside! I’ve just started walking to and from work every day, no matter what the weather conditions, and I have to say I’m almost always in a good mood when I get to work or get home.

Make sure to get your beauty sleep

I’m very good at this one. I love sleep. I mean, the story of Rip Van Winkle is one of my biggest fantasies. I would love to sleep for years. But apparently you only need 7 – 8 hours per night, and any more than 9 hours can actually cause “low mood and energy and may lead to poor health” (Globe and Mail).

Leave your cocoon and be a social butterfly

Cheesy I know, but I couldn’t resist the metaphor. But you can’t deny it’s true. If I stay home too many nights in a row, I start feeling really low without being able to explain why. But one night out for drinks with friends can put me in a good mood for days.

Have something to look forward to

This can be anything really. Hosting a dinner party with friends to treating yourself to a full fat with whip cream eggnog latte at Starbucks at the end of the week.

Embrace the cold

This could mean going snowboarding, building a snowman, or going ice skating. For me, embracing the cold means bundling up in my snuggie, having a cup of tea and reading a good book inside where it’s warm. I don’t know why but I love the feeling when it’s cold outside, but I’m all safe and cozy inside.

Remember, it’s almost over

Spring is just around the corner, and then after that there’s summer! And we love summer! Sun, sandals and sangria are just a few months away!

For a few more suggestions, I found some great tips from the Daily Mail and Psych Central.

How do you fight the winter blues without spending much money?

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