Staying Sane: Winter Wellness Strategies


The holidays are over, the new year is here. What’s next? January. It can be a long, cold month. Staying sane during sub-zero temps or dark rainy days can be quite depressing.

And that notion of cabin fever, it’s real. I know. I felt it first hand while living in one of the coldest places on earth. No, it wasn’t Antarctica or Barrows, Alaska, but it might as well have been. Minnesota, or Minne-snow-ta, as I call it, has sub-zero temps, blinding snow, and weather so unbelievable it transcends your worst nightmares. Anytime it takes 15 minutes to put your “extra” clothes on and another 10 to get a heat buildup, you know you’re in for quite a ride.

That first winter was the hardest. Fearing I’d lose my mind- with no one but a rambunctious, strong-willed 3-year-old for conversation- I desperately sought ways to stay sane. Accumulating winter weight was always an option. But there’s only so much cooking you can do before you get bored or unhealthy.

For several months after moving back home to the Pacific Northwest, I endured Minnesota winter driving nightmares. Every day I thanked God for the mild winter of Washington. The dark rainy days do not depress me for I know it can be worse. And I’ve learned a lot of ways to keep my sanity since those frigid winters in the Midwest.

Stay sane with these winter wellness strategies:

  • Wake up with an attitude of gratitude. Let your first words be, “Thank you.” I'm often inspired to ask, “What do I need to know?” God/Universe brings me the books, music, workshops, etc. that I need. When you ask, it is given.

  • Eat wholesome food. Junk foods deplete the body of energy and contribute to depression. They can also cause malnutrition and toxicity.

  • Stay hydrated with fresh pure water. Lack of water can lead to depression and thousands of health problems.

  • Sleep well- Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, depression, and increase your risk for diabetes and cancer. Not to mention crabbiness!

  • Feed your soul- Find activities that make you feel happy. Whatever you like to do. Sing, dance, paint, create, play with children and pets, etc.

  • Meditate- In addition to its many health benefits, meditation will make winter's transition much easier. ​

  • Watch empowering YouTube videos. Peruse uplifting channels such as Mind Valley Academy. They have amazing speakers.

  • Read or watch inspiring stories. Anything that makes you feel good.

  • Exercise! This one is HUGE! Next to gratitude, this one will save you, especially during winter. Try yoga, dancing, anything you enjoy that gets you moving your body.

  • Connect with positive people. Uplifting people are absolutely necessary for good health. Avoid negative people, they are vexations to the spirit.

  • Sunbathe – Get Your Vitamin D Fix- For years I swore off tanning beds. Then the data came out. Now we know, tanning beds are a valuable source of Vitamin D, and DO NOT cause skin cancer. For those of us sun-deprived folks, tanning beds are a Godsend.

Winter comes and it goes, for most of us...

Just remember to keep your thoughts and spirits lifted, and avoid “dark thoughts.” Happiness and depression are but a state of mind. It takes some mental calisthenics and a lot of work to undo old habits. Developing new mental habits are essential to a healthy mind and body.

How you think and feel will determine your mood. You control your life, not the weather or any other event. Your happiness is an “inside job.” When you learn to change the thoughts you think; your life will change.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” -Wayne Dyer

More Resources for a Sane & Healthy Life

7 Tips to Ease the Winter Blues - Daylight is in short supply. Follow these tips and before you know it spring will be here again.

10 Ways to Relieve Stress Now – Easy strategies to help you feel good and live happier now!

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